Missed the presentation on the 9th? No problem! We recorded it and you can view it below. We also have recap notes for everyone.
Thank you Carrie Kutny, advisor for the Ellsworth GSTA, for this informative and inspiring presentation.
If you want to reach out to Carrie with questions about the information below, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Presentation Notes & Links from Carrie Kutny
Start Your Rainbow Campaign!
- Determine who your allies in town are: newspaper, local politicians and officials, public library, non-profit organizations, chamber of commerce, etc. Having strong allies helps.
- Create a Facebook page and start a mini media campaign. We have a page called “Rainbow Crosswalks for Ellsworth.” This can be tricky because sadly, people will write terrible things, but I have found that that is much less frequent than the large support.
- When we painted the barriers we had a post with photos and over 7500 people saw it and we had almost 100 shares.
- Have the students do as much as possible: write letters to officials, speak at meetings, etc. The more they do, the more it shows that the initiative truly comes from them and not meddling adults pushing a political agenda.
Information and Legal Resources:
- MIYHS Survey Data (why we need rainbows in public places)
- Crosswalk Laws
https://www.maine.gov/mdot/mlrc/docs/trafficissues/2020/Crosswalkupdatedpolicy2019april16.pdf. See p2 item #3: Option: A municipality may choose to use a painted infill design in its crosswalks. The infill design shall not be retro-reflective and shall not be used on crossings with a posted speed greater than 25 mph.
Possible Pushback to Rainbow Crosswalks and Pride Flags
“They are distracting and dangerous.”
Carrie called to area towns and confirmed they are safe. In fact it is safer because it is more visible.
“If you can do this, everyone will try to do it.”
City Council can still vote down designs that are inappropriate. You can also to pay for the project. There are definitely some people who don’t really mind it…but don’t want to pay for it out of taxpayer money. It’s not a huge expense, so maybe spec out what your costs would be, fundraise the few hundred dollars that it would be, and then include that in your proposal.
“You can’t take down the American flag on Main Street to put up a Pride flag.”
In Ellsworth this was inconsistent because the American flags are taken down for Christmas decorations etc. If no luck, put up banners instead.
“Middle Schoolers are too young to think about sexuality” (crosswalk at middle school)
This is the time LGBTQ+ youth often see the worst bullying.