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    Pride and Prejudice

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    This coming weekend will be the annual Oakland Pride celebration—an important opportunity to build unity, strengthen community and more. The Oakland Pride festival, organized largely by grassroots volunteers, has offerings for families with children, and attendees of all ages, as well as food and drink, booths from local organizations and multiple music stages.

    Oakland Pride takes place Sunday, September 9, from 11am–7pm, starting with a parade up Broadway and followed by the festival, which will take up several blocks around 20th and Broadway. More information can be found online at www.OaklandPride.org

    In America today, even as many of our communities have been building events and festivals and strengthening community with advances like the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center now open, and more of our members opening businesses and non-profits—we are also facing a troubling surge of prejudice and hate crimes in our society.

    And so, we must further dedicate ourselves to continuing to fight for justice in every form. As the federal government’s anti-immigrant crusade continues, we as LGBT people have a moral obligation to oppose any forms of oppression, including denouncing bigotry against Muslims, Latinos, Africans and others. We can, and should, recognize that LGBT immigrants are also being subjected to many of those attacks, including being denied the ability to flee anti-LGBT prejudice in other counties, and facing ongoing attempts to refuse to recognize our marriages and relationships.

    Similarly, as we should all be taking action to help solve the skyrocketing homelessness that is causing suffering for so many in the Bay Area, our solutions also need to include the ways that LGBT people continue to be underserved. This includes that some homeless services have been unwelcoming to LGBT people or divide people up based on gender binary norms that leave some of us out. And there is a large disproportionate share of LGBT youth who are homeless and are not being reached with help.

    You can join us Tuesday, September 11, at 4pm at the Life Enrichment Committee at Oakland City Hall to help advocate for meaningful, comprehensive and inclusive homeless solutions.

    Let us continue to work for a future of mutual respect and alliances to end prejudice and oppression, to build communities that we can all be proud of.

    Councilmember At-Large Rebecca Kaplan was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland (https://twitter.com/Kaplan4Oakland) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Kaplan4Oakland/).