Main Street Fills Up with Pride – Councilmember Puza Receives Community Award at Pride Rally

Culver City Pride Ride and Rally, June 29, 2024. (Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

Culver City’s Pride Rally is only four years old, but already has traditions; the Community Award that was given to Darren Uhl,  a former member of the city’s staff who helped to organize the original event, was given this year to Freddy Puza by Mayor Yasmine Imani McMorrin. As one of the original organizers still involved and very much committed, Puza’s recognition was cheered by the crowd.  

The June 29, 2024 event was a two-part party, starting with the ‘Pride Ride’ that saw hundreds of bicyclists roll from Syd Kronenthal Park at 4 pm to the Main Street destination. The horn-tooting, flag-waving cavalcade of bikes was even bigger than has been anticipated by the organizers. “We had more than 600 people sign up [to ride] but more people showed up than had registered in advance.” Organizer Bryan “Bubba” Fish was pleased with the huge show of support. 

The Main Street party included circus performers, info booths with the Mobile Crisis Unit and the General Plan Update, and special “Drag Queen Story Hour” hosted by the Village Well bookvan.

With the receipt of the Community Award, Puza was truly surprised. No one had mentioned in advance that he would be getting an official commendation from the city. He spoke from the heart about what it was like “growing up without Pride” and feeling very alone. “Culver Pride is an opportunity to let your authentic self shine. It isn’t just a celebration, it’s a powerful force for transformation and to turn toxic shame into pride. All are welcome in Culver City.” 

Puza also said that no one is alone and offered resources such as the Trevor Project and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. 

The Mayor awarded the certificate, which lauded Puza’s efforts to “elevate positive and progressive messages throughout the city.” 

Judith Martin-Straw

Photo – Triston Ezidore, Bubba Fish, Nancy Barba, Yasmine Imani McMorrin, and Freddy Puza

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