Letter to the Editor: Don’t let the Grinch ruin Burbank Pride

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Letter to the Editor:

As President of Elevate Burbank, I experienced how City Staff creates obstacles for community organizations who want to have events in Burbank. Unfortunately this whole problem is happening again.

Towards the beginning of this year, Elevate Burbank Board members joined the Burbank Pride Committee to help plan and organize the first ever Burbank Pride Festival. Because the City makes it so onerous to get approval to have events in City parks, we asked other organizations to partner with us to avoid that process.

Magnolia Park Merchants Association is sponsoring and promoting the event. UMe Credit Union immediately and enthusiastically agreed to have the event in their parking lot. We have been contacted by dozens of vendors, sponsors, volunteers, entertainers and Burbank residents who are thrilled that Burbank will finally have a Pride and want to be a part of this groundbreaking day.

We are all set to have a fantastic event on the evening of September 30th. But then the Burbank Grinch showed up.

The Burbank Parks & Rec Department contacted the Burbank Pride Committee two weeks before our event to notify us that we owe them money. We asked, why would we owe money as the event is on private property? We were told that it doesn’t matter and that they can charge us for having the event. Why did they contact us now? Because “everyone is now hearing about the event.”

Based on this, for example, if you hire a caterer to serve food at a party at your house and someone tells the City, the Burbank Grinch can show up at your door and say you owe them money.

We have requested the portion of the City code that says the City can charge anyone for an event that they have on private property. We are grateful for all the donors and sponsors who contributed to make Pride a fantastic evening and are doing our best to keep our costs as low as possible. We don’t want to have to cancel any part of all that we have planned for Burbank in order to pay the Grinch.

Please let City Council know that they need to stop the Burbank Grinch from ruining Burbank Pride.

Linda Bessin
President of Elevate Burbank