Earlier this month the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved the creation of an LGBTQ Advisory Board.
The initiative was sponsored by Commissioner Eileen Higgins, District 5. The vote was unanimous.
“While progress has been made for the LGBTQ community, we know there is much work left to be done,” Higgins said in the prepared statement. “This new board is a great way to have engaged residents advising the County on issues that are most pressing to our LGBTQ community. For Miami-Dade, it means a significant impact on economic development in our county.”
According to a county press release the newly created 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.”
Each county commissioner will get to appoint one board member, while the county mayor will get to appoint two members.
Equality Florida, Florida’s statewide LGBT rights group, applauded the county commission’s decision.
“This is a turning point in building a stronger relationship between the LGBTQ community and our county government,” Stratton Pollitzer, Equality Florida's Deputy Director, said in a press release. “We are working together for a future where meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, including youth, seniors, people living with HIV, and the transgender community, is always a part of the conversation.”
SAVE, Miami-Dade’s LGBT rights organization, also welcomed the decision.
"This is common-sense legislation that will continue to make Miami-Dade one of the most welcoming, inclusive and diverse metro areas in the world. We are thrilled to have such strong support from the Miami-Dade Commission and Commissioner Higgins leadership on this issue," Orlando Gonzales, Executive Director at SAVE, said in a press release.
According to Equality Florida, they along with a slew of other local LGBT rights groups, have worked for months with Commissioner Higgins to pass the “landmark” ordinance.
Arianna Lint, a local trans activist and founder of Arianna’s Center, said she’s hopeful the new board will be inclusive of the trans community. She plans on meeting with Commissioner Higgins soon to discuss trans representation.
“We hope to meet with the other commissioners so they know our stories and everything about local black and brown trans people,” she said. “We believe in the importance of our voice being present at the conversation table. We will soon see the changes and true inclusion for our entire community.”