To the editor:

My family lives in Wyoming and on a recent visit I came across the “Don’t California Our Cody” sign, which is distasteful at best. 

You may not agree with politics, but you cannot deny that without Californians visiting, the people of Cody would not have the jobs that our tourism affords. Many members of my family benefit from this who work in the service and hospitality industry.

I understand there are shops that sell bumper stickers with the same offensive slogan.

I understand the need to earn a living, but to promote and paint the opinion that all of us Californians are bad is absolutely incorrect.

I feel the Wyoming pride every time I come back to Wyoming to visit my family, and seeing this sign was absolutely insulting. I come from the same creed of Wyoming Pride and to see my family’s home state insult people because of one so-called Californian makes the City of Cody seem childish and petty.

I am asking that you please remember that the sign is really pointing a finger at a specific “so-called Californian” but might I remind all that this person is not from California, but from another big city in another state. We don’t like that person here either.

But again, why stoop to such a low level when we know the people of Cody are a proud, strong and resourceful group of citizens in a cohesive community?

I am asking that you please put pressure on the private citizen who owns the land that the offensive sign is found on, and please remember that those who condone that sign are cutting off their noses to spite their face. 

Sincerely, Cat White, a California resident who loves Wyoming and espouses its pride.

(s) cat white

Sherman Oaks, Calif.

(45) comments

Robert Alber

Park County, stand your ground on the sign. It is none of the Cody Mayors business nor the city councils. It will not affect their businesses bottom line. So be still your little hearts, leave the sign alone.

Clark Lefko

Oh lawdy lawdy, Cat! Looks like your lil' talkin' down backfired on ya. Well, guess we won't be seein' ya around these parts anymore but thanks for stopping bye (get it, BYE)

Cat White

You and your friends don’t scare me away. If it weren’t for part of my family, Wyoming wouldn’t have the history that is does!

I feel sorry for people who have a continuous closed mind and won’t listen to what others say. My family still lives in Wyoming, and I will still keep coming back.

I just will have to cluck my tongue at the small minded community members of Cody who refuse to listen to what others think based on politics!

Merill Scheid

Hmm, it looks like your attempt to talk down to us didn't work out so well, did it, Cat? Other than your new palsy walsy buddy the mayor, you've been firmly rejected. I have to ask, do you like the rock band AC/DC? The reason I ask is, well, it looks like you've been "thunderstruck"

Cat White

I wasn’t speaking down to anyone, and I am truly sorry of you thought I was. I am merely bringing up a point that you and the other closed minded members of the community are refusing to listen to.

An umbrella and a mind only work when open.

I feel sorry for those of you who eel the need to point fingers and hate people because they think differently than you, or look differently from you.

I am so disappointed in the thinking of the Cody residents who think I am trying to bar freedom of speech.

My point is that there are specific people that the residents of Cody are angry at. I think it is cowardice to not name them specifically on that billboard instead of lumping all Californians together.

Like I said before, you can take the girl out of Wyoming, but you can’t take Wyoming out of the girl.

Just remember who voted for your mayor- the majority of Cody did. I am just thankful there is a politician who genuinely wants to help his community.

Mildred Wilson

Cat, Cat...Cat. It looks like your 15 minutes of fame to talk down to people that you think are below yourself backfired and maybe Wyoming just isn't the place for you? Don't sweat it, there are still 49 other States, including California where you can practice your cancel culture. We're just fine here in Cody but thanks for asking!!!!! :)

Calvin Smithhurst

California Cat, sounds like you're now pretty chummy with our mayor. Did you know he's a Cali boy, too? Sounds like both of you have a big problem with private property rights and freedom of speech. Feel free not to come back and invite the mayor to retreat back to Cali. You have to be a lil' thick skinned and tough to make it here in the northern plains and mountains. Whiners and the ones who are easily offended aren't paid much attention to here (as you can now see). Well.......BYE

Cat White


It is in every politician’s job to speak with community members, constituents and to assist with tourism. Your Mayor was someone that the majority of Cody residents voted for.

Stop lumping all of us Californians together! That is what I was saying when I first wrote the letter about the sign being childish. Man up and name the people on the sign you are angry at. You better mention the people from Connecticut, the people from Utah and Colorado who don’t follow codes of proper conduct at the national parks nor in the towns and campgrounds.

