In light of the recent outrageous and even hateful reports related to how transgender people are being treated by some units of government, it was particularly moving and, I hope, significant that our local City Council passed a resolution yesterday that will commit the city to 3 things:
1. Hosting community events aimed at increasing awareness and supporting issues critical to the safety and vitality of the transgender community.
2. Ensuring the City’s laws, policies and services are inclusive of our transgender community and staff.
3. Creating a permanent transgender issues advisory group.
Here is the full text of the resolution:
By Glidden, Reich, Gordon, Frey, B. Johnson, Yang, Warsame,
Goodman, Cano, Bender, Quincy, A. Johnson, Linea Palmisano
Supporting continued efforts to further transgender equity in the City of Minneapolis.
Whereas, the City of Minneapolis strives to be an inclusive community; and
Whereas, for over twenty (20) years the City of Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota have explicitly protected the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming residents to be free from discrimination by prohibiting discrimination based on gender-identity; and
Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States, courts throughout the nation, and federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, all interpret Title VII to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation; and
Whereas, in 2014 and 2015 Minneapolis received a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, an index value that evaluates how inclusive cities' laws, policies, and services are of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; and
Whereas, much work has been done, but significant disparities still exist in virtually all areas including employment, healthcare, safety, housing, and access to public spaces; and
Whereas, according to the annual report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs titled Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2014 (released in 2015), there continues to be a “multi-year trend” indicating that hate violence disproportionately impacts the transgender community – particularly, women, youth and persons of color; and
Whereas, a Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group was formed through action of the City Council and Mayor in March 2014, and convened thereafter to examine transgender disparities and other issues, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations for City government designed to improve the lives of Transgender residents of Minneapolis; and
Whereas, the Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group is taking a systematic approach to examine transgender disparities and other issues and develop policy recommendations that could be adopted by the City, including working to develop a 2016-2017 work plan; and
Whereas, the Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group hosted the first Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit in 2014 and the 2nd annual Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit in 2015 to support and continue to raise awareness of the social, legal and health issues critical for the transgender community; and
Whereas, the goals of the Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group align with the City’s goals and values; and
Whereas, the City of Minneapolis defines equity as fair and just opportunities and outcomes for all people; and
Whereas, the City of Minneapolis wishes to continue work that will lead to equity for all people, including transgender people; and
Whereas, the City of Minneapolis wishes to join several other cities that have adopted resolutions and policies supporting transgender equity, including Austin, Baltimore, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and others;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the City Council of the City of Minneapolis:
That the Mayor and City Council of the City of Minneapolis hereby support efforts to further transgender equity in Minneapolis including but not limited to:
1. Supporting efforts to continue hosting community events aimed at increasing awareness and supporting issues critical to the safety and vitality of the transgender community.
2. Supporting efforts to ensure the City’s laws, policies and services are inclusive of our transgender community and staff.
3. Supporting efforts to create a permanent advisory body in accordance with the City’s Open Appointment process in furtherance of Minneapolis Code of Ordinance section 14.180 enabling the city to “create and support organizations that enhance community engagement in the city’s decision-making process.”
Be It Further Resolved that the Mayor and City Council support other city, state and national efforts to address, support and protect the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals throughout the nation.
And Be It Further Resolved that the Mayor and City Council hereby express their gratitude and appreciation to the Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group in leading efforts supporting transgender equity in Minneapolis.