“The Bird Rock Community Council does not have a position on this issue,” said Jacqueline Bell, group president, in June. “Per our articles of incorporation, we are a Bird-Rock-focused organization.
The La Jolla parade falls outside of our purview.”
The La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival, now in its 57th year and run by the private, nonprofit La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival Foundation, attracts more than 20,000 visitors to the streets of the Village in early December.
Decrying the Christian-inspired parade name as “noninclusive” and not representative of La Jolla’s diversity, Singer (who is Jewish) and other activists have been lobbying off and on since 2005 to have “Christmas” removed from the parade name.
Nine years ago, a handful of protestants, including Singer, were successful in bringing the parade name change to a secret ballot vote of La Jolla Town Council, the event’s original sponsor. The effort to make the name faith-neutral fell short by a single vote of council members at that time.
Singer pitched the BRCC on the proposed parade name change, noting “there are 10 major events, everything from two San Diego college football bowls to a two-night event in Balboa Park,” all of which have changed their names to “Holiday” or something faith-neutral, like “December Nights” in the case of Balboa park.
“With a faith-neutral name, everyone feels welcome to attend,” said Singer, adding he has received the endorsement of the La Jolla Democratic Club as well as the city’s Human Relations Commission in his effort to get La Jolla’s parade name changed.
Singer added the nonprofit Parade Foundation, which puts on La Jolla’s year-end event, has declined an official request for mediation of the name-change issue.
Singer said La Jolla has a history of not supporting community inclusiveness, noting that “from 1889 to 1958, African-Americans and Jews were barred from purchasing houses or real estate in La Jolla.”
Asked if he would be willing to place the faith-neutral name issue on an election ballot, Singer replied that he would not.
In other action:
• Gabriel Uribe, proprietor of a new restaurant coming to town – to be named Bird Rock Oyster and Sushi Bar (formerly Station Sushi) – said the remodel of the restaurant is going well. He noted his restaurant is scheduled for a June 13 Health Department inspection, after which, if all goes well, he will be able to announce an opening date.
• Bell encouraged local residents to attend the BRCC’s annual picnic barbecue on Aug. 5, catered by Beaumont’s restaurant. She encouraged guests to come early, as the barbecue, which costs $10, ran out before the end last year.
• Pablo Lanatta, owner of Adrenalina The Longboard Specialty Skateshop, at 5726 La Jolla Blvd., suite 105, told the BRCC he has launched a petition drive securing the names of local merchants advocating that the west side of the 5700 block of La Jolla Boulevard be changed to two-hour unmetered parking to prevent people, many Bird Rock employees, from parking there all day, disrupting customer flow.
• BRCC board member Barbara Dunbar, in charge of the community’s Maintenance Assessment District, which pays for median and other landscape improvements, said someone has been stealing trees, roots and all. She asked anyone with information on the thefts to report them at email@example.com.