I was not whining at all, and I have no idea where you got that concept into your head.

I feel sorry for people like you with closed minds who won’t listen to another with differing opinions.

Kris Rathjen

It appears as if Miss Kitty Cat thought she'd incite us unejumicated Codyites into some good ole' california cancel culturing with both her letter and comments here. Nice try, Cat but no dice. You might just want to consider staying where your at -in Cali- where your beliefs and disrespect for freedom of speech and private property rights run rampant. Maybe consider fixing the problems back home before trying to fix ours?

Tonia McClain

California does not value: the first amendment, private property rights and that state is also the cancel culture capital of the world. The author of that letter to the editor is chiding the citizens of Cody or their love of free speech and respect for private property ownership. This author is trying to rally us to "cancel" both the person who paid for the billboard and the person who owns the property where the billboard is located. Not going to happen, Cat. You've stepped into it bigtime and now are calling us racists. But, rejoice Cat. You live in what should be considered your utopia: a place that doesn't value free speech and private property rights (California). Why don't you just stay put there? You and we will be much happier....

Cat White

i never said I don’t support the first amendment. However, there is a limit to how the first amendment should be used. People who can only vomit the amendments and not read the articles attached to each amendment don’t truly understand the constitution.

Again, having a closed mind won’t get you anywhere, just like lumping everyone from a certain state together is a form of racism and stereotyping, which is what you and your compatriots are being accused of by me.

So sorry you feel that way. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me, that I can promise. You people won’t keep me away from my family homes in Wyoming, and you certainly won’t keep me away from visiting my family, or paying my respects to my ancestors and loved ones who have passed away in Wyoming.

Phil James

Wow, Cat equates the billboard with racism. That's an old cancel culture trick that won't fly here (so don't think you're little complaint is going to scare anybody, Cat). I think the author of that letter to the editor has much bigger problems then some freedom of speech sign in lil' ole' Cody Wyoming.

Ct Coats

On another note, your first two paragraphs talk down to the people of Cody and makes it appear as if they couldn’t survive without California tourists. Give me a break. You don’t know Wyoming or Cody citizens!

Cat White

I am not talking down to the people of Cody. However, you just admit that California does help the State of Wyoming in many ways- tourism is just one way. If you throw a stone any City of Wyoming, I can guarantee you’ll hit a relative of mine ;-)

Calvin Smithhurst

Cali-Cat displayed the California arrogance that neither Cody or the rest of the country has any time for. For us who may of gotten soft on the past, current and potential California invasion here, thanks for the wake up call

Ct Coats

Grew up in Powell and Love Wyo. Still have home in area. Have lived in TX for past 30 years. Nothing wrong with billboard. Freedom of speech. We have a big influx of Californians moving here. All welcome. Just know. This is Texas. Just like this is Wyoming.

Scott Weber

Woman comes to Wyoming. Gets offended by a billboard of truism. Yawn.

Cat White

Wow! What a response. Not a single person read or understood exactly what it is that I wrote.

So many of you are quick to judge people from where they come from, their background, and the color of their skin. Many of you claimed First Amendment rights which is not being discussed either.

Please try to read this without putting a spin or a casting a stereotype on it:

Yes, i am from California. I am not Rich. I am a Fly Fisher who is not only believes in a clean env, but am also a conservationist according to Muir. I love Wyoming because my family has a long rich history in Wyoming. From Fort Casper, to The Wind River Reservation, and everywhere in between the borders of Wyoming.

Remember our parents bringing up “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?”

It hurts me that people think California is full of rich people with questionable values and are from the land of fruits and nuts. Most of these stereotypes are based on what television and especially reality shows want people to see: DRAMATICS!!

I leave Wyoming better than when I left it by cleaning up, by helping my older family members and by packing out what I pack in.

With this being said, the sign is pointing fingers at people who are different. It is a type of racism. The Federal law is not allowed to discriminate based on a person’s background, or color or creed. That is what I mean by saying the sign looks childish and is offensive.

I know for a fact that many people in Cody don’t believe that stereotyping a group of people based on where they are from ruins a city.

What ruins a city are a few bad apples and people are quick to judge and point fingers when they see bad behavior. There are people in Wyoming who are bad apples too. The bad apples I see are mostly people who won’t listen to reason and want to automatically cite anyone of the constitutional laws because they feel their rights are being infringed upon.

I am not for infringing on someone’s rights. This is about a sign that labels and discriminates against a group of people. Period! That is what I mean by saying that sign is offensive. If I come into Wyoming, besides seeing my license plate, or my drivers license, you wouldn’t know I was from California. So why group me in with a group of people who want to make California look poorly? That issue should be taken up with the people who are changing Cody’s culture, NOT blanket a group of people. It is the same thing as racism, and I am sure that people who wrote a reply here are not all 100 percent Caucasian who have also experienced racism at some point in their life.

It is not fun being part of a group that experiences forms of discrimination. The people of Wyoming are better than sounding like a group of gossipy children. We are all G-Ds children. We all deserve to be treated by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Don’t hate, don’t discriminate. Period.

Joe Whittaker

You said "the sign is pointing fingers at people who are different. It is a type of racism" -- What "race" are Californians? Stop claiming racism where there is none. It cheapens your argument.

Aside from a vocal minority of residents here, we're all intelligent enough to know we're not picking on Californians, but their politics. There's a reason people are fleeing that state.

Cat White

It is a form of racism. Singling out people from where they are from. So many people do that automatically. People do that to others who are different from them. This is basic human psychology.

Phil James

Give it up, Cat! You're an outsider who thinks the your visits to Cody enlighten us all it's only your word we're obey. The billboard is being directly message to you and your types so.....please stay in Cali. Heck, there ought to be a billboard or two there that'll offend you

Schelly Jordan

in Hamlet, Bill Shakespeare wrote: "The lady doth protest too much methinks". So, here we have Ms. White's scolding us for a public expression of one person's exercise of their First Amendment right. She is missing the point. Self-righteous indignation and name-calling is representative of today's Cancel Culture thriving in the lands and minds of "progressive" folk. Where was Cool Cat California White's "distaste" not aroused when obscene graffiti was repeatedly painted on Trump signs out on the North Fork? Did she think it was "childish" and complain when obscene graffiti was sprayed on an anti abortion sign here as well? Double standard, no doubt. Surprised some outraged leftist activist hasn't come after this sign. Of course it would be in the middle of the night as those type of armchair "social influencers" tend to be cowards

Here it is: "Don't California Our Cody" is a reminder to Californians that they left their former home state and come here for a reason. Probably several. Most of it boiling down to "its not California". So maybe, just maybe they should look at WHY our Cody, WY isn't California, especially in politics, governance and the finances of everyday life, BEFORE trying to do to the exact same thing that tuned California into California in the first place. These transplants bring money from selling their homes in CA and use them to buy homes here at half to 20% of a place in say, San Francisco. That jacks up the prices here so that middle class working folks are priced out of the market. This is a scenario seen in CO. MT. ID and TX, which is why the Texans, in the larger-than-life way they operate, call this process "Californication". Can't say that Cody Folks don't have some sense of restraint :)

P.S. Mr. Jason Smith, you too are missing the point. It's not about where one was born (just leave Cody as it is), it's not about race (where did you get that? We're the Equality State, just leave Cody as it is). Same applies to you as Cat; where was your epithet "pathetic" applied to those that defaced the Trump signs or the anti-abortion signs? Perhaps the gentle California climate and politics is better suited for a righteous soul such as yourself?

Cat White

I don’t live in Cody, so I haven’t seen any of the graffiti or signs you are speaking of.

People who leave graffiti are no better than dogs peeing on a fire hydrant.

You don’t know me, my politics, or my love of Wyoming. I’m sorry that you feel like you have to lump me into a group of people that sign was meant for.

Again, you all missed the point. This isn’t about free speech! I am all for Free Speech, except when it is insulting to a group of people.

You missed the point about my love for Wyoming, my Father’s home state. Thé sign is in such a position that it appears to speak for ALL of Cody’s residents. I can guarantee that there are several families in Cody who disagree with the sign.

My cousins were very excited to see that my letter was printed, because they think the sign is in poor taste.

I know your Mayor thinks the sign is in Poor taste too. The Honorable Mayor called to discuss this matter with me.

I’m sorry that you don’t understand how the appearance of this sign can affect people adversely. I’m sure many of you were singled out at sometime in your life. This sign is singling out a group of people. Thé people of Cody I know are usually warm and welcoming. That sign is cold and prickly and sends the wrong message.

P.s. Wyoming is not always thé Equality state. Why else was my Grandmother not allowed to teach in Caucasian schools, just because she was a descendant of Sacajawea?

That is racism. She left Wyoming so she could teach and earn a decent living in California because Wyoming discriminated against First Nation people.

Scott Conger

" I am all for Free Speech, except when it is insulting to a group of people". I remember when folks like yourself would say "I don't like what you're saying but will defend your right to say it". Such quaint times, indeed. Cat, here's a newsflash: speech that everyone agrees on is not the speech that requires protecting. As for this sign affecting people adversely, if it is, then it sounds like it is doing the job for which it was intended! Myself, I ignore things that annoy me. That attribute used to be a sign of maturity. As far as some folks wanting to keep Kalifornia Kookiness out of WY, well that is just a bit of diversity among our population. You're not against Diversity, are you?

Viv McCord

Politics, haha, sorry

Viv McCord

Or thinking you are better than everyone else for your ploitics, Justin?

Chris Hession

We recently move from New York. We would feel the least bit offended if the sign read "Don't NY my Cody". We didn't relocate across the country (3000miles+) just to find the same nonsense making those states unlivable.

Jim Guelde

If thine eye offends thee… pluck it out.

Bob Ferguson

Apparently, the California transplant totally missed the point of a four-word billboard! No one is suggesting that we don't want California tourists, although changing the character of Cody for them is the last thing we should do. The whole point of the billboard is to express that those of us that moved here for what Cody offered prefer to keep it that way! Don't bring your liberal California values here! The most telling point about the author, Cat is that she literally wants to bully the property owner to clamping down on green speech! A true California "value." Just in 20202, one town in California forced a Trump political billboard down. The fact is that Political free speech should be protected the most! The idea that Cat, the author wants to bully the proper oqner is proof positive that she has no concept of Cody or Wyoming values!

Cat White

I sure hope you will read my rebuttal below. I am not mentioning free speech or trying to stifle it. This is a form of racism and classism. The person that sign is intended for isn’t even from California- he moved to California because of the job opportunities. He also saw an opportunity in Cody. If you see an issue, you bring it up with the person. Don’t discriminate against a group of people. Mr. Ferguson, you appear to be a racist, so all people named Ferguson should be branded as racists.

That example is what the sign is about. Discrimination.

You don’t know me, but my family helped Wyoming by living there for centuries. I guarantee you have heard my family name mentioned in Wyoming. In museums and the like. I resent the fact that you are stereotyping me based on where I am from. I never discussed politics or our President in this discussion, so please keep it just to the topic at hand.

Phil James

Wow, so Cali of you, Cat. If someone doesn't agree with you, the first thing is to accuse them of being a racist. I think it's best you stay in'll be much happier there conversing with others that are just like you (and not welcome in Wyoming)

JJ Flash

I've encountered MANY California's who have seen the sign and love it! They have said that it isn't offensive because it's true. They like our tranquil, neighbor helping neighbors town and recognizes their state I'm comparison of a great place like Cody.

Cat White

We have neighbors helping neighbors here in California too. Based on what I am seeing on the comments, people know nothing of California except our laws and making your own mind up based on what you see of the actions of a few.

I have a small town feel right here in Los Angeles. I run into friends and family in the grocery store. We wave to others who are driving down our street. Isn’t t that what you do in Cody too? My state is a great state. But represented on a tv by a group of people who are rich petulant children, same as that sign.

Merill Scheid

Cat, please stay home and fix your problems there. We're doing fine here plus, well, we're kinda' filled up right now. Thanks in advance for your consideration to this matter....we'll be in touch (or not)

Tom Conners


Kalana Curci

The offense and outrage you show is a perfect example why the sign is put there. Many people from California are offended by everything and want to change or cancel anything that don't agree with. Your opinion piece is a perfect example, " I don't like it, it offends me, take it down"!

Try ignoring something if it offends you, life is too short for constant outrage.

Cat White

I am not offended by much, but when a Sign stereotypes a group of people based on where they are from, I have an issue with that. Your name suggests you are not from Cody, or Wyoming. If you are, your family certainly isn’t. So I am sure they experience discriminatory behaviors at some point. That is what I am discussing here.

This sign placed where it is, is the face of Cody. Do you want people to think Cody is a terrible place and bring their tourism dollars elsewhere? You are talking about people who transplanted themselves temporarily from California to Cody. Not all of us Californians are bad. We aren’t all Democrats, and we aren’t all Anti-free speech. Stop grouping me based on where I am from. Group me by the type of person I am. That my dear, is racism.

Joe Whittaker

"Stop grouping me based on where I am from. Group me by the type of person I am. That my dear, is racism." -- no, my dear, it is 100% not racism. Californian is not a race.

Scott Conger

Not all Californians are Anti-free speech, you say. Well, to this bumpkin, it sure sounds like you are...apparently all of that nice weather in small-town LA leads to thin skin. We are the Equality State...not the Equity State. If you expect the world to change to suit your delicate demeanor, it sounds like the sign pretty much has hit the mark.

Patricia Ferguson

Being offended over a sign, IS childish.

The majority of people from Cody, and many tourist I’ve met from California like the sign. It’s great that Freedom of Speech lives freely in Cody.

Tom Conners

Californians are taking the rap for "their culture" they have created the last 100 years with their incessant greed and selfishness. They have moved to to many other states and permeated "their culture" upon locals in said states with no regard for locals wants or needs. By driving up housing costs and overcrowding schools,which locals have to help pay for,they have shown little regard other than their own selfish wants.I do not blame many locals for not wanting these "other people" to crowd the locals out...but this is America and most folks have the right to live where they choose.So get used to those transplants and "their culture" because money talks...and Wyomingites love money.

Cat White

Mr. Conners, you almost hit the nail on the head of what my comment meant. The only problem is again, stereotyping a group of people based on where they are from. I live with Wyoming values, as I call them. My family is honest and caring, and people come to us when they need help. We aren’t like all Californians. We aren’t rich, we don’t love a culture that is loud and obnoxious like we are portrayed in the media or by reality tv.

Everywhere has these types of people. There are lots of people leaving Utah and Colorado for Wyoming as well, who are seeking housing and also helping to drive up the prices of everything in small towns everywhere.

This is sounding like the discrimination of Jewish people. Everyone loves them, until they don’t. This problem is everywhere. It is caused by people who think and look differently from you. That is racism. Racism is wrong.

Schelly Jordan

Poor California Cat, you were really on a roll on 2 Sept. I has to scroll through to pick up where you left off on your latest rant 'n roll. Imaginary Scenario: If I was Cat's attorney and we were in court. I wonder how many times I would find myself apologizing (or physically restraining) to the court for my client's constant interruptions, jumping up in the courtroom and shouting at the judge & prosecutor; "That isn't fair, I have rights! You're a sexist fascist!" In the end we lose the case because my client didn't understand the context of the case and just couldn't stop talking about her distorted view of the situation at hand.

So, here we have Cat, bless her heart, becoming ever more strident and defensive as each missive is sent. Cat, how many California-style "isms" and hot button social "crimes" have you trotted out? Let see, "racism, "classism", along with "discrimination", "stereotypes", "judging by color of skin", "labeling" and my favorite, using the word "Jewish" to imply some sort of Nazi-type pogrom. Shame on you. You used the word "petulant" in describing stereotypes of Californians. Careful Cat. your tone and repeated posts can certainly be interpreted as petulant. Plus, you can't speak your peace and leave it alone, must less appreciate what most of us are trying to say. Instead you reached for your "isms" which had absolutely nothing to do with the billboard. Of course, you thought the correct action re: the billboard was to have it removed. Sort of what they did do in Nazi Germany. Which California-inspired "ism" supports abridging free speech, property rights and myriad others? I suggest you chill out a bit, catch that LA vibe, go to the beach and stay away from Cody until you can accept the billboard for what it is, not what you imagine it to be. In the meantime, peace be with you,,,

Justin Smith

Agreed, also thinking you are better than someone else based on where you were born, your skin color or anything else out of your control is pathetic.

Cat White


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