South Bay Alliance Association, Inc. (SBA) is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization building a coalition of the LGBT community and our allies for social networking, business promotion, and political awareness in South San Diego County and Baja California North.
SBA began in the Fall of 2006 with a small group of long time LGBT South Bay residents at the instigation of Mitch Doty-Cabrera. The intitial executive committee included Dae Elliott and John Acosta as Co-Chairs, Marci Bair as Secretary, and Craig Knudson as Treasurer. In 2007, the committee resurrected the celebration “Gay Day in South Bay” that had been formerly organized by Marci Bair in 2003-2005.
The 2008-2009 executive committee was chaired by Dae Elliott with Marci Bair as Vice-Chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, and Lori Grady as Secretary. In 2008, the committee founded the South Bay Pride Music Festival held at Memorial Park on August 24, 2008, This new event replaced the small neighborhood gathering of 2007 “Gay Day in South Bay” with a music festival and Pride event for outreach to the south San Diego county community at large. SBA also enhanced its internet support of the community by developing their business listing and resource information websites. In the spring of 2009, SBA moved from a non-profit association to a 501(3)(c) non-profit corporate status.
The 2010-2011 executive committee was chaired by Marci Bair with Ben Orgovan as Vice-Chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, and Rhonda Mack as Secretary while Dae Elliott continued as an advisory executive committe member chairing the South Bay Pride committee. In 2011, South Bay Pride Music Festival added the Art component to their celebration and became South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival.
Since its inception, this small group has grown exponentially. Our original 2007 event was a small picnic style gathering with Laura Jane as DJ attended by about 200. A year later, we had our first South Bay Pride Music Festival attended by about 700 last year’s 2015 South Bay Pride Art and Music Fest was attended by an estimated 16,000 attendees.
After a hiatus in 2012, South Bay Alliance’s board was reorganized by founding members Dae Elliott (chair), Marci Bair (vice-chair), and Craig Knudson (treasuer) and South Bay Pride was moved to the larger venue Bayfront Park while increasing entertainment and activities to include a second dance-dj stage, a juried selected ‘Art in the Park’ display, the ‘GG’s Got Talent’ contest, as well as, hosting two weddings for our “My Gay Wedding” contest winners in celebration of the 2013 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing same sex couples to formalize their love and commitment to each other through marriage in the state of California. The 2013 South Bay Pride had over 50 vendor/exhibitors and saw its attendance increase by 40% from previous years.
The 2014-2015 executive committee was chaired by Dae Elliott with Joseph Burke as vice-chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, Patricia Boman as Secretary. South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival 2014 was held on Saturday, September 13, 2014. The duration was extended from 12 – 10pm with two stages. The Port Authority Main stage highlighted our wonderful line up of local bands while our Flicks Entertainment stage was hosted by Pauly and Monks and brought us popular local DJ’s for great dancing. In addition to continuing our ‘Art in the Park’ and more wonderful vendor/exhibitors, we also added rides and children’s’ entertainment by San Diego Kid’s Party Rentals. Once again, our attendance increased but this time by over 200%!
Joe Burke continues as vice chair and executive director of South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. We would like to also welcome Sister Ida Know as our Social Media/Webmaster. Our 2015 Pride was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 and moved just across to Bayside Park, Chula Vista for more room to expand, access to beach for water sports in the bay. Estimated attendance expected was 16k. We are expanding our ‘Art in the Park’ while continuing our successful stages that promote local talent including our headliners Vokab Kompany, Ricky Rebel and Ivy Levan. In addition, we had the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display!
The 2016 South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival was held on September 10, 2016 and had an attendance of about 18k. Joe Burke continued as our executive director and was excited to expand on the entertainment to three stages. In addition, we expanded the number of local artisans took advantage of our beach side location with our featured artist Sergio Cabrara along with many other local artisans. We also had a diverse number of sports (both water and land) as well as entertainment for our children. With almost 100 vendor, exhibitors and artisans with a full line up of music last year’s event continued to provide the wonderful bay side celebration of community for LGBTQ* and their allies. Our three stages included the Electronica Stage, the Port Stage, and the Industry Stage. Our Electronica Stage featured an amazing line up of DJ Ka, DJ Fariba, DJ Dida, DJ Taj, Oscar Del Amor, Danielle Delaite, Donald Glaude, American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez with DJ IDeaL, and Tristan D of UK Serious Records. The Port Stage featured Laura Jane as emcee with such fantastic local acts as the Taryn Donath Duo, Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles, the Social Animal, the Ingenue, the Tighten Ups, as well as Sue Palmer, Laura Chavez, Evan Yearsley, Thomas Yearsley, Jonny Viau, Casey Hensley, Laura Jane as the All-Star Tribute to Candye Kane (a long time advocate to the LGBTQ* community and par excellence singer/song writer), and the Imperial Court presents ‘An Enchanted Evening’ with Empress Jaeda Reign Saunders Too & Friends. And finally, the Industry Stage featured an amazing line up of our local Punk Rock scene strange creature, dexter riley xperiment, bad kids, hang zero’s, the pope virgins, lindsay and the white lies, fake tides, pathetic society, nerve control, and adult crash.
The 2017-2018 executive committee was chaired by Dae Elliott with Joseph Burke as vice-chair, Craig Knudson as Treasurer, Michael Williamson as Secretary. The 2017 South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival will be held on September 9, 2017 with expected attendance of 20k. Joe Burke continues as the executive director as we strive to make this the best Pride celebration ever. We are thrilled to have Tomas Serrano (DJ Ideal) on board again as our director of talent acquisition and look forward to an even more stellar line up of extraordinary musical talent. We will also be incorporating even more artisans, as well as expanding our sports and bay activities. If you would like to help out in the planning, please contact us at SouthBayAlliance@gmail.com. The planning committee meets the second Monday every month at 6pm. Be a part of making a difference!
South Bay Alliance goals are to make this event not only a celebration of our community and educational outreach but also to provide funds in order to assist in creating a bi-national resource center in the south San Diego county and border region where our youth and our aging community can be supported and have a safe haven. In the interim, SBA is working within the community in conjunction with other organizations in order to encourage HIV testing/treatment, promoting the “Live well San Diego” and “Getting to Zero” initiatives, as well as, promote safe LGBTQ* friendly areas through our outreach efforts, offering Cultural Competency & Diversity LGBTQ* training to interested businesses/organizations and individuals. SBA offers individual trainings three time a year FREE at the Industry and will provide SafeZones 2.5-3 hour training to business/organizations upon request. Contact us for fees. We are also reaching out to South Bay businesses/organizations to post our FREE 4″ x 4″ Palm Tree decal to indicate to the community that they are LGBTQ* friendly and in support of LGBTQ* equality as well as targeting a May 1, 2017 online listing of LGBTQ* friendly resources, organizations and businesses in South San Diego and border regions.
If you need to contact us through mail, our address is South Bay Alliance, 500 Montera Ct., Chula Vista, CA 91910, ATTN: Craig Knudson. For tax deducible donations, please make all checks to “South Bay Alliance Association, Inc.”
2017 Strategic South Bay Alliance Planning Committee Members
Dae Elliott, Executive Chair
Joseph Burke, Vice Chair/SBPride Executive Director
Craig Knudson, Treasurer
Michael Williamson, Secretary
Thomas Cirillo, Web Master
Francisco Garcia-Velasquez, Youth Outreach
Tomas Serrano, SBPride Entertainment
Pej Zaimaran, Volunteer Coordinator
Otis Merry, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator