Please show up for the Clovis City Council meeting on September 5th at 6 p.m. to make public comment regarding the agenda item added by Councilwoman Pearce which asks for the Clovis City Council to send a letter to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors about concerns over LGBTQ books and Pride month displays in county libraries. These displays have been available in Fresno County libraries for many years and this year some leaders have made this an issue of “protecting the children” which has resulted in harassment of some Fresno County Library staff and fueled hateful rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community. We think this is important to start showing up in larger numbers to oppose policies and potential ordinances that could hurt our community. Last May 2023 the BOS proposed an ordinance restricting the flying of any flag that is not the US, California, or POW flag at Fresno County Buildings. They passed this 5-0 in June 2023 with almost no opposition from the public.
If we can show up in Clovis and voice our concerns then maybe no letter will be sent to BOS and they can leave the libraries alone moving forward. Councilwoman Pearce has made many problematic statements in her position at Clovis City Council and has been supported by Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefield who we know is trying to move to BOS in 2024. We will have to stay current with that board and communicate if they do try to make policies opposing pride displays in the future–which is a concern given that some of those board members were touring libraries last June and making an issue of the displays. Folks can text “Advocate” to 559-862-1040 for text updates of future advocacy opportunities.
We are asking anyone who can attend on September 5th to do so and tell the Clovis City Council that we oppose the writing of any letter to BOS that will try to reduce the visibility of the LGBTQ community in the future. Key points could include reasons it is important to increase visibility, especially for Q youth who often feel isolated, have higher rates of depression and anxiety, and are often lacking familial support.
For those unfamiliar, this Councilmember has called for removing LGBTQ inclusive books from libraries, removal of a trans athlete from Clovis school sports competitions, and recently did an interview denying the existence of transgender individuals (22 mins in). Even with the rebuke from Mayor Lynn Ashbeck, these elected officials are only going to take action if they hear from us.
1. Attend and speak at the Clovis City Council Meeting on September 5th (6-8pm, wait for comments section on this item) at 1033 Fifth Street, Clovis, CA 93612.
2. Participate via video call to speak during the meeting. Click “Join Live Meeting” and click “raise hand” during comment section on this item.
3. Leave a statement to be given to the board members via online form or by calling 559-324-2060.
4. Email the City Council: Diane Pearce, Drew Bessinger, Matt Basgall, Vong Mouanoutoua, Mayor Lynn Ashbeck.
Draft letter to be voted on during this meeting: