Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Supervisor Avalos 
on the Castro's Rainbow Flag

Here's my disclosure at the top of this post. My first of three votes in the mayoral election is going to Supervisor John Avalos, not just for his written commitment to address equal access for all of the public to the rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, but also because of his over all progressive political positions.

I've been nudging him, his City Hall and campaign staffs, and volunteers to tackle this issue and in recent days John sent this response:

Thank you for writing. Several months ago, I said that I am interested in reclaiming public space at the plaza. My staff has been stonewalled in this effort and with all the million other things going on including my campaign for mayor and our city wide and district work we do not have the bandwidth fully take this issue on at this time. Please know that it is not for lack of caring but that we are stretched all too thin. 

Please also know that now that I am running for mayor worthy requests like yours pour in from all sides and while we can express support we do not always have the staff power to take action. My apologies.

As Mayor and barring contractual agreements that will take longer to change I can easily make a difference in your issue. After the election in whatever capacity I serve, you have my commitment to bring people to the table to share views and hopefully work out more flexible use of the public space at the plaza. 

That word flexible is key to finding a solution to the problem of the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro being so rigid about their illegitimate control of this important piece of public property.

I now have written promises from two major candidates for mayor - John Avalos and Bevan Dufty - that they will take on this matter of public space for the public at Castro and Market Streets after the election. They know I will hold them to their word. It's my hope that John and Bevan collaborate with activists and all Castro stakeholders to resolve the rainbow flag controversy.

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