Mayor Invoice Peduto Appoints Candidates to Pittsburgh’s New LGBTQIA + Fee | Information | Pittsburgh

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James Hill

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Almost nine months after the Pittsburgh City Council voted to set up its LGBTQIA + commission, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced appointments for the group to address the challenges facing LGBTQIA + residents and residents Facing visitors.

On February 8, Peduto named the people selected for the LGBTQIA + commission, who will be presented to the Pittsburgh City Council on February 9. The city originally invited applicants to join the commission in July 2020.

“This is a strong and formidable group that will be extremely helpful in delivering guidelines on LGBTQIA + issues across the city government,” Peduto said in a press release.

The members of the commission work in the arts, politics, medicine and religion of the city with an emphasis on inclusion. The list includes councilor Bruce Kraus (D-South Sdie), Pittsburgh lesbian correspondent blogger Sue Kerr, and local business owner and lawyer Richard Parsakian. Other nominees include Marcus Robinson, a housing analyst for the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Pittsburgh, and Guillermo Velazquez, executive director of Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation.

Dr. Sarah Rosso – Managing Director of the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation – the local theater designer Britton Mauk and Denise Desimone from the marketing company C-Leveled as well as William Hileman, Leonard Orbovich, Luca Salerno, Tiffini Simoneaux and Nekia Burton Tucker and the Reverend Deryck Tines.

Commissioner Jam Hammond was recently elected executive director of the Pittsburgh Council of Human Relations and said in a press release: “As a black person, a trans person, a global citizen and in Pittsburgh, I am so excited to play a bigger role in our civil rights journey together. ”

The commission was set up as part of Peduto’s LGBTQIA + Advisory Council, which was set up in 2016 to “advise on the policies and problems of the LGBTQIA + community”. By signing the LGBTQIA + commission in City Code, the commission must legally ensure that “voices of the LGBTQIA + community are heard and reflected in the city’s plans, agendas and political decisions”. Legislation to create a standing LGBTQIA + commission within city government was introduced by Peduto in June 2020, followed by the adoption and call for applicants.

Pittsburgh and Allegheny Counties have laws in place to protect LGBTQ people from housing and employment discrimination, as well as other problems, some of which have made progress in the past year. In December 2020, the Sharpsburg district unanimously passed a non-discrimination ordinance granting LGBTQ people protection of civil rights. In January, Monessen became the first town in neighboring Westmoreland County to offer protection for LGBTQ civil rights.

However, studies have shown that the region is still focused on genuinely engaging LGBTQ residents, which Peduto pointed out when he first announced to the commission.

“The city of Pittsburgh has long been a leader in protecting and upholding LGBTQIA + rights, but our city, state and country still have a long way to go,” said Peduto. “The inclusion of this commission in the City Code underscores our commitment to the fight for human rights deserved by all.”

As President Joe Biden’s recent elections see a brighter future for LGBTQ people across the country – a vision sustained by Biden, the executive order to remove former President Donald Trump’s transmilitary ban and fully protect LGBTQ people against Discrimination in schools, healthcare, workplace and other areas – local lawyers are not slowing down. Following the election, Pittsburgh City Paper spoke to a number of local LGBTQ advocates who believe that while a tenure in Biden can produce some gains for the LGBTQ community, equality does not need to be achieved in Pennsylvania, where it still does there is no nationwide non-discrimination protection for LGBTQ people.

In addition to the LGBTQIA + Commission, Peduto will also make appointments and reappointments to the Gender Equity Commission, the Shade Tree Commission, the Historic Review Commission, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Pittsburgh Land Bank, and the Art Commission.

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