SAN DIEGO – San Diego Pride is just days away and there’s a new group that will make its debut at the parade July 16: the National City lowriders.

Lowriders have been a part of past local pride parades, but this is a first for those from the National City community and the offer is a show of solidarity.

“LGBTQ folks, Latinx folks, communities of color, we’re all fighting the same issues. The more we can collaborate and realize that our challenges are the same, the more progress we can make,” said Fernando Lopez, executive director of San Diego Pride.

The low riders have been invited to cruise through the parade alongside the San Diego LGBTQ Latinx coalition after a recent effort to repeal a decades-old ban on cruising in their city. The United Lowrider Coalition hosted a pilot cruising night in National City the first week of May, but the monthly events through October came with a price tag from the city of $8,000 per event for the extra police staffing.

Marisa Rosales, United Lowrider Coalition co-chair, says there were additional costs being required that were deemed too high to continue the events.

“To have public work signage along Highland Avenue, to have a private company create a traffic plan and to have Caltrans put signage on the freeway. Those three items by themselves cost about $10,000,” Rosales said.

“When we saw the rising fees and the way that it’s impacted this minority community and marginalized community, we wanted to offer some additional support,” Lopez said.

The coalition has re-focused their efforts on repealing the no cruising ordinance and will now get to take their message to a big audience on July 16.

“They shared in our like struggle with cities and permits and that they sympathize with us. They offered us space in the pride parade with no fee, no charge. We were happy to accept. We’re all in this together,” Rosales said.

National City put together an ad-hoc committee to tackle the cruising topic and decide what to do about the current ordinance. The coalition says they are waiting on a meeting to be scheduled so they can continue the conversation.