Town Square

Post a New Topic

Livermore Farmers' Market manager resigns amid LGBTQ+ Pride Flag controversy

Original post made on Jun 16, 2020

CFMA has stepped down as manager of the Livermore Farmers' Market after an argument between its representative and members of Livermore Pride and a local bakery owner earlier this month went viral.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 2:51 PM

Comments (42)

Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Everyone should watch the video of this exchange. Ms. Hayden can claim her statements have nothing to do with LGBTQ hostility and discrimination all she wants, but the video shows clearly otherwise. Bravo to the Livermore Downtown Association and by extension to the city of Livermore for refusing to tolerate this behavior.

Posted by Anne
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 16, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Dan has always been great to us and I love his cookies. But, I guess I’m in minority, I didn’t think whet she was asking was that outrageous. You either need to not monitor it at all or setup guidelines and stick to them.

Posted by Jack
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:13 pm

A pride flag is not political and Ms Haden has changed her story several times. How can the flags be dangerous to children in the regular market, but not dangerous to children in the "freedom of speech"area? Seems to me the "dangerous to children" line was added when she started getting contacted by the news. In the 3 minute clip she said it has his "political statement" she was upset about and not one thing about the "dangerous to children". She's trying to look sympathetic saying that she was just trying to protect the poor children from the dangerous pride flag. IF he was not following the rules (which say no pamphlets or petitions and nothing about flags) why was the only thing he as cited for was "having a non employee" at his booth. Dan says he tried to talk with them several times after the incident with no response, except for the bogus "citation" She knows she is in the wrong and she's trying to use every excuse in the book to try and justify her actions. What the heck does "fetus on ironing boards" and "disneyland" have anything to do with a pride flag given to whomever wanted one?

Posted by Silverfox
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm

I would have asked her to please wear her mask properly for one thing. So glad Livermore stood by and fired CFMA.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 16, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Where does, when does or how does the liberty of free speech weigh in here for the identified offender?

Posted by Kristin A.
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Watch the video for yourself. Hayden was unnecessarily rude and unprofessional. There is a time and a place to have a conversation about how to interpret whether a flag is the same thing as a flier or a petition, but publicly berating him in the middle of the market is ridiculous.

If you think immutable facts about a person in the form of their orientation is political, that says a lot more about you than it does about them.

Besides, just think of it like a commercialized holiday at this. If we gotta suffer through two months of Christmas songs played non-stop every year and trample retail workers to death so we can celebrate Jesus with those sweet, sweet Black Friday deals, she can deal with a month of rainbows, Queen, and the Village People.

Posted by Gone
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 16, 2020 at 7:29 pm

Thanks instigators and agitators....the market is gone thanks to you not reading or following the rules...but you act like rules don’t apply....way to now put many Hispanic agriculture and family farms out of business because YOU wanted to push YOUR flags and propaganda. You couldn’t just offer them at your own cookie booth? Sooo selfish!

Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2020 at 8:02 pm

As a very visible part of todays society, LGBTQ, for the Farmers Market to be closed for these actions, no account was taken for a person's livelihood. How much is enough...? Covid-19, protests(approve when peaceful), isolation from family/friends...and now...a sensitivity Farmers Market. Make-up...and be done with it...!!

Posted by Leslie
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Jun 16, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Obnoxious, overbearing, and rude the director certainly was, but it isn't obvious she was motivated by hostility toward the LGBTQ community. It seems the interpretation of this unpleasant exchange was filtered through a particular lens. "Nothing else explains the outright vitriol and weighted language used in this recording"-how about she's just a bit of a cow?

Posted by Mr. Julius
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2020 at 10:10 pm

Was she a little haughty? Yes. Should she have said "Goodbye" or such after their discussion? Yes.

But her point seems valid. The Farmer's Market isn't about ABC, XYZ, or any other political group. She specifically even mentioned that anti-abortion people wouldn't be allowed to promote their issues.

Not a single person mentioned that she had gotten death threats. Really? Sounds political to me.

