From: Jamie Jensen
Subject: Pride Flag and Building Moratorium
Date: April 22, 2021 at 1:54:02 PM EDT
To: “Benjamin M. Stacks” <email@example.com>, Julie Souza<firstname.lastname@example.org>, Sara Goddard <email@example.com>, Josh Cohn <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Richard Mecca <email@example.com>, Pam Tarlow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear City Council Members:
I am so sorry I could not attend last night’s meeting. I had a Board Meeting I could not miss.
I suspect you are all exhausted, so I will be brief.
I was struck that you found reasons to delay a yes on the Pride Flag (something that does not financially encumber us and makes a clear and powerful statement about our inclusive community). And in the very same moment, do not have a plan for slowing down the deleterious effects of current building projects and the concomitant community concerns about privacy, noise, and flooding.
Rather than pause on the flag discussion, we should be pausing to make sure we have good planning in place for development.
Please plan to raise the Pride Flag and don’t wait for permission from a lawyer specializing in 1st Amendment Rights. In my experience, lawyers are trained to consider all the downsides of everything. When it comes to governing, we need our leaders to stand up and be counted. I am happy to stand up and be counted along with you. I am happy to stand behind you if in some future scenario- another group insists on having their flag raised and you make a good case for saying no.
As a local elected body representing our rich and vibrant community, you also represent the community’s right to free speech and can vote as our elected representative to raise the Pride flag in our town center. Too many states across our great nation are using their powers to shut down local communities right to govern simple things like flag poles. If you don’t want to celebrate and honor Pride in such a manner, please do not hide behind legal arguments.
In an election year, citizens deserve to know where you stand. Leadership takes courage.
As always, thank you for your service to our community. Since local voices should count, I say Yes to Pride and Yes to a master plan and thoughtful housing development that reflects good stewardship of our land.
Happy Earth Day.