Monday, November 21, 2011

Sterling Bank 'Owns' Castro Rainbow Flag;
Request Process Coming Soon?

For all intents and purposes, iconic rainbow flagpole at Harvey Milk Plaza is owned by the Castro branch of Sterling Bank and the president of it, Steve Adams, pictured, on the right. If you want to request a flag lowering or in some other way make use of the flagpole, you must either send an email to Adams' email address at the bank or call him there. It is in his Sterling Bank capacity that he possesses the key to the control box of the flagpole, making him owner of it.

Regardless of the fact that every square inch of this important public plaza is municipal property, the president of the local branch of a bank is the controller and gatekeeper of the flagpole. This alone should be of concern to all queers who are part of the Occupy SF movement, because it is another example of how a bank has remove public real estate from the at-large LGBT community's access.

Oh, and forget the b.s. about equality for all as a crucial component of the Gay Agenda in the Castro, when it comes to equal access to the public flagpole. Should Sterling Bank's branch president not like your politics or personality, he'll deny your request for access and use of the enormous rainbow flag flying on city space.

In the past week, two community members have informed me of their conversations with Adams and his renewed claims that he's developing a written process for making requests related to the flag and pole. He's said this for more than six-months. Would be great for him to finally keep this promise, or for the community and city to stand up to him and take possession of the control box key, and return the people's property back to the people.

One would think, given all the money he has access to, that Adams would have hired a web maintenance outfit to take his alleged text explaining how to make a request. How complicated or expensive is it to write up the process and post it, for all the world to see?

This continued lack of transparency is so in keeping with Big Banking, and making it impossible for the customer or member of the public to simply have rules plainly and clearly spelled out, and easy to find. Check out the Merchants of Upper Market's web site to see that Adams hasn't shared a word about his embracing of transparency.

The situation with the public flagpole and ownership by Sterling Bank's Adams makes a mockery of any semblance of equality for all LGBT persons in the Castro and San Francisco.

No comments: