Commission on LGBT Affairs forming

Commission on LGBT Affairs forming

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The application process for the city's new Commission on LGBT Affairs opened Monday.

The volunteer members will be appointed following an application process overseen by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of Public Engagement and the Office of the Mayor.

The application form is available here and must be completed by Nov. 4. The online application asks six open-ended questions about the applicant's interest in serving on the Commission, ideas about issues facing the local LGBT community and goals for the Commission.

The only limit on eligibility is that applicants cannot be city employees; they can hold other city appointments. 

According to a release issued by the city Monday, the commission will reflect the diversity of the community, including those who represent "transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, queer, and intersex communities, as well as diversity in ethnicity, religion, race, gender, disability, profession, citizenship status, socioeconomic status, geography, housing status and age."

“I look forward to welcoming a diverse group of individuals that will help build the capacity of city government to recognize, address and meet the needs and concerns of all in the LGBT community,” said Nellie Fitzpatrick, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. 

Fitzpatrick told PGN earlier this month that she has been working on the creation of the commission throughout this year. It was one of the projects she referenced as an ongoing effort to invite community engagement in her office; groups including Black & Brown Workers Collective and ACT UP have called for her resignation in recent weeks, contending she did not do enough to combat racism in the Gayborhood. 

Among its responsibilities, the Commission will advise Mayor Jim Kenney's administration on "ways to increase LGBT community access to government resources and sharing information with various LGBT communities about relevant government efforts; bringing to the attention of all relevant city agencies vital LGBT community needs and helping those agencies to develop a plan to address them; and "maintaining regular dialogue with LGBT organizations and individuals outside the Commission or city government, so all voices are heard," according to a press release.

The Commission will create working groups to address such issues as racism in the community, homelessness and transgender equality.

“In order to fully serve the many needs of the city’s diverse LGBT community, we need an array of voices and perspectives to inform and advise us,” Kenney said in a statement.  “The Commission will provide us a broad, as well as nuanced, view of issues impacting the lives of LGBT residents.”

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