Philly selects diverse team of LGBT residents to change face of local boards, commissions

Pat Loeb
November 28, 2018 - 2:46 pm
Philly selects diverse team of LGBT residents to change face of local boards, commissions

Courtesy of The Office of LGBT Affairs

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs has selected the first group of 20 people to go through its Community Leadership Pipeline. The six-month program seeks to get younger, more diverse people actively engaged in the community.

Mayor Jim Kenneys says the city's LGBT community has changed since he first became involved, as a councilman, in the '90s.

"They were all good people who did a lot of good things — domestic partnerships and things like that," Kenney said. "But there's also a group of folks out there who are people of color, trans people, and they need to step up, and they're going to step up through this process, to serve both the LGBTQ community and create a pool of people for boards and commissions throughout the city."

The initiative will help overcome the social and financial barriers to serving. Amber Hikes, executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, says 14 boards have agreed to waive the give-or-get fund-raising contributions that go with board membership, and more are signing on as they learn of the program.

The first class of 20 begins the six-month preparation program on Saturday. The class includes KYW Newsradio's Shara Dae Howard.