In October 2016, the Austin Police Department, in partnership with Austin Mayor Steve Adler, the Lesbian and Gay Peace Officers Association, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and the Austin Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce, hosted a civic leadership forum on preventing and responding to bias-motivated crimes in the community. In his opening remarks at that event, Mayor Adler called for the formation of an LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission to support the health, safety, and quality of life priorities of Austin’s diverse LGBTQ communities.
— Mayor Adler (@MayorAdler) October 27, 2016
In an increasingly growing and diverse Austin, these quality of life commissions work to address and serve the needs of their respective communities. Austin currently has advisory commissions for the African American, Asian American and Hispanic/Lantino communities. Austin would join Houston as the second city in Texas to establish this type of advisory commission, cementing Austin’s status as one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the nation.
Charles Loosen, the Austin Police Department’s Liaison to LGBT constituents, has worked for over two years to advance this community-driven proposal with local community leaders, but before any of this can become a reality, Loosen and newly elected Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan (District 6) invite stakeholders to a public input meeting to “determine how the commission will operate and how members will be appointed to represent the rich diversity and complexity within the LGBTQ community.”
“This community meeting is the first critical step In the hard work ahead for this commission,” said Flannigan. “As the first openly gay man to serve on Austin city council, I feel a unique responsibility to address the issues facing the LGBT community. But I don’t think any one person should try to speak for a whole community alone. I hope that all citizens interested in determining the future of this commission will participate in this meeting to make sure all voices are heard.”
The LGBTQ Commission Formation Public Input Meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 6:30-8 PM at the Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin TX 78754. The event is open to the public. On-site parking is available. The resource center is served by Capital Metro’s 325 – Ohlen route.