The City of Miami last week unanimously voted to create an LGBT advisory board.
The board will advise the City Commission, mayor, city departments and governmental entities on issues that impact the LGBT community.
“The creation of an LGBT Advisory Board is a great step forward in keeping the commission informed and connected to the LGBT community's challenges and opportunities that face them in the City of Miami,” Orlando Gonzales, Executive Director of SAVE, said in a press release.
According to Gonzales the board address such topics as public policy and quality of life issues in youth homelessness, health care access for people who are transgender, addressing the high rate of HIV transmission, maintaining basic protections against discrimination and hate crimes, sensitizing public services and police force around domestic violence in the community, and protecting the ever-growing population of older LGBT adults.
In addition the board will have a chance to look at policies retrospectively to correct policy areas that are not as inclusive as they could be when they were created.
“This is also an opportunity to advise prospectively to ensure that future legislation is developed in a way that sends a clear message to LGBTQ people, especially our youth, and most vulnerable that they are wanted and respected in Miami-Dade,” Gonzales added to SFGN.
Commissioner Joe Carollo led the initiative as the prime sponsor of the ordinance. Commissioners Ken Russell, Alex Diaz de la Portilla, Manolo Reyes, and Mayor Francis Suarez were co-sponsors
“Representation is critical as we continue the fight for full equality across the state of Florida. The City of Miami Commission’s vote to create an LGBTQ advisory board is an important step to ensuring the community has a seat at the governing table,” said Brandon Wolf, media relations manager for Equality Florida. “We applaud the Commission and look forward to replicating their efforts across the state.”
This advisory board comes on the heels of Miami-Dade creating an LGBTQ Advisory Board last October.
The Miami-Dade initiative was sponsored by Commissioner Eileen Higgins, District 5. That vote was unanimous as well.
According to a previous press release the county board “will serve to address quality of life issues and propose policy recommendations to address social, economic, cultural, and political problems facing the LGBTQ community.”