Posted by buklau
a resident of Avila
on Jun 17, 2020 at 1:23 am

He straight up admitted he didn't and won't read the rules. Rules must not apply if you're apart of the alphabet community!
At this point society is becoming a banana republic where antifa can burn down buildings and nothing happens to them, and people get fired for saying a mean word about the LGBTWTFBBQ community.

Posted by David Heldt
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 17, 2020 at 8:28 am

Dan. Please come back to the Farmer's market! Don't let the power trippers/mental midgets of the world sway you from doing what you like.

Posted by Charlie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 17, 2020 at 8:29 am

This reminds me of a situation I was in a number of years ago.

I regularly volunteered at a Santa Clara Science Fair, giving up a Saturday to support the awards ceremony for the kids that won.

My job was to make sure that parents did not stand in an area in the auditorium that needed to stay clear in case of evacuation. I was just trying to enforce the rules as explained to me by the organizers.

I politely asked one guy two times to please keep the area clear. He clearly did not believe the rules applied to him.

The third request I made caused him to threaten me and claim that I was targeting him due to is race........he was a big black man.

Once he took it down the path of me being a racist, I left my assigned area, left the awards ceremony and no longer volunteer at the event.

The error this woman made was to not walk away.

The error the "victim" made was to think that he was somehow entitled to not follow the rules, to not stop passing out flags as requested.

This is pretty common in our area - people with entitled attitudes feel they do not have to follow rules that are in place for the good of the community - leash laws, not cell phones while driving, parking in handicap spots "for just a minute to get my cup of coffee", and now in the era of coronavirus not wearing a mask when safe spacing can't be met.

Sad state of affairs.........

Posted by Concerned Realtor
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 17, 2020 at 9:29 am

I sympathize with both sides of the controversy but think that the collateral dammage caused to the farmers and innocent patrons is much too great and not warranted. Let them resolve their dispute in a way that does not economically impact so many others by closing the market.
Also, As a Realtor, I am not even allowed to give out a flyer or a business card right now due to COVID concerns so have to wonder how it's OK for the Farmer's market people to be distributing materials of any kind that could be COVID infected.

Posted by Pleasanton Citizen
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:10 am

We need to stop kowtowing to the ultra-sensitive mobs.

Posted by Ellen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:26 am

It’s pathetic that in the year 2020 people think the pride flag is “political” It’s pure ignorance and intolerance to believe that wanting equal rights as a human being and an American citizen is somehow limited to a certain political party.

Also CMFA stepped down so they’re the ones who are responsible for shutting down the market. Maybe direct your anger at them.

Posted by Joe
a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:56 am

Whats disturbing to me is her objectionable tone and behavior; she is CLEARLY threatening his livelihood. This is how racists and ijustice hides behind a banner of ITS NOT YOUR <insert cuase her> its this <insert a distraction here>. She's trying to negate the fact that the flag IS the issue.
And BECAUSE of what it represents she should let it go.
SHAME SHAME SHAME on you Farmers Market KAREN!

Posted by Jack
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 17, 2020 at 11:18 am

Ya, he didn't follow the rules, that weren't written down, and that she had in her head.

If you want people to follow the rules, you got to say what the rules are, not make them up as you go along.

Remember the only thing he was "cited" for was having a non-employee at his booth. The non-employee at his booth who was handing out the flags to those who wanted them.You'd think if he broke some other rule, that's what he would have been cited for? But I am just logical that way.

Posted by David
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 17, 2020 at 12:59 pm

To those saying this is as simple as following rules, the rules state petitions and flyers aren't allowed -- a flag is not among the items listed. Nor is a flag political and something for the "free speech area." Dan didn't even receive the full policies and procedures referenced until "after" the incident, and when he asked for clarity twice last week they ignored his emails and sent the citation. The issue of the safety of the flags wasn't brought up until their media interviews, which is when they also claimed they wanted to resolve the issue and speak with Dan, but then the next morning they resigned after acknowledging that they wouldn't apologize. In their response letter to media, CFMA also said booths can be decorated freely with "lifestyle" items of the vendor's choosing, but in their email accompanying the citation noted that he should decorate, with approval of the management, with food decor. They've spun their responses several times before they opted to walk out on their agreement with other vendors. This wasn't about rules, and even if it was there would be a professional way to discuss them without raising their voices around customers and other vendors.

