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Heber City Council approves unity flags, concert and barbecue for summer

Heber City Council
Heber City will fly Unity flags on Main Street in June. Youth activists had requested LGBTQ pride flags.

The Heber City Council gave the go-ahead to a community celebration of kindness and service with a “unity” theme this June. But an LGBTQ youth group member said that plan missed the mark.

With the city council’s approval, Heber will hold a celebration of kindness to begin the summer with a gathering at City Park. Around town, the city will hang banners in English and Spanish that read “We’re better together.”

Councilmember Scott Phillips is planning the event. He and others said it’s about facilitating unity in the community.

“Our plan is to have dumpsters placed throughout the city at city parks, kind of a clean-out time and time for service, a time to come together and help our neighbors," Phillips. "And then Saturday of that week, culminating in an event in the park with live music and food and just coming together. And it's free food, by the way.”

The council voted unanimously to plan a concert and barbecue at the park on Saturday, June 4.

Also during that time, the city will hang blue banners on Main Street that say “Unity” in large letters, as well as “Unidad,” which is unity in Spanish.

Janessa Judd spoke on behalf of a coalition of LGBTQ youth who two weeks ago asked the council to hold a week of service and awareness on behalf of their community and hang pride banners. She said her group felt the plan the council approved fell short of its promise to include the group in the planning process.

“We told you what we wanted as representation, and you silenced us," Judd said. "That's not inclusion; that is silencing, that is exclusion. You said you would work with us - that was the proposal that was stated. We're ready to do that. We’re ready to work with you, and I don’t know, it’s just like, we're still being told in the streets that we should die, and we're still being told that we're gonna go to hell, and that we're a mistake and evil. But at least we have dumpsters to throw away our trash. Like, that doesn't change anything.”

Council members said because of city code, they couldn’t hang banners focused on one group.

They also told Judd the city could take greater strides to give specific representation to the LGBTQ community in the future.

For a full recording of Tuesday’s city council meeting, visit kpcw.org.