Friday, April 22, 2011

SF Govt Asked to Raise Stars & Stripes
at Castro Plaza for Harvey Milk Day

It's a simple request I've made to the San Francisco municipal agency that oversees every inch of Milk Plaza, but as of the end of business on Friday, the Department of Public Works has not replied to my letter. The campaign I am waging to bring transparency to the current murky process ruled by the control queens at the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro, might eventually lead to community collaboration over the flag and pole issues.

If you agree that the San Francisco government and all its agency should work with the public on Harvey Milk Day to properly celebrate the man's life and legacy by raising an American flag at the plaza named in his honor, please contact Edward Reiskin. He's the chief for DPW.

Contact info:
Email: Ed.Reiskin@sfdpw.org
Phone: 1-415-554-6920


Here's the text of the letter sent to Mario Montoya, who manages the plaza for the citizens of San Francisco:

I have been informed by Frank W. Lee that you are the DPW supervisor for Harvey Milk Plaza, located at Castro and Market Streets. I am contacting you to request that DPW hoist an American flag on May 22, Harvey Milk Day across California, up on the pole and that Old Glory fly under the rainbow flag to commemorate the patriotism of Milk for a 24-hour period.

Since you are the DPW supervisor for this public plaza, you must have the key for the flag pole control box lowering or raising flags. If for some reason you are not in possession of this key, I then need to know what you and DPW have done to locate the key, which is city property and may illegally be in the hands of private citizens with no written or legal claim to that property, or steps you have taken with a locksmith to replace any missing key.

My request is for you to work with me and other gay activists on Sunday, May 22, for a short ceremony at the Harvey Milk Plaza flag pole to mark the day's importance by lowering the enormous rainbow flag, attaching an American flag the same size as the rainbow flag, then fly both flags for 24-hours.

Further, I believe DPW can use the large American flag on display on DPW's pole at UN Plaza, which is under the supervision of DPW. Of course, DPW may possess other such flags equal in size or smaller than the rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza and could also come under consideration for use on May 22.

The flag concerns and other issues require more communication between us, and I wish to restrict our communication to email exchanges at this stage of my request. Let me also say that I am available to attend any public meetings DPW might hold with key stakeholders of the municipal plaza and flag pole in question.

I am not the only San Francisco citizen or Castro stakeholder who seeks transparent discourse with DPW over control of the plaza and pole. For the good of the Castro and the city, DPW should convene public forums and invite all pertinent civic groups to participate, and allot plenty of time for public comment.

We have just over a month to collaborate, you as the city employee assisting me, a taxpayer and voter, in using DPW's Harvey Milk Plaza and the city's flag pole for the educational benefit of the public.

For one very significant day to LGBT people in San Francisco, around the nation and the planet, the rainbow flag must fly on May 22 with Old Glory. I look forward to working with you and other folks at DPW to make the joint flag flying project a municipal success.

Please acknowledge receipt of this request by noon on April 19. I will blog about all this late tomorrow afternoon, and hope to have positive and detailed communication from you to include in my post. Thanks.
(Two flags are better than one. Photo credit: Mariela Lombard, Zuma Press.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI: Is is one of the requirements in the rules and regulations which govern the displaying of the American flag that it never be displayed below another flag. It must always be flown at the top, in first position. Bearing this point of procedure in mind when you lobby for your request's consideration, may make your effort a more successful one. Thanks.

Michael said...

thanks for the info. i didn't know about the positioning of the flag when the US one is used with another. good tip as i wage this campaign.