The city’s Commission on LGBT Affairs held elections last week for three board members: Sharron Cooks, Jason Evans and Libby Peters were elected as chair, treasurer and secretary, respectively.
The commissioners voted through an online poll after a nomination process.
City Director of LGBT Affairs Amber Hikes noted the activism efforts of Cooks, who declined to comment.
A city spokesperson confirmed that Cooks is the only transgender individual leading a city commission.
“Sharron has been such an incredible leader in terms of trans issues and people of color in this city for years,” Hikes said. “Sharron has really been a force in this community.”
Evans noted his experience in Penn Law’s development office, where he helped organize fundraising, and his work coordinating fundraisers for politicians and community centers at local bars. He said he is “excited” to take on the treasurer role to see what the commission can do with funds.
“We’ll definitely have some opportunities to fundraise,” Evans said. “I have a decent amount of experience in coming up with ideas for fundraising efforts and getting people engaged. Time will tell what we’ll need the money for but when we identify those things, we want to be ready.”
Peters took on some responsibilities of secretary even before she was officially elected. Hikes noted that Peters was the first person to volunteer to take minutes during the first commission meeting.
The newly elected secretary said that, in addition to recording meeting minutes, she wants the committees to collaborate without repeating their work.
“We have a lot of committees within the commission and then there will be subcommittees within the committees,” Peters said. “I think there’s a lot of work to be done and there are so many diverse communities even within the LGBTQ community. [I want to] make sure that progress being made in each of these different areas is recorded and we can keep moving forward.”
Hikes said she is looking forward to working with the new officers.
“I’m excited to have so many people who are willing, who are able, who are available to really help push our new directives and our objectives forward,” she said. “It’s particularly exciting to have these three commissioners who have stepped out and offered to lead in a different capacity and help the goals of the commission.”