The atrocious city council meeting that took all night and ignored Rye citizens


Beck Iannucci

This is not the school’s opinion. It’s my opinion as a citizen in this town that has watched my friends suffer.

Last night, the Rye City Council had a meeting. We were scheduled to talk about raising the pride flag in June. The result was an awful amount of  rolling eyes and head shakes no from a certain council woman as she said she was in support. The council’s words did not meet their actions the entire call. Especially when they tried to cut off our time to speak and move onto another topic. But we wouldn’t be silenced. The GSA along with parents were approximately 40 people, according to what Josh Cohn, the mayor, said. These meetings are scheduled to go till 1 am and we came close — stopping at midnight on the pride flag discourse. If we were supposed to have six hours, then why was Josh Cohn so eager to move on? Why did he make us wait even more?

Do you want to know where the council is going to put $10,000 in taxes? I bet you do because that’s your money. Well, the council decided that a first amendment lawyer (this is not a first amendment issue) needs to be hired to see if we can raise the flag. So basically, $10,000 of your taxes are going to asking a person if we can hang up a queer flag, as if it would illegal.

The worst by far was the council man that wanted to pander to Nazis. He literally said we can’t hang a pride flag because we have Nazis and Proud Boys in Mamaroneck. HUH? Do you realize who you’re trying to accommodate? Because I don’t think you do. Let me tell you something, Nazis are not people to be nice to. 

The other part that kept on coming back up was the first amendment. Apparently, hanging a flag is a first amendment issue. The council continuously explained this — everyone except for one Councilwoman, who was in disagreement. I don’t see how hanging a flag infringes on anyone’s rights. You can still stand around with Jesus signs — as previously done to kick a drag queen out of this town. You can still stand around and yell. But this is our right to speak. This flag is our words. The flag is us standing up against that incident and many others in our town. The flag is our words and we have a right to speak too.

And you know what? This is a human rights issue. So why are you making it into a political one? It’s not about politics; it’s about basic human decency.

What wasn’t decent was when one Councilwoman began yelling at another Councilwoman when she was backed into a corner. She yelled that the other councilwoman hasn’t been doing anything this past year to get the flag raised and she has. However, when asked what she’s been doing, she neglected to comment. 

The council also kept acting like they were going to vote on the flag but backtracked. In the end, the council voted yes to “raising a pride flag on the municipal pole above the town hall this coming June, pending any legal advice from the legal council”.  Again, flying a gay flag is not illegal so you don’t need a legal council, but I’m glad we came to an agreement. We’ll see what they say two weeks from now.

Good job to anyone that spoke out and made their voices heard. I’m glad I got to speak with you and stand with you all. I’m proud of everyone of you that shared personal experiences in this town and put your heart on the line. You were heard and we care.

I would also like to thank the Rye Act, pRYEde, and Rye Moms for standing with us on this issue.

You can find the recording along with previous recording and live council meetings on Rye TV.