Mayor Bill Peduto (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Mayor Bill Peduto (Photo by J.L. Martello)

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 28, 2016) In August, Mayor William Peduto announced the launch of Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is charged with taking a comprehensive approach to meet the needs of the entire LGBTQIA+ community.

The Advisory Council, whose members are being announced today, is a 15 member body with a diverse makeup of members from within the community.

In addition to the 15 members, the Advisory Council will have one representative serving from the Commission on Human Relations. Advisory Council members will meet monthly and provide quarterly status updates to the Mayor, striving towards a goal of inclusivity and progress within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Throughout their time on the Council, members will also serve on at least one of the following sub-committees.

  • Advocacy & Outreach
  • Faith Based & Cultural Awareness
  • Health & Wellness
  • Homelessness
  • Public Accommodations & Housing
  • Workforce Development
  • Youth & Young Adults

The Advisory Council will report to the Mayor and City Council, as well as give recommendations for internal and legislative policy. Annual progress reports will be made public on the Advisory Council’s website. It is the goal of the council to provide an outlet for the community to add input towards the council’s recommendations. This will be accomplished by facilitating public forums and by welcoming suggestions to the sub-committees.

The members named to the council by Mayor Peduto are:

  • ·         Julian Arney
  • ·         Keyva Clark
  • ·         Tricia Dougherty
  • ·         John Easter
  • ·         Cori Frazer
  • ·         Megan Good
  • ·         Reverend Shanea Leonard
  • ·         Satvika Neti
  • ·         Ricahrd Parsakian
  • ·         Skylar Rella
  • ·         Marcus Robinson
  • ·         Sarah Rosso
  • ·         Ciora Thomas
  • ·         Kevin Urda
  • ·         Andrea Aliquo-Varela
  • ·         Eric Horwith (Commission on Human Relations Representative)

In order to maintain fairness, the Mayor’s Office appointed three professionals to assist in the selection process of Advisory Council members. The Mayor’s Office received 79 applications from individuals with a wide array of backgrounds. Over the course of a week, all 79 applicants were reviewed by the selection group. The group narrowed the list to 38 by taking into account their work experience, contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community, and by their answers on the questionnaire.

During the second week, the selection group once again reviewed the 38 applicants and narrowed their focus in on the answers given on the questionnaire. The goal of the group was to narrow a list of 38 applicants to 25 and provide that list to Mayor Peduto. From the final 25 applicants, the selection group recommended who the 15 members should be.

During the final stage, Mayor Peduto met with staff and made his selections.

The council is expected to meet in January of 2017.

Website: lgbtqia.pittsburghpa.gov/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lgbtqiapgh

Contact: Corey Buckner, Community Affairs Liaison, Office of Community Affairs, 412-255-2694, corey.buckner@pittsburghpa.gov, or lgbtqia@pittsburghpa.gov.

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