Sunday, July 24, 2011

Castro Meeting on Rainbow Flag 
Controversy on July 25 at 9:30 AM

The Castro Benefits District's executive committee will be holding its regularly scheduled monthly meeting tomorrow, Monday, July 25 at 9:30 AM at the Coldwell Banker real estate office located at 2355 Market Street. Since the CBD received public dollars, and other reasons, it is subject to state sunshine laws and public comment is required at all meetings.

On the agenda is the rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, however, the advance agenda provides no details about this matter up for discussion. I'll be there to listen in on what CBD members have to say about the present situation with the city-owned plaza being under the dictatorial thumb of the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro's leader, Steve Adams, president of the local Sterling Bank branch.

No matter how you slice last week's absurd inability of gays in the Castro to raise the New York flag in honor of gay marriages back east, at the center of the failed effort are Adams and MUMC.

Last Monday, they told the Bay Area Reporter their board had overwhelmingly approved a request from activists to fly the Empire State flag this past weekend, and the BAR quickly wrote up a blog post. That post generated much excitement from coast-to-coast for gay solidarity.

Unfortunately, MUMC, in a deplorable act of civic and political malpractice, rejected our offers to stage a test run with the NY flag, and the day after they told everyone they would hoist that flag, MUMC belatedly discovered technical problems preventing the raising of two flags. Disappointment among many ran deep.

In keeping with Adams' staunch refusal to collaborate with activists to find a solution and hoist the NY flag for just one-hour, MUMC made no effort to use an extra rope or hooks. As I know all too well, Adams sees the public plaza and the flag pole as his personal sandbox and toy, and he's more interested in being a bully than flexible partner with other Castro stakeholders.

Adding insult to injury, Adams and MUMC have made no public apology to the larger gay and Castro communities for raising, you'll pardon the expression, then through sheer negligence dashing the hopes of many to make Harvey Milk Plaza a place of pride and solidarity.

It's my deep hope that the CBD members help change this silly situation, in which Gay Mecca's Castro district can't lower the rainbow flag or fly a second flag without protracted negotiations equal to the debate over raising the nation's debt ceiling.

Just like John Boehner and the GOP, Steve Adams and MUMC are the people and party of no.

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