Update: this policy was voted by council unanimously to be referred back to staff for revision. Thanks to everyone who contacted Mayor & Council regarding this draft policy. When it comes up again I will advise.
Under the new city’s proposed flag policy coming up this Monday at Council that this years flag raising at City Hall Vernon’s first historic Pride week would not have occurred. Vernon Pride was not a non for profit and so it would have excluded our committee from getting our municipality to raise our flag had this policy been in place this year. Excluding change in our community by only allowing non profits to make application is problematic. I understand having a policy but individuals organizing events and ad hoc committees should have leave to make application as well. Not everyone is a non profit. It takes time, money, etc to be a nonprofit and nonprofits aren’t the only ones making events or change occur. This is exclusionary. I think we can agree that this years Pride was extraordinary and made strides in our community that was needed including having the Pride flag raised. It initiated other groups to come forth and ask the same. To now try and stifle this is a step back not a step forward. It also showed true leadership in the community by having our city acknowledge the week and support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in having our first Pride Week and raising the Pride Progress flag above our city hall. I believe that this policy needs some changes and before it’s implemented should have some feedback from residents. This policy while it has good intentions fails at meeting community needs. I believe that solutions can be found to concerns and some ideas like providing flagpoles for the community have been proffered to some staff and council members for consideration.
The draft policy:
If you’d like to make your voice heard on this issue before tomorrows meeting (Monday, Nov 28) you can contact Mayor & Council by phone or email and respectfully request they not adopt the policy as currently written