Last month, the all-ages punk venue 924 Gilman announced that it’s in danger of closing because its landlord is raising its rent by nearly $3,000 a month starting July 1. The rent increase came about after the building’s landlord decided to sell the property, but couldn’t find any buyer, according to a letter sent to the Express by Karen O’Brien, executive director of Alternative Music Foundation, aka 924 Gilman Street. In response, the all-volunteer-run alcohol-free venue decided to seek nonprofit status, and in the process has updated its bylaws to ensure more commitment from its officers.
According to O’Brien, Gilman has historically allowed anyone who attended two, nonconsecutive meetings to vote on every matter presented. O’Brien says this setup gave individuals, groups, or scenes the ability to easily stack the vote, which has happened at recent meetings. “Our current staff is pretty sizable and experienced but cannot prevent entire meetings from being distracted or controlled by whoever has the most numbers, loudest gripe, most authoritative way of speaking or who is held in highest esteem, regardless of current contribution to the collective effort,” O’Brien wrote. “All of the club’s decisions have to be made in this environment. It’s probably the biggest reason we still trying to become a non-profit.”