The City classified the gathering as a free speech event.
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, was declared by the Ventura City Council as “World AIDS Day” in Ventura, with Quilt Project Gold Coast volunteers receiving the proclamation read by Mayor Matt LaVere at their November 26th Zoom council meeting.
And on World AIDS Day, Quilt Project Gold Coast displayed eleven locally made AIDS Quilts on the steps of Ventura City Hall from 2-5 for public viewing, as well as hosting a masked sunset vigil to remember those lost to the disease.
Attended by dozens of local residents and people from as far away as San Bernardino, the program for the vigil was conducted by Boardmember Mark Lager, with comments from Keith Coffman-Grey, a musical selection from Andy Edgar-Beltran, and invocations from Rev. Melissa Langdell and Deacon Joel Chan.
Ventura City Councilmember-elect Doug Halter read the proclamation for those in attendance.
Due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the event was masked and the only public observance in Ventura or Santa Barbara counties (with other groups opting for virtual forums) for World AIDS Day.
The City classified the gathering as a free speech event, allowing the Quilt Project to display the AIDS Memorial Quilts and invite the public to view them and remember the names of those lost.
City administration officials (led by Emily Fox of the Parks & Recreation Dept. and Mayor LaVere) were incredibly helpful in assisting QPGC with navigating the permit process, as well as generously waiving most fees for the free speech event.