Posted by Yuck
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm

There are very stringent laws now with regards to finally opening up a farmers market. It’s Dans fault he didn’t ask first or read the rules. He got the market cancelled when the lady in share was just doing her job...she doesn’t have to protect his “feelings” ...she has to protect the people and kids there and make sure all rules are followed! Dan is the selfish Cookie Monster blaming everyone else for his actions.

Posted by Wombat
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 17, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Mr. Julius wrote “ Was she a little haughty? Yes.”

More than just a little haughty, I think. This video could be used as a textbook example of how not to behave when communicating rules and regulations to others.

Posted by Jose Jimenez
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 17, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Gail was simply acting in a direct business like manner to present the issue to Dan. Attacking Gail is not justified. Does the LBGT community feel so insecure that they can only have “touchy-feely” conversations?

Posted by Charlie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

I looked at the video.......I will not be supporting Dan's Cookies as a customer.

Posted by Pleasanton Tommy
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 17, 2020 at 3:26 pm

It sounds like the farmers market is still going to be open but with new management. I don't understand her rant about fetus' and ironingboards. Unfortunately the California Farmers Market Association is still operating many other farmers markets throughout the Bay Area and I'm sure Ms. Hayden will still be the Executive Director of those.

Posted by Lawya
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2020 at 5:20 pm

Gail, I hope you sue whomever recorded you without your signed consent. California has strong laws against it. You were doing your the middle of a Covid pandemic that is spread by touching and passing items between 2 can’t even use a pen at a restaurant that hasn’t been sanitized!

Posted by Know Body
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 17, 2020 at 6:18 pm

1st world problems. .. .Meanwhile, in Oakland

Posted by mike hosterman
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 17, 2020 at 6:32 pm

Watched the video and don't see what the problem was. Seemed to be a pretty calm discussion. Everyone seemed to be getting along. Don't know why Gail resigned - or was forced to resign.

Posted by Silverfox
a resident of Castlewood
on Jun 17, 2020 at 8:41 pm

Yet we all go to farmers markets and the police or fire fighters hand out little stickers and hats and no problem But Dan with the best cokies around pass out Pride flags and almost everyone throws a fit. I don't see a difference. since when is being gay political???

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2020 at 9:39 pm

A pride flag IS political. Whether you're supportive, against or you couldn't care less one way or the other -- the rules are the rules. She had every right to tell him he couldn't hand out the flags. Had she been less direct, she wouldn't have gotten through to him. She wasn't offensive, but very direct. In a situation like this you have to be.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 17, 2020 at 9:55 pm

Jennifer you are correct.

The confederate flag stands out as an example of flags making a political statement.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm

And for those who claim they don't understand why this is political, you darn well a lot of conservatives and moderates aren't supportive of the lifestyle, and it does become political. Life Americans who voted against gay marriage. How "political" is that?

Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2020 at 5:46 am

I receive flowers from Veterans on Memorial Day weekend. As far as I am concerned, that falls in the same category. It seems Ms Hayden does care about the reason behind this particular flag. So sad.

Posted by Charlie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 18, 2020 at 10:57 am

Well, June is LGBT Pride Month....

What better way to get on the news as a person being victimized........

And everybody is buying into Dan's personal (political?) goal.....

Very sad state of affairs when he could have just asked ahead of time and get the OK from the Farmers Market to support the Pride efforts by passing our flags.

Posted by stunt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Too bad the Farmer's Market was shut down in Livermore due to someone breaking the rules and handing out political material. Sounds like they are trying to do the same thing with the gay pride material in Pleasanton this weekend so the same thing happens to the Pleasanton farmers market.

