Woman ordered to remove Black Lives Matter sign inside her home or face fines

Francis Akhalbey October 05, 2022
Shirley Pavao was told to take down a BLM sign inside her home or face fines -- Image via KIRO 7

A resident at Washington State’s Lost Lake Resort community was told to remove a Black Lives Matter sign she had displayed inside her home or face fines. According to KIRO 7, the resident, identified as Shirley Pavao, was told by her homeowners’ association that the Black Lives Matter sign contravened their community policy. 

But Pavao said the policy in question is not binding, and she had been singled out. At the time of this report, Pavao had been instructed to take the sign down by October 1 or be slapped with fines.

“This is my living room. This is my Black Lives Matter artwork on my wall,” she told the news outlet.

Pavao initially displayed the sign in her front window during the summer of 2020. But some residents in the community took issue with it. “There was an outroar in the community. Specific people started complaining, wanted it down,” Pavao recalled, adding that the past HOA board subsequently implemented a new ruling.

“The previous board wrote up a new rule limiting what people could have on their homes, the outside of their units, what you could have in your yard, what type of signs, nothing political, so I immediately removed my sign,” Pavao said.

And though Pavao ultimately displayed the sign in her living room, she said the board reached out to her again to complain about it. She said an email that was sent to her claimed that homes weren’t allowed to have signs or flags that expressed support for or resistance to political candidates, social movements, humanitarian causes, or religious beliefs, KIRO 7 reported. The email also stated that the ruling covers signs or anything that is positioned inside a window that can be viewed from the roadway or other homes.

“How did the board go from you can’t have outside signs or signs outside your building to determining that they have a legal right to determine what I have in my home?” she questioned.

And though Pavao was told to take down the Black Lives Matter sign because it was against community policy, other neighbors were also seemingly in violation of the same rule, KIRO 7 reported. A Trump doormat was visible at one home while a thin blue line flag could also be seen at another. 

Pavao expressed her disappointment with the ultimatum the HOA gave her. She, however, said she intends to appeal the alleged infraction.

“I cannot express how tired I am, intellectually, emotionally. How disappointed I am with some of the people in this park. How much it hurts me that my family does not feel comfortable here, because they are people of color too,” said Pavao.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 5, 2022


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