Jersey City Institutes LGBT Task Force, Sets Sights on Perfect MEI Score
April 30, 2013 by Cathryn Oakley, Legislative Counsel, State & Municipal Advocacy
Across the country, some of the most important work being done on LGBT inclusion is happening in cities and towns. It makes sense – there is no level of government with a more personal relationship with its citizens. Cities have the power to make real, substantial change in their communities and, as the 2012 Municipal Equality Index showed, cities are bringing equality to a hometown near you.
Here’s an example: while Mayor Healy has been a friend to the LGBT community throughout his term as Mayor of Jersey City, he recently instituted a mayoral LGBT task force. Jersey City earned an 83 on the 2012 MEI, and while that score was in the top 20% of scores nationwide, Mayor Healy was not satisfied. He has his sights set on a perfect score in 2013, and he’s appointed a task force to help him do it.
Pictured, from left to right:
Jean Williams, Chief Clerk EEO/AA Office; Linda Ivory Greene, Health Educator; Darlene Pharmes, Director of Personnel; Mayor Healy; Cathryn Oakley, HRC; Ruben Rodriguez, LGBT Liaison to Mayor’s Task Force; Alex Perez, Cultural Affairs; Jeana Abuan, EEO/AA/PACO Officer. Not pictured are two other members of the Task Force, Radames Velasquez and Detective Philip Raleigh.
It is thanks to municipal leaders like these that cities are implementing more inclusive policies, expanding the reach of important city services, and ensuring that LGBT people are treated equally and with respect in the eyes of the government that knows them best. It will be exciting to see Jersey City’s score improve on the upcoming 2013 MEI!
To learn more about the Municipal Equality Index and how your city can move closer to a perfect score, visit www.hrc.org/mei. Read the 2012 MEI report, see full-length, detailed scorecards for each city rated, and find out more about the cities who are bringing equality home.