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WITH FOURTH OF JULY weekend underway and summer in full swing, Bay Area residents are expressing their patriotism in various ways. Bay City News spoke with several San Franciscans about their holiday weekend plans and what Independence Day means to them this year.

Hilary Hann and Christopher Martinez

Social workers at Mercy Housing.

BCN: What are your plans for the Fourth of July?

Hann: I want to work in the yard and keep it pretty low-key.  Do some creative writing.

BCN: Is this Fourth of July different for you than in previous years?

Hilary Hann and Christopher Martinez. (Photo by Rya Jetha/Bay City News)

Hann: I think it’s pretty disturbing what’s happening with the political situation now that the Supreme Court seems to be a political wing of the GOP. And one more thing today about the environment, the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and how that has to do with climate change. It’s setting us back. I’m really glad to be American [but] with the Supreme Court doing what they’re doing, we look ridiculous.

BCN: How do you feel about your independence this Independence Day?

Martinez: How do I feel about my independence? I feel independent enough to want to live in another country. For a little while anyway. I’m glad to be an American also, but…

BCN: And how independent do you feel this Fourth of July?

Martinez: I feel very independent but not financially secure enough to avail myself of that independence.

Niman Singh

Audit Manager at Eide Bailly, 37.

BCN: Is this Fourth of July different for you than in previous years?

Singh: I mean, last year the pandemic kind of opened up around mid-June. So, I remember July Fourth, there were a bunch of people who came out to see the fireworks. I just want it to be actual July Fourth weather. Clear skies would be nice. What more can you ask when you live in the city? It’s great.

BCN: What does independence mean to you this Independence Day?

Singh: Oh, we’re [expletive]. It’s all bad. I have no hope for the future with the way things are happening right now. I’m glad to be insulated in this beautiful city of San Francisco. We saw Vice President (Kamala) Harris driving down the other day with a motorcade. I mean, we didn’t see her, it was a motorcade, but it was pretty presidential, 20 cars deep. It wasn’t just the Warriors!

BCN: Do you have a message for Vice President Harris?

Singh: Please use the legislative branch. Please help.

Avelina Brown

Student at San Francisco State University, 42.

BCN: Are you looking forward to the Fourth of July?

Avelina Brown sits with her dog, Josue. (Photo by Rya Jetha/Bay City News)

Brown: No. Mostly because there’s going to be a lot of fireworks in the neighborhood until late. I hate that and it sucks for him — my dog.

BCN: Is this Fourth of July different for you than in previous years?

Brown: Yeah, I am upset that they overturned Roe v. Wade. I’m upset with a lot of things that are going on in the country right now. So, I don’t really feel like independence is something that I feel heavily right now.

Denzel Villanueva

Recent architecture graduate from the University of San Francisco, 23.

BCN: Are you feeling patriotic this Fourth of July?

Villanueva: No. I’m not very proud as an American, mainly just because of what the country is founded on.

Denzel Villanueva. (Photo by Rya Jetha/Bay City News)

BCN: Is this Fourth of July different for you than in previous years?

Villanueva: Politically, I feel like it has just become a [slippery] slope. Just with overturning Roe v. Wade, and then, I’m not good with names, but one of the people on the Supreme Court wants to overturn gay marriage. It is just kind of worrying. If they overturn more things, like Brown v. Board of Education, it just seems like we’re regressing rather than progressing. That’s why I feel like I don’t have much to celebrate. The fireworks are cool, though. I don’t mind it. I’m not going to go out of my way to celebrate July Fourth.

Miranda Ruiz

High school student in San Francisco, 14.

BCN: Do you have any plans for the Fourth of July?

Miranda Ruiz. (Photo by Dania Kalaji/Bay City News)

Ruiz: I’m going up to Roseville to celebrate with some family members. We don’t see each other often, so it’s a great opportunity. We do this every year. We do barbecues and all that.

BCN: Is this Fourth of July different for you than in previous years?

Ruiz: Yeah. Because last year, with the pandemic still in play, and [again] two years ago, we didn’t get to do the type of things that most people are doing right now. Like getting out more. Expressing their freedom.

BCN: Do you feel patriotic despite everything going on?

Ruiz: I’m getting used to what’s happening because [of the] Ukraine [war] and the abortion [ruling] thing. I feel like we all can do something about it. We can all not be silent and rise up as one.