• LETTER TO THE EDITOR

      a dais with chairs

      The San Gabriel City Council Chambers (Photo – San Gabriel City)

      By Cheryl Cabot

      “Mayor & Councilmembers,

      I am a Commissioner for the City of San Gabriel. I have served on the Community Services Commission for the past 6 years.

      This comment is in response to the Hear Commission meeting held on February 27, 2024.

      I was appalled by the comments of the Commissioners at this meeting. They spent a good portion of the meeting lambasting Councilmember Denise Menchaca, because she dared to question the need for their LGBTQ sticker project. Councilmember Menchaca was called “a privileged straight gender person,” as if that is something derogatory.

      My question is this, if businesses don’t want to put an LGBTQ sticker on the door of their business, will you bully them as well and call them derogatory names? Will you tell people to boycott their businesses? Now, you expanded your supposed scope to include all City buildings.

      You, and I mean this collectively, seem to have forgotten your positions. You are volunteers, not elected officials. Your job is to make recommendations to the City Council. Not demand that the Council do your bidding. The only people who get to vote on all things concerning the City are the elected Councilmembers. They, and they alone, get to determine what issues are important to the City.  I repeat, they are elected officials. You are volunteers and are expendable.

      But by far the most shocking and disturbing statement came from Chairperson Goto. She asked the teen commissioner to reach out to students at Gabrielino High School that would be willing to talk to the City Council, in public, about being LGBTQ. This is disturbing on so many levels! First, these are minors! You are trying to exploit them. Did you consider the emotional backlash this could create?

      You exploited a minor by asking her to find LGBTQ students to speak in public in support of your sticker project. It was easy to see the student commissioner was very uncomfortable with this request. She is a minor. Secondly, what if these minors decide to speak in public at a City Council meeting about their gender proclivity, without parental consent? Did you consider the repercussions?

      It’s doubtful that you, or your fellow commissioners thought of that. You were so busy patting yourselves on your collective backs about how you were solving a nonexistent problem for our City, you didn’t consider the consequences. San Gabriel is already an inclusive, welcoming City, and if not, slapping a sticker on the door of City buildings or businesses is not going to solve it.

      I believe the HEAR Commissioners owe Councilmember Menchaca and their teen representative an apology.

      If Councilmembers or the public would like to view the HEAR Commission meeting, it is on YouTube at Spectrum Channel 3. The lambasting of Councilmember Menchaca begins at the 1:12:33 point. The request to the minor commissioner was made at the 1:57:52 point.”

       

       

       

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      Comments

      1. Robert Powers says:

        Oh, wow. “Gender proclivities” is just an outwardly transphobic thing to say. I shouldn’t need to say this, but out LGBTQ+ youth don’t have bad habits. They exist, they don’t need parental approval to exist, and they should be celebrated. Why would she put something like that on the internet? Also, does ColoradoBoulevard.Net not review their articles for hateful language?

        Given that Cheryl is a San Gabriel Commissioner — I won’t call her “expendable,” of course, because she’s a human being — I believe the Mayor and City Council should respond to her letter and clarify whether they support the out identities of LGBTQ+ youth in San Gabriel, and whether they believe publishing transphobic public statements as a city commissioner (the statement beginning with “I am a Commissioner for the City of San Gabriel”) is a disqualifying activity for that role.

      2. Chasity Jennings Nunez MD says:

        Thank you for publishing your public comment from the March 5 Council meeting and encouraging the community to take an active interest in the SG Human Equity, Access & Relations commission by viewing our Feb 27th meeting. I would encourage everyone to view the entire meeting and not just the highlighted portions that you suggested. The first hour of our meeting was a presentation from our SGPD Chief with the Racial Profiling Identity Act (RIPA) data for our city.
        Yes, we are all volunteers. The HEAR commissioners use countless hours of their own time as well as resources to develop, participate and make successful programs and initiatives that were identified as a need in the community survey we performed in 2021 when our commission was developed. We are not a “names on paper” commission. Because commissioners volunteer their time and expertise, value and respect should be their compensation . As residents, our voices are just as valid as yours. I agree, elected officials should address issues that their residents care about. Protection for the LGBTQ+ community is a need that was identified in our survey. As for the 2 appointed Youth Ambassadors who have served for the last 10 months and been involved in and provided valuable input into EVERY OTHER AGENDA ITEM AND INITIATIVE we have undertaken, they were included in the discussion. Anyone who actually listens to the entire recording will see they were included in a thoughtful, opt-in ( just as the “sticker” program was presented) manner without mandates or pressure to do anything. Our young people are all ready very aware and affected by the violence and discrimination directed at the LGBTQ+ community. Being afraid to have a discussion that young people want to have, is ignoring the cry for help that is represented by the fact that 40% of LGBTQ+ young people have seriously considered attempting suicide. I am not willing to continue to lose lives because a few people are uncomfortable.

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