The City of Armstrong has taken steps toward adding a pride crosswalk to the city.
Following a presentation by local LGBTQ2S+ community members Janine Carscadden and Eva Ekeroth at Monday’s regular meeting July 12, council voted unanimously on a resolution to work with the couple’s group – Coun. Jim Wright was absent from the meeting.
“It was a really good presentation,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.
“They were well prepared, gave us a ton of information. Now we’ve asked staff to work with them to find some locations, what would be best for the city, what would be best for their group and to prepare a budget.”
The women said their preference for the crosswalk would be on Smith Drive between Askew’s parking lot and VantageOne Credit Union.
“There are still the logistics to be worked out,” said Ekeroth who has lived in Armstrong with Carscadded since 2010.
“Council was very much on board, and everybody was very positive.”
Part of the package presented to council on the crosswalk request was a gathering of support signature collection that garnered close to 400 autographs in support of the rainbow crosswalk request.
It also included a four-point plan to deal with anticipated vandalism.
“It is prudent to assume that vandalism or graffiti on the crosswalk may very well occur but we can create a mitigation plan to respond to and eliminate it when it does,” said Carscadden.
She suggested a community fund could be created to go along with a fundraising campaign that would for the crosswalk installation, as well as maintaining the site with immediate graffiti removal.
Council was told many communities and organizations across B.C.’s Interior have demonstrated solidarity and leadership through the installation of rainbow crosswalks between 2013 and 2019.
They include: Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, 2013), Castlegar (2014), Kelowna (2015), Princeton (2015), Nelson (2015), Summerland (2015), Selkirk College (2016), Fernie (2017), Vernon (2017), Rossland (2017), Penticton (2017), Coldstream (2017), Salmon Arm (2018), Merritt (2018), Cranbrook (2018), Kamloops (2018), Williams Lake (2018) and Peachland (2019).
“Revelstoke has also installed a walk and new CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) Dawn Lowe comes from Revelstoke so her experience there should be helpful,” said Ekeroth.
The women were asked to return in August with figures for the crosswalk and potential locations.