Screenshot of Tuesday’s Eureka City Council meeting.


The Eureka City Council and Mayor Susan Seaman donned colors of the rainbow during Tuesday’s council meeting to stand in solidarity with Humboldt’s LGBTQ+ community, in response to a recent onslaught of hateful and transphobic public outbursts and social media posts from a small group of local individuals. 

The controversy stemmed from a recent all-ages Halloween event hosted by Redwood Pride – a DreamMaker project of the nonprofit Ink People – at the Jefferson Community Center in Eureka. The event featured a drag show in which performers dressed up, danced and lip-synced to pop songs. A group of about a dozen protestors interrupted the event and accused the event facilitators and attendees of “grooming children” and being pedophiles. 

In the time since, some of these same individuals have taken to social media and public meetings to call the event organizers “perverts” and accuse them of “indoctrinating children into the Church of Satan.” They have also made harassing phone calls to Ink People staff, threatening to run the organization out of town. 

About two dozen people turned out to this week’s city council to weigh in on the controversy, the vast majority of whom condemned the hateful rhetoric and defended Redwood Pride.

But before the non-agenda public comment period began, Mayor Seaman read a statement of decorum into the record and informed those in attendance that the comment period would be limited to 30 minutes to provide ample time for the rest of the council’s meeting and would resume towards the end of the meeting.

The night’s first speaker, Eureka resident Donnie Creekmore, read a statement he had previously emailed to each of the council members in which he outlined his liberties and freedoms as “an American Patriot.” 

“I stand for liberty and justice for all who are born on this land and see them as my brothers and sisters despite any differences we may have,” Creekmore said, adding that he is also free to love his family, his friends and his community. “I am also free to hate. …I am free to hate those that would support and condone pedophilia and the ideas they use to justify it.”

He condemned the recent Redwood Pride event, calling it “appalling” and “disgusting,” but noted that there would have never been a protest in the first place if the drag show excluded children under 18 years of age.

“We were not protesting your right to exist; however, we are protesting your faulty methods of indoctrination to our youth,” he said. “Stop targeting our children like a bunch of thirsty groomers and we will stop treating you like thirsty groomers.”

Eureka resident Caroline Griffith underscored her support for Redwood Pride, noting, “I am happy to go anywhere at any time and support this organization.” But she questioned whether a city council meeting was an appropriate venue for the matter. “I’ve been a little confused about why this is the venue to come to support Redwood Pride because my understanding is that the City of Eureka actually did not put on this event,” she said.

Griffith emphasized the importance of creating spaces and events that cater to the Queer community and individuals who don’t feel accepted by their peers.

“I have a trans teenager in my life who lives in a rural area of Humboldt County, who would be trans no matter what,” Griffith said. “And it’s so beautiful to be able to come with him to a space where I can see that recognition in his face and see how he changes when he’s around people who he knows are accepting of him and to be able to see that kind of light at the end of the tunnel and to know that it gets better.”

A few members of the Raging Grannies spoke up during public comment to defend the Redwood Pride event. “The Grannies feel strongly that diversity is important for a healthy community and a better world, which includes making an effort for respectful dialogue,” Sandy Lynn said before launching into a song.

Redwood Pride Director Æpryl Nikolai offered their gratitude to the community for the outpouring of support but said their organization would be willing to take a different approach to drag shows in the future.

Nikolai | Screenshot

“One of the things we’re heavily considering is labeling it like a movie rating,” Nikolai said toward the end of the public comment period. “If somebody wants to protest a PG drag show, that’s fine. Then they can take it up with the parents of children that may be there because parental guidance suggested is just that. If it’s G, well, then it’s going to be [general audience]. There’s not going to even a hint of anything risqué, just people dressing up for fun.”

After closing public comment, Mayor Seaman said she wanted to comment on the matter at the beginning of the meeting but, recognizing that her input could have swayed public comment, opted not to.

“And I’m glad I didn’t because I was so angry at the beginning,” she said. “I think I would have said things that would have maybe only made things worse. And, with the exception of a few people, today was really heartening. I really feel like, once again, Eureka showed a lot of the best of itself and came up and stood together. … We heard a lot more people talking about how to love each other and how to support each other and who to make people feel safe [during] an evening where, quite frankly, we were really worried about people not feeling safe.”

All in all, the non-agenda public comment period took up about half of Tuesday’s meeting. The council did not take any action or have any additional discussion on the matter.

Homeless Action Plan

Earlier in the meeting, the council discussed and ultimately approved a Homeless Action Plan to expand efforts to address mental health and housing needs in Eureka. 

The 24-page document outlines the city’s ongoing efforts to reduce homelessness in the City of Eureka by expanding affordable housing, bolstering outreach efforts and expanding partnerships with organizations that provide services to people experiencing homelessness, such as UPLIFT Eureka.

The plan focuses on eight goals:

  • Increasing the availability of affordable housing for community members experiencing homelessness;
  • Increasing the availability of affordable housing for community members experiencing homelessness;
  • Increasing engagement with individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Increasing community education, engagement and resource awareness;
  • Expanding UPLIFT Eureka’s rapid rehousing program;
  • Implementing a homeless prevention program;
  • Expanding partnerships and collaborations with organizations providing services to individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Addressing environmental impacts, public health and safety issues related to homelessness;
  • And utilizing relevant and available data to identify trends in homeless services provided by the City of Eureka.

Following a somewhat brief discussion with Eureka Community Services Supervisor Jeff Davis on the item, the council agreed to adopt the Homeless Action Plan in a unanimous 5-0 vote.

The full document can be found here.

Ban on Digital Signs

No more digital signs for you, Eureka!

During Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved a resolution banning new digital signs in the city’s coastal zone as well as an update to the city’s zoning code that, in part, extends the ban to the city’s inland areas as well.

The resolution will now move forward to the California Coastal Commission for certification. 


The council went over several other topics during Tuesday’s meeting – including a report on offshore wind development from the CORE Hub, a presentation on Dishgamu Humboldt Community Land Trust and a peek at the city’s proposed Zero Waste Action Plan – but did not take a vote on the items.

You can find a full recording on Tuesday’s meeting at this link.