Alan van Capelle Leaving NY’s Empire State Pride Agenda

The executive director of New York advocacy organization Empire State Pride Agenda, is leaving to join the staff of Comptroller John Liu, reports Elizabeth Benjamin at the NY Daily News:

Vancapelle "Van Capelle is breaking the news this morning to the staff at ESPA,
where his seven-year tenure makes his the organization's longest-serving
executive director. He will be Liu's deputy comptroller for external
affairs, serving as a chief advisor on intergovernmental relations,
politics and communications. He will start his new job in early March. Van Capelle's departure comes almost two months after the LGBT
community suffered a significant setback in the fight for marriage when the
Senate defeated the measure, 24-38. ESPA has pledged
to continue the fight, and some have suggested bringing new blood
in to try to push the measure over the finish line might be a smart

Said Van Capelle in a statement: "It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to work for the Empire State Pride Agenda over the past seven years. The amazing volunteer Boards, the talented staff, our many dedicated supporters, the statewide community and all of our allies, in elected office and elsewhere, have been a tremendous inspiration. I will always treasure that the Pride Agenda entrusted me with the responsibility to advance our community’s agenda in New York and I look forward to supporting the Pride Agenda’s work in the years ahead."


  1. JimSur212 says

    Alan truly had an amazing run at ESPA, full of accomplishments to be proud of. None of the blame for failing to achieve marriage equality is his. Quite the contrary, getting the issue brought to the floor of the Senate for the first time is one of his greatest achievements. I wish Alan well in his new job, but hope that he soon runs for office himself. Anyone who has seen him speak at an ESPA dinner will know that its in his blood.

  2. Feral says

    Ditto everything by the first commenter. It’s sad to see him go, but I wish him well. He is a passionate fighter for our rights, and it would be great to see him take that passion to the city or state level.

  3. Alex says

    Something doesn’t smell right here. THe job Mr. Van Capelle is going to looks like a placeholder and not a career growth opportunity. I am deeply suspicious that the board pushed him out. The board is tightly controlled by a set of wealthy white NY males who view ESPA as their personal fiefdom and party organization. Van Capelle tried to broaden its reach to include people of color, women, and transgender people, as needed to build a powerful political coalition. Let’s see what happens next.

  4. whitemale says

    I hope the Board pushed him out. He is an egomaniac who accomplished the least amount of any ED in Pride Agenda history. As far as the board being made up of white males I would love to see a room full of people of color join the board and actually contribute money to this cause. Until then, please keep your racist white people complaints to yourself- white people are funding the LGBT movement and would welcome the support of people of color communities.

    As far as Alan reaching out…. I suspect his reaching out will achieve more for his own personal ambition. It certainly didn’t help move the LGBT agenda forward in New York

  5. Camille Hopkins says

    Van Cappelle was a scapegoat for ESPA’s Board of Director’s myopia. They allowed him to largely ignore upstate NY GLBT activists while espousing a NYC centric way of looking at the world. They both failed gloriously.

    I’m glad he’s gone as he was the wrong individual for ESPA. The next ED will hopefully embrace a wider constituency (people of color & gender non-conforming communities) and a wiser world view.

  6. Carl says

    The ESPA board definitely has serious myopia and attitude problems. It’s run by self-styled
    poseurs that believe anyone outside their NYC and FI Pines circle is not worthy of attention. It has limited both their financial and political reach.