The Controversy Over Family Pride in the Park in Magnolia Park, Burbank

Burbank Pride INC, led by President and CEO Tracy Michele Tabb, a North Hollywood resident, unveiled plans for an event called “Family Pride in the Park.” The event is set to close down a major stretch of Magnolia Boulevard—the 3300 to 3500 blocks—from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Although advertised as happening, as of this writing, the City has not approved the event permit, raising concerns among the residents and merchants of Magnolia Park.

The Outsider’s Influence

Interestingly, Tabb is a North Hollywood resident, not a Burbank citizen. The application mailing address of 2080 Empire Avenue matches a Staples store, suggesting that Tabb rents a mailbox there, further implying that Tabb is neither a resident nor a business owner in Burbank. As such, Tabb would not bear the brunt of the commercial and residential inconveniences caused by the event.

Lack of Consensus

The event proposes to shut down a substantial portion of Magnolia Boulevard, affecting numerous retail businesses and residents. No evidence indicates that these parties have approved or been consulted about this significant disruption.

Financial Accountability

No details have been provided on how much taxpayers will subsidize for the event in terms of administrative costs or emergency services.

Juanita, a Burbank resident, commented, “Why are we, the taxpayers, subsidizing these events without a say? Especially when it comes to police and fire department allocations, it’s unjust.” Juanita refers to the fact that past events held by special interest groups received taxpayer-funded subsidies such as cleanup and trash pick up from Burbank Public Works. “We found out that the City was simply picking up trash and not billing an event for the cost. This went on until someone made a stink about it,” Juanita said.

Questionable Assignments

Rumors have circulated that higher-ranking police workers, such as detectives, often request assignment to such events to gain overtime. These expenses are allegedly not fully reimbursed by the event organizers, raising questions about why detectives are being used for event security rather than focusing on investigative work. One such Burbank detective was found working at a wine festival. According to City reports, he charged $56,785.06 in overtime to the taxpayers in 2022 alone. It has been argued that these high overtime rates, for police workers with higher ranks, are not fully covered even when the City charges events fees for such services.

The Event’s Purpose

Given that the LGBTQ+ community is not marginalized in Burbank, questions arise about the necessity of the event. Why disrupt the lives of Magnolia Park residents and merchants?

Preemptive Advertising

Despite the City not having approved the permit, Burbank Pride INC has already started advertising the event. This action sets a dangerous precedent, potentially misleading the public and local businesses who might prepare—or not prepare—for an event not yet confirmed.

Past Controversies

The city has a history of taxpayers footing the bill for services like trash pick-up at various events, which previously stirred public controversy.

In conclusion, while events that celebrate diversity and inclusivity are part of community life, they shouldn’t be executed at the expense of the local community. Proper planning, consultation, and financial accountability are essential elements that seem to be missing from Burbank Pride INC’s “Family Pride in the Park” event proposal. The 2022 “Pride” event was held on private property, but the 2023 event proposes to infringe on public property and shut down the street. Many are upset over this precedent and are demanding the City deny such permit requests from all organizations as needless use of public property without substantial justification. Any such events can easily be held on private property with little or no inconvenience to locals.

National Controversies Adding Fuel to the Fire

The proposal for “Family Pride in the Park” comes amidst a broader national debate on Pride events, intensified by incidents of misconduct. In June 2023, a controversy erupted when the White House banned a transgender model, Rose Montoya, from future events. Montoya had been invited as part of an LGBTQ Pride month celebration but drew criticism for appearing topless on the South Lawn, covering her nipples with her hands. She later shared a video of the incident on Instagram.

This incident has added a layer of complexity to the discussion about Pride events. Misconduct at such a high-profile event raises questions about the responsibilities and boundaries of participants, organizers, and the host venues, be it the White House or a public street in Burbank.

Take Action: Make Your Voice Heard

Given the various layers of complexity and controversy surrounding the proposed “Family Pride in the Park” event, community input is vital for a balanced and informed decision-making process. If you wish to voice your opinions, whether in support or opposition to this shutdown, you can reach out to the following officials:

Your opinion matters. By engaging with city officials, you contribute to a more transparent and democratic process, helping to ensure that any event held in Burbank reflects the values and needs of its community. Whether you’re concerned about financial implications, public safety, or the ethical conduct of participants, your input can play a crucial role in how “Family Pride in the Park” is managed—if it happens at all.

The following are public records secured from community group Uprise via a request under the California Public Records Act:

Uprise Public Records Act Request Email

“Family Pride in the Park” Permit Application

“Family Pride in the Park” Proposed Street Shutdown Diagram

“Family Pride in the Park” Proposed Detour Plan

“Family Pride in the Park” Event Contact List

Uprise is circulating this petition for changes to the Burbank Municipal Code calling for public input and approval on all non-emergency street closures.

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