.Letters

Week of June 5, 2024

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS

My team and I are running a civic engagement program based at UCSC called Stars over Streetlights, which aims to empower minority populations to advocate against light pollution through interactive talks and stargazing events for elementary school children. We have successfully visited classes at Westlake Elementary School, which have been superbly received! We’d love to expand our network, and were curious as to whether we could have an article or blurb published in order to widen our reach. Specifically, we are going to be hosting a star party in early fall, and we would love to get the Santa Cruz community involved. Please let us know if this is possible!

We’d love to get a chance to work with you

Darshika Ravulapalli,

UCSC Stars over Streetlights

secure document shredding

PRIDE AND DEPUTIES

We had a successful Pride 2024 celebration this past weekend where the Santa Cruz community celebrated who they are through our parade, festival and entertainment.

In addition, we as the Santa Cruz Pride Board appreciated the input from many people about our decision to not allow uniformed law enforcement contingents in our Pride Parade. We spent considerable time discussing this topic before coming to this decision. We appreciated including the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department with a booth as part of our Pride Festival.

We received more than 50 letters and comments in response to our decision.

One writer referenced the Stonewall Riots, which Pride celebrations commemorate: “The statement ‘The first Pride was a riot’ references the Stonewall Riots of 1969, a pivotal event in the LGBTQ+ rights movement where the community stood up against police harassment and brutality. However, it is crucial to remember that this movement aimed to end discrimination and build bridges, not erect new barriers.”

The topic of law enforcement and treatment of the LGBTQ+ community has been festering within Santa Cruz County for many years. Therefore, we are choosing to engage with the community to discuss this topic in the coming months.

Santa Cruz Pride is convening a task force to begin this work to determine the best actions to engage the community in a conversation about law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community.

We invite you to be part of this important community conversation and welcome your thoughts and comments at: In**@Sa************.org

Santa Cruz Pride Board Members

Rob Darrow, Chair


 Reflections from a Veteran Law Enforcement Officer

With over 21 years of dedicated service as an openly gay law enforcement officer in Santa Cruz County, my career has been both a testament to personal resilience and a mission to bridge understanding within the community. My actions have not only upheld the law but also fostered greater awareness and sensitivity among fellow officers toward the LGBTQ+ community.

However, the recent decision to exclude police from the 2024 Santa Cruz Pride festival was a significant blow. Learning about a parade contingent bearing the message “Queers Hate Cops” left me devastated and defeated. Then I saw a video of people surrounding the Sheriff’s Office booth chanting about genocide. As a gay senior male who survived the AIDS crisis, having attended over 40 funerals of friends and loved ones who succumbed to the disease, this exclusion felt like a betrayal.

Tony Contreras

Santa Cruz


LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

music in the park san jose
spot_img
Good Times E-edition Good Times E-edition