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Morro Bay City Council approves new flag ordinance

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 02, 2022

Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront for city council members in Morro Bay.

The city council recently passed an ordinance that will allow the Pride flag to be flown over City Hall for the first time starting in June of 2023.

This ordinance was a year in the works with the first step getting council support and creating a new flag policy for the city.

“Last July, people came to the city council and asked if we would please fly the Pride flag because they felt it was an important statement for our community around being an inclusive and affirming community," said city council member Dawn Addis.

On November 22, the city council voted to pass a policy that would consider the city hall flagpole government speech.

“We decided for a maximum of 30 days and it’s really a council decision because this is a government speech, it’s council decision which flag and how long that flag is flown," Addis explained.

Addis said the City of Morro Bay has a goal of diversity and inclusion and they felt it was an important action to take.

“I felt really proud that we were able to respond to our community, that we were able to take action before I left. We were able to take concrete steps to show our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion," Addis said.

“It’s phenomenal that Morro Bay has taken this initiative to proactively say 'no, we are welcoming to all of our community in our city,'" said Dusty Colyer-Worth, Gala Pride & Diversity Center Executive Director.

But during the city council meeting, a couple of other residents urged them not to move forward.

“Our city hall is in the business of representing all citizens, not adopting resolutions that may offend some and represent a small minority. We’re opening the door... we are not representing all 10,000 residents of Morro Bay and it just doesn’t seem fair to give that authority without a survey or anything like that," said Morro Bay resident Judy Setting.

However, Addis said adopting the Pride flag as the city’s first commemorative flag is a statement of a welcoming and affirming environment, especially following recent attacks like the shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs.

“We almost always feel that a space is unsafe until there is some kind of signal, symbol, or something to indicate otherwise," Colyer-Worth said.

He added that the Pride flag is much more than just a flag, it’s a symbol of unity and represents a greater community.

“You’re welcome to have this flag be your flag. That is part of the beauty of what it symbolizes is that it really is meant to encompass all those things that make humanity rich and colorful," Colyer-Worth said.

The flag will be flown at City Hall during the month of June, which is Pride Month.