Less than a month ago, SFGN’s coverage of the Wilton Manors City Commission’s desire for its city boards to be more inclusive, explicitly including the trans community in its board diversity policy.

As a City Commission, we recognized that one important way to attract a more diverse set of candidates was to explicitly identify the types of diversity we were seeking.

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, the City Commission demonstrated its commitment to diversity on its city boards by appointing Carvelle Estriplet to its Community Affairs Advisory Board (CAAB). The Community Affairs Advisory Board provides a vehicle to maintain a high quality of life through greater citizen participation by providing a conduit for cooperation and communication between the city commission and community, by making recommendations to the commission as appropriate of ideas for community improvement, civic projects and supporting various community events. This is exactly the type of city board that will benefit greatly from diversity.

While Carvelle self-identifies as a proud Black trans woman, she was hardly a “token” choice to purely address the city’s desire to attract more diversity to our boards. Carvelle has proven to be a tremendous asset to our community already as an active, engaged community volunteer as well as a small business owner. During her applicant interview at Tuesday’s meeting, Carvelle expressed her desire to work with CAAB members to bring new ideas and events to the city.

As a lead director with the Florida LGBTQ Democratic Caucus, Carvelle played a critical role in "Get Out The Vote" activities in our city. You may recognize Carvelle from her time volunteering at the LGBTQ Democratic Vote Center which operated in the space which now serves as the Wilton Collective.

You can still find her in that place today. Her new business, Carvelle Bikes, just set up shop inside the collective. Carvelle, a bike mechanic by trade, opened her new bike repair and sales store inside the Wilton Collective in hopes of serving as a role model for trans youth who volunteer at the Collective.

“I am gratefully honored for the opportunity,” remarked Carvelle on Facebook.

As a city, we are grateful for the diverse residents that make our city a melting pot and an ideal place to call home.

– Chris Caputo

Wilton Manors City Commissioner