Dear Community–This message is a follow up to SacPride 2019 on two important topics: listening to feedback that will assist in planning for SacPride in 2020; and interaction and engagement with the Sacramento Police Department. We want to hear from you, so please share your feedback through the survey link at the end of this message.
SacPride 2019 saw some big changes that came with big challenges, including the expansion to a two-day festival, increasing accessibility, and diversifying programming through 8 Pride Initiatives. This year we achieved the highest festival attendance ever with close to 22,000 people and global LGBTQ advocate Lizzo as our headliner.
Even with hundreds of volunteers, SacPride’s record-breaking turnout over two days resulted in the festival being understaffed. Lines were long and we did not have enough water available on a hot, busy day.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and discomfort caused by these challenges and promise to improve our staffing plan and logistical details in 2020.
The issue of off-duty, uniformed police officers participating in SacPride raised strong feelings and resurfaced trauma because despite 50 years of progress since Stonewall, including the ability of LGBT officers to serve openly in law enforcement agencies, queer and transgender people of color–particularly Black and Brown communities—continue to experience disparate treatment by law enforcement. Community members protesting these issues and festival guests found themselves in conflict when gates were blocked for a part of the day Sunday. Our highest priority for SacPride is safety. The Center strongly condemns all acts of violence that occurred and we believe that violence has no place at SacPride events.
Though uncomfortable, the public debate and the Center’s discussions with the Sacramento Police Department resulted in a set of commitments to action. We will keep you informed as these initiatives are implemented and ensure the community has opportunities to engage in the process of systemic change.
Through our ongoing work to support direct health and wellness services, advocate for equality and justice, and build a culturally rich LGBTQ community, we strive to elevate the voices of the most marginalized in our community, including queer people of color and transgender individuals. Our staff and volunteers work hard to meet the needs of thousands of community members who seek help at the Center each year. To that end, our board of directors would like to increase its diversity in order to better represent and serve our community. Please check out our website to learn more.
Thank you for your support of the Center and the LGBTQ+ people we serve.
Take the 2019 Pride Survey and enter to win a Phillips 43” 4K flat screen TV
With humble gratitude,
Sacramento LGBT Community Center