WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — A Pride demonstration was held in front of Wasco City Hall on Thursday to show support for the LGTBQ+ community.
The demonstration comes after the Wasco City Council’s decision at Tuesday’s meeting to not fly the Pride flag over city hall for Pride Month.
Organizing groups say the demonstration was an alternative form of support for the LGBTQ+ community. The Democratic Women of Kern and Kern County Democratic Party were there in support.
“The LGBTQ community has made remarkable strides, but the recent vote by the Wasco City Council demonstrates that we still have a long way to go,” Democratic Women of Kern President Robin Walters said in a press release. “Democratic Women of Kern stands with Mayor Alex Garcia in seeking equality for the LGBTQ community. This Pride month reminds us all that we must continue to live up to the promise of equality, liberty and justice for all.”
Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia, Kern County’s first openly LGBTQ+ elected official, voted in favor of the proposal.
“All the local youth showed up first, they’re all excited for the opportunity to be given a voice and representation,” Mayor Garcia said. “It’s something we attempted to do with the flag vote, but unfortunately it didn’t pass. But, we’re not skipping a beat, we’re still here to stand in solidarity and let the community know that we’re still with them.”
Demonstrators brought signs and Pride flags to show their support. Mental health resources were also on hand at the event.
“When I grew up I certainly never believed that I could be an elected official in Kern County, but here I am,” Mayor Garcia said. “Some may believe that’s enough, but it’s not enough that I was the first LGBT elected in Kern County, it’s important that I’m not the last.”
Mayor Garcia said they recognize the progress that has been made up until this point, but they know there is still work to be done.