This blog is a continuation of my series on Glide Church in San Francisco. An unknown but significant institution in America.
One of the original four ministers who came to Glide was Donald L. Kuhn. Don was free to act on any of his interests. His prime interest was in the politics and cultural vitality of San Francisco. He therefore created a number of interesting portfolios for himself.
The most significant in terms of historic perspectives was his determination to bring minority individuals into the heart of the San Francisco political process. Don interviewed many hundreds of minorities that he found through church and organizational connections. Among the ones who were most competent and politically astute, he directed them to serve on any one of the appropriate 500 board re;ated positions and agencies that are part of San Francisco. He acted as a mentor. By the time he helped elect his own Mayor, George Moscone, he was able to get hundreds of his minority proteges appointed to important positions.
I do not know how to evaluate the historic repercussions of Don's actions because San Francisco has become the largest city in America with a pro-communist anti-business city government. It also remains as inefficient as it ever was. Maybe more so.(Inefficient is a good environment for starting new businesses.)
In the San Francisco cultural area Don published dozens of books under the Glide Publications label. He always aimed for social action and published books on lesbianism, family sexual abuse and the political activist cartoon world. Each of these was built around a community group and Don deserves credit for the extraordinary explosion of groups focused on intra-family sexual abuse. (Again, if you think that is important.)
Lastly, it was Don who brought me to Glide. Don had been instrumental in renovating the San Francisco public school system which is where we met. He continued to work on this issue throughout the decade that he was at Glide. I can't say it succeeded because nothing has succeeded in education.
Don worked on many vital projects, including planting trees in San Francisco, making San Francisco agencies more responsive to their clientele and promoting the poets and artists of San Francisco.
Don's role at Glide was instrumental in making Glide the center of many communities and new organizations that became important throughout the United States.
I went to Glide after deciding to leave the Bank of California. Among many offers I was interested in, Glide was one and the other was Booz Allen. I was to be the national bank marketing director for Booz Allen.
One hot night on the beach, while I was making up my mind, I had built a small fire with my girl friend. In the fire were hot dogs and potatoes. First to come walking up the beach was the personnel manager from Booz Allen; he and his wife had a portable table and champagne and offered to have us join them. Next came Don Kuhn and his wife Emogene, they just had beer with them. I invited them to join us and made up my mind that I fitted in better at Glide.