Dear City of Minneapolis and Mayor Jacob Frey, Pride is more than a publicity stunt

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In June 2018, it was delightful to see that the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department surprised those going to Twin Cities Pride with rainbow crosswalks. Public Works employees were out late to make it happen.

rainbow crosswalk
Courtesy: City of Minneapolis

The City wrote a press release and held a photo shoot with Mayor Jacob Frey. According to the City’s article, Public Works collaborated with the Mayor’s office, City Council, and Twin Cities Pride to make the rainbow sidewalks happen.

That’s great. Good for them.

The problem: nearly a year later, and the crosswalks look forgotten.

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These photos were taken June 2, 2019.

In a historic year for Pride (2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots), these ‘abandoned’ crosswalks are a disgrace for the LGBT community in Minneapolis.

In cities like Atlanta, rainbow crosswalks are permanent. They are attractions for LGBT visitors.

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Rainbow crosswalk at 10th and Piedmont in Midtown Atlanta.

In Minneapolis, these crosswalks make the LGBT community look like a publicity stunt to capture mainstream media and to show that a straight mayor is an ally to the LGBT community.

I’m not writing this article to force the city to create a permanent rainbow crosswalk. However, Minneapolis is a better-kept city than this. Either maintain or what you created or find a new way to show your support.

As residents, here’s how you can take action:

  • Email Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson through Minneapolis 311 at Minneapolis311@minneapolismn.gov
  • Share your opinion with Mayor Jacob Frey here. You can also tweet at @Jacob_Frey
  • A petition was up to create permanent rainbow crosswalks at Loring Park, but ended since I originally posted this article

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