Anyone who breaks the rules and hands out political literature and flags to further a political agenda when they should just be selling food items should be banned from being a vendor at the farmers market.

Posted by Becky Mc
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm

The rules belong to everyone. Being of any particular group doesn't make you exempt. Period.

Posted by ptowntb
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:47 pm

I find it curious that vendors of the market did not have to sign an acknowledgement of having received, read and agree to comply with the market rules. Especially if this document is very detailed, as it surely is since it was said to be thirty-some pages.

The market manager probably should require attention be paid to this document if they plan to enforce it.

If Mr. Floyd has not received the rules, he shouldn't be cited, or lectured, or even stopped from handing out flags. If he did receive the rules, but had not read them, I feel that Ms. Hayden could have simply said something like "Sticks, like those attached to flags, can be dangerous for kids, and you'll need to assume liability for any damages caused by them if you chose to hand them out at the market," and handed him the waiver that is used for non-profits to "accept liability for their supplies."

The rules were broken, whether knowingly or not, but the situation was absolutely compounded by very poor judgement on the part of the market manager.

I'm disappointed that so many of the comments above are placing blame for the market being closed this week solely on the vendor. The management company resigned from their contract with Livermore, and in doing so, with all of the vendors at this market. If they really wanted to make a bad situation better, they could have worked with Mr. Floyd privately to assure that the rules are clear moving forward, assigned a different market manager for the immediate future, and moved forward, business as usual.

The current culture of one side "doubling down" and making things even worse ("The mission of the market is for farmers. And you're in a different rights situation here because you're a non-(agricultural vendor) ... I don't even care what the flags are for, that has nothing to do with anything.") is cringe-worthy. The other side is also distressing with the "cancel culture" that is prevalent right now.

If you find out you were wrong, admit it. If you made a mistake, apologize to those involved. If you were wronged and get an apology, forgive. If you were wronged and didn't get an apology, safely educate the other party if and when possible, and move on with your life. Negativity isn't good for any of us.

I wish we would all take a quarter-step back and see the full picture more of the time. Listen, learn, and when asked, teach.

Posted by Ivan
a resident of Avila
on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:54 pm

A pride flag is not political. LGBT people are people, nothing political about that. There are just bigots who think they can minimize a part of the population as a mere political movement, instead of understanding that LGBT people are part of society. We have a flag that just represents who we are and that shows diversity. Nothing political about that. That woman just has a superiority complex and cannot understand that life is colorful and you can't suppress it just because you are ignorant and think being gay or bisexual is a political statement.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:57 pm

Ignorance of the law (rules) is no excuse!

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm

Not only is it a political statement (gay marriage was voted on) a lot of people think it's a chosen lifestyle. I've had gay people tell me they chose their lifestyle. They would know more than me. I do agree that we're all entitled to our rights. What a lot of people object to is having something shoved down their throat they disagree with. It's offensive, and we're tired of it.

Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 18, 2020 at 10:56 pm

Your rhetoric is sad, offensive, and pretty homophobic. The people intent on making this political are the ones who put Prop 8 on the ballot. I’ll give you one guess who that was. (Hint: not gay people.)

But as long as we’re on the topic, I’ve been meaning to tell you that I think you’re shoving your Hetero lifestyle down my throat and I find it offensive. Maybe you should go back in your closet with your homophobic views. And take your imaginary gay friends with you.


Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 18, 2020 at 10:57 pm

The above comment was directed at Jennifer.

I wish PW would figure out a way to make comments editable. Alas.

Posted by AnonJudge
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 22, 2020 at 11:51 am

[Post removed for offensive, threatening language]

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Transgender controversy played out at Dublin High track meet
By Tim Hunt | 25 comments | 5,157 views

Marriage Interview #17: They Renew Their Vows Every 5 Years
By Chandrama Anderson | 7 comments | 1,533 views


2023 guide to summer camps

Looking for something for the kids to do this summer, learn something new and have fun? The Summer Camp Guide features local camps for all ages and interests.

Find Camps Here