In Move Toward Transparency, CSW Releases 2014 Tax Return

Christopher Street West has responded to complaints about its lack of transparency by making public its 2014 federal income tax return, which shows its then board secretary used the CSW credit card to make unauthorized personal expenses.

The tax return states that Jason Roundy, who joined the CSW board in 2009, made $8,792 in unauthorized expenditures. Roundy was removed from the board in 2014. CSW Treasurer Norman Waddell also stepped down. Roundy had previously been employed by AIDS Project Los Angeles. In response, CSW said it implemented a policy that called for the organization’s credit card to be kept in its safe when it wasn’t in use.

LA Pride 2016 logo
LA Pride 2016 logo

The 2014 tax return, which non-profit groups must make public, showed CSW incurred a loss of $92,821 that year, up from the $76,566 loss of the previous year.

Overall, CSW had revenue of $2.3 million in 2014, up from $1.9 million the year before. But its expenses also climbed, to $2.4 million, leaving it with a loss of $52,000. In 2013 CSW had a loss of $77,000.

That revenue figure include $501,000 in fees for cleaning, management and other services that were waived by the City of West Hollywood. Almost $600,000 is budget for this year’s Pride events. Sponsors were the source of $470,000 in revenue, ranging from $45,000 from Delta Airlines and $20,000 from Showtime Networks to $7,500 for KNBC-TV.

As has been the case in years past, Pride festival admissions were the biggest single source of revenue, totaling $746,000. Tickets for last year’s Pride festival were $20 if purchased in advance and $25 at the festival gate and will be increased to $30 and $35 this year. The next largest source of revenue was beverage sales, which totaled $387,000. Fees paid by festival exhibitors brought in $16,000 and parade participation fees were $68,000. There also was miscellaneous income of $9,000.

Christopher Street West has said it also will post its 2015 tax return as soon as it is completed and sent to the IRS. Critics of CSW have noted that other pride organizations such as that in San Francisco offer access on their websites to the IRS tax form and also publish the names of their board members and their bylaws, which CSW does not do.

However WEHOville has obtained that information, which can be found on the pages below.  Click on the words and numbers in red on each page to access the document:

Page 2: Board of Directors
Page 3: Christopher Street West Bylaws
Page 4: CSW 2014 Tax Return
Page 5: CSW 2013 Tax Return
Page 6: CSW 2012 Tax Return
Page 7: CSW 2011 Tax Return
Page 8: CSW 2010 Tax Return
Page 9: CSW 2009 Tax Return
Page 10: CSW 2008 Tax Return
Page 11: CSW 2007 Tax Return

  1. I don’t see any attemt for wehovill to “dreg up” any financial review of our own City of WeHo’s Finances, Speding, transfers on the record and any money passing off the official City Accounting. Hundreds of millions pass though weho city hall, and wehovill is only choosing to dreg up the dirt and point the finger “at a bad guy” over tens of thousands of dollars??

    How about the hundreds of millions of city collecting, spending and borroeing again via Bond Issues??

  2. Please excuse my candor. Year after year at an annual May City Council Meeting our electeds say, “We really care about this and as soon as this year is over, we’re going to seriously engage with CSW to improve next year. My suggestion is start at the beginning and write some ByLaws that wrest control from a self-elected Board of Directors who reserve the legal right to do what every they want — including just call the whole thing off — with no accountability to anyone but themselves. I have worked in in new, old, and in between stages of nonprofit, political, and social justice campaigns and organizations for four decades, starting a number of them personally from scratch. While By-Laws are always considered a pain in the butt and nobody really wants to even read them let alone sit on a committee to draft or edit them, they ultimately determine the success or failure of the organization and its leadership. CSW Bylaws do not include one single reference to a Pride Parade, a Pride Rally, or a Music Festival. The only stated purpose is to “do business” by “collecting and disbursing money.” As a 501(c)3 nonprofit they are under no legal obligation to disclose anything – so generally they haven’t.until these postings on Wehoville. Without ascribing any ulterior motives to those who have worked so hard over the years, CSW is more than a business, it’s more than fee for service nonprofit — it’s a cultural and historical TRUST, granted by the broadly diverse coalition of LGBTQI communities who are indeeds the owners / beneficiaries of that TRUST, yet are wholly excluded in the governing documents of CSW.

  3. Forgive me but I must add that there are inconsistencies in the sub-headings of some of the sub-pages. Further, the CSW 990 tax filings can be found on the web site GUIDESTAR which is used by many non-profits to post this information. You can access the last two years (2014 and 2013) for free. Anything further back than 2013 involves an unknown fee. The 990 filings have been on Guidestar for who knows how long. CSW’s Chris Classen stated in an open meeting that the 2015 returns should be on Guidestar within the next few weeks, as I recall.

  4. Uh, oh ! Who wrote these By-Laws ?! They consistently refer to the Principle (sic) Executive Offices as opposed to the correct PRINCIPAL. This error immediately gives me pause for thought.

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