Brian Ellner to be Named Head of Empire State Pride Agenda

Brian Ellner will be named executive director of New York gay rights group Empire State Pride Agenda, City Room reports:

Ellner "Brian Ellner, who serves as Mr. Klein’s senior counselor for community affairs, is expected to be approved next week by the Pride Agenda’s board of directors, according to someone with direct knowledge of the board’s plans who was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Mr. Ellner would replace Alan Van Capelle, who left the organization in January to take a position with New York City Comptroller John C. Liu.

Mr. Ellner would assume leadership of the organization at a time when it is trying to regroup after suffering the most significant setback of its 20-year history. A Harvard and Dartmouth graduate who ran unsuccessfully for Manhattan borough president in 2005, Mr. Ellner would help coordinate the next effort to pass legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Albany."

Ellner is currently senior counselor for community affairs for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.


  1. AR says

    Huge congrats to Brian Ellner and the Pride Agenda! Great news for LGBT New Yorkers.

  2. Anonymous says

    So, the question is whether Alan was forced out or whether he voluntarily resigned.

  3. 24play says

    That’s the ESPA can do?

    Ellner’s a weasel with an uninspiring resume. And he’s in Bloomberg’s pocket.

  4. TANK says

    Yay! Another careerist insider INSTALLED on “our” behalf! Hey, if it happens on the national level, why not the state?

  5. Cathy says

    This appointment does nothing to change ESPA – it will remain the private country club for the Manhattan/FI Pines self-styled “A-gays”. The organization does not represent the broader gay community in NY and by being the private feifdom of a few, cuts itself off from a broader pool of resources (both human and financial) that could enable it to be more effective.

  6. Anonymous says

    @Cathy, I think Alan was definitely a force against the ESPA image that you put forward — although your criticism of the organization (though a bit extreme) seems to have an element of truth to it, unfortunately.

  7. Michael says

    I think Ellner’s got the savvy to get Marriage Equality passed by the NY legislature–and that’s what its all about right now, right?

    I’m optimistic that he’ll help lead the way to get a bill through the NY State Senate in the next session, once we vote out some of the opponents this November.

  8. Aware says

    Brian Ellner is indeed a weasel. Remember the Mark Green/Michael Bloomberg flip-flop he did? He will change course and allegiances on a dime to further whatever upswing he thinks he can grab.

  9. Randy says

    Remembering all histories very well, I believe ESPA could not do better than Ellner. We now have a a fighting chance to get marriage passed and we need to stand behind him.

  10. MCnNYC says

    I think Allen VC was an inspiring leader of ESPA…Brain will be an “attractive” leader of an attractive organization.

    He did however sell his soul to Bloomberg Inc. and this is offer is an “opportunity” he can use….for…FILL IN THE BLANK.

  11. Remembers BP Race says

    Brian Ellner is nothing more than a self-serving mercenary. This is a huge setback after AVC’s tremendous leadership.