San Jose Police Department raises LGBTQ Pride flag

Sometimes a leadership change will mean a break with the past. But San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata, a 25-year veteran of the force who rose to the top spot in March, continued one tradition Wednesday instituted by his predecessor: The raising of the LGBTQ Pride flag in front of police headquarters on Mission Street.

Flanked by Mayor Sam Liccardo, Billy de Frank Director Gabrielle Antolovich, City Council members David Cohen and Matt Mahan, and members of the police department’s LGBTQ advisory board, Mata helped hoist the rainbow banner to celebrate Pride Month. San Jose was a pioneer when it became the first police department of a major U.S. city to raise the flag in 2019, creating a tradition of diversity and inclusion that Mata says he’s proud to be part of.

SAN JOSE – JUNE 9: San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata, right, helps raise the rainbow pride flag outside the police department in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, June, 9, 2021. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group) 

“This flag shows the world our pride in our LGBTQ officers, dispatchers, professional staff and members of our community we serve,” he said. “This flag also celebrates our diverse backgrounds and allows us to acknowledge the struggles and challenges the LGBTQ community has endured.”

Mata said he knows that just raising a flag is no substitute for ensuring equity, diversity and inclusivity, but “it is a powerful symbol of values and what we represent and our commitment and our support to our community.”

In addition to the annual flag-raising and the LGBTQ advisory board, the department introduced special rainbow-bordered shoulder patches last year — paid for by officers through the nonprofit San Jose Police Foundation — that many officers wore to Wednesday’s ceremony.

SAN JOSE – JUNE 9: Local officials and San Jose Police members raise the rainbow pride flag outside the police department in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday, June, 9, 2021. (Randy Vazquez/ Bay Area News Group) 

ON WITH THE SHOW: Members of the Silicon Valley Arts Coalition may have struggled to keep going during the pandemic, but they’re still around and performing. So that makes this year’s virtual Arts Panorama — featuring nine ensembles playing mini concerts at the Hammer Theatre Center — a celebration of their resilience.

“Suddenly, performing arts came to a complete and loud stop. No rehearsals, no concerts and no audiences, which also means no ticket sales,” SVAC President Kenin Coloma said. “The idea of producing a Panorama provided the opportunity to bring the SVAC community together in a meaningful way and expand our engagement with our audiences and beyond.”

The showcase includes performances at the Hammer by the Mission Chamber Orchestra, San Jose Wind Symphony, Nova Vista Symphony, South Bay Philharmonic and South Bay Guitar Society, along with video submissions from Lyric Theatre, Mission Valley Chorus, San Jose Symphonic Choir and the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Harp Society.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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