Pride Divides Council

Photos by Maurice Ramirez


On Tuesday, June 6, the City invited its residents and officials to gather on the City Hall steps to celebrate the message “Love Our  Island, LGBTQ Pride” (above). 

Some members of the pride community decided they did not wish to stand with Mayor Trish Spencer. Vice-Mayor Malia Vella decided she would pose with a seperate group, instead of on the steps with Spencer. 

At bottom, Vella and activist Olivia Higgins are shown holding the Rainbow Flag in the center of the photograph. Councilmembers Frank Matarrese, Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft and Jim Oddie also joined Vella and Higgins’ group, leaving Spencer as the only Councilmember on the City Hall steps. 

Spencer’s colleagues cited her stance on LGBTQ issues when she sat on the Alameda Unified School District’s Board of Directors in 2009 as the reason for not standing with her. 


Photos by Maurice Ramirez