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Letters to the editor

by BAR staff

Letters to the editor

Leave rainbow flag as is
I think we should leave the rainbow as it is ["Cultural district to have survey on Pride flag," July 15]. It makes me very proud each and every time I visit the Castro. The old saying, if it is not broken, leave it alone. Also I think it a bit stupid to spend over $4 million dollars on the Castro entrance to the Muni at Harvey Milk Plaza. I think the money could be better spent.

James Robinson
San Francisco

Jenner goes Down Under
As Caitlyn Jenner heads to Australia, we're all briefly spared her seriously deranged campaign to unseat Governor Gavin Newsom as the poster girl for the increasingly fascist Republican Party.

If they ever come to take us LGBTQ people away in boxcars, Jenner can tell them she's a Republican.

Maybe, they'll let her sit up front.

John Caton
Oakland, California

Town halls needed on flag
After reading your excellent coverage and editorial ["Castro cultural district can unify the neighborhood," Editorial, July 15] last week about new developments in who controls the rainbow flagpole on taxpayer-funded public land at Harvey Milk Plaza, I believe there should be several in-person and virtual town halls for the local LGBTQ community to discuss regaining public control of the rainbow flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza.

The Castro Merchants since the spring of 2011 have promised to organize a debate about their domineering and sole control of this vital piece of municipal property, and the group's president Masood Samereie, in an August 2020 Bay Area Reporter essay, pledged he would soon hold that debate and with other stakeholders participating. Never happened.

I suggest the merchants hold their own open discussion or two to explain their views and to hear directly from the community of folks who want to change what flies on the flagpole. It's the least they can do to finally deliver a smidgen of accountability to us.

The Gilbert Baker Foundation, from its Greenwich Village base, also needs to put on a Zoom town hall to provide us San Franciscans with a full accounting of their private push with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and Mayor London Breed's offices to quickly landmark the enormous erect pole, attempting to bypass a community-led process.

The Castro's supervisor and his aide, Tom Temprano, who have given valuable staff time to the Baker foundation of New York, additionally needs to hold a coffee hour or two solely on the rainbow flag issues for their constituents.

Finally, while I heartily endorse the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District's upcoming rainbow flagpole forum in September, I must take it to task for failing to encourage community participation in their twice-monthly Harvey Milk Plaza Pride Flag Committee virtual meetings. The district's recent release about its upcoming flag survey and fall forum omitted mention of the committee, saying nothing urging folks to join their one-hour chats every second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 5 p.m.

Let's run transparency and meetings up the flagpole, so to speak, and see if they fly with the grassroots community.

Michael Petrelis
San Francisco

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