Ohio State Representative Juanita Brent has sent an open letter to the Maple Heights City Council expressing her disappointment in their rejection of a proposal to immediately recognize June as Pride Month.
On May 19, a resolution was brought forward by Councilman Richard Trojanski as an emergency declaration, meaning the recognition of Pride Month would immediately take effect, pending approval from Mayor Annette Blackwell. The motion was defeated by City Council with 3 yes votes (Anderson, Jones, and Trojanski), 1 no vote (Agee), and 3 abstentions (Madden, Ostenson, and Shenett).
In her letter to the Maple Heights Council, Rep. Brent commemorated the history of Pride Month, recognizing the Stonewall riots of 1969 and celebrating the opportunity for individuals to “recognize our diversity and learn about each other.” She then directed comments to last week’s decision by the City Council:
I am disappointed to see that Maple Heights did not pass a resolution to acknowledge Pride Month. This should be a time for us to uplift and support one another. Pride Month has a long history of being a peaceful, positive, and community-centered time. It is sad to see that Maple Heights does not recognize the positive impact of Pride Month. For far too long the LGBTQ+ community has faced oppression and hared. We need to do better to show our citizens that we support them, no matter who they love.
Trojanski will be bringing the resolution back to City Council at their next meeting on June 2, after Pride Month has already begun. In her letter, Brent signaled her desire for a different outcome than last week’s meeting.
“I hope Maple Heights [will] fix this mistake, pass a resolution to recognize Pride Month, and show our community that we support everyone and that Ohio is an accepting Place to live.”
- Contact the Maple Heights City Council in advance of their June 2 meeting to let them know your feelings on declaring June 2 Pride Month.
- Reach out to LGBTQ+ individuals and allies (particularly those residing in Maple Heights) and tell them to do the same.