On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing a permanent 15-person council charged with providing the city council recommendations for policies and programs to improve the quality of life for transgender residents of Minneapolis.

The council’s move makes Minneapolis one of the few cities to have a permanent council regarding transgender equity. While many cities have human rights commissions, and several have LGBTQ councils, only two other cities have established permanent, transgender-specific city panels.

Los Angeles has a Transgender Advisory Council which was established in May 2016. West Hollywood also has a permanent transgender committee created in 2009.

Minneapolis’ Transgender Equity Council grew out of the city’s Transgender Issues Workgroup, an entity launched in 2014 to assess the needs of the city’s transgender and gender expansive citizens. The resolution creating the council got its first hearing at the Committee of the Whole on Wednesday.

Philippe Cunningham, chair of the Transgender Issues Workgroup, told the council, “What we have here is truly groundbreaking. This resolution centers and builds up the voice of a community that has gone long unheard. Our voice will the centered in a way that is nearly unmatched in any other municipal government and our country.”

The resolution passed Committee of of the Whole on Wednesday by a unanimous voice vote. That vote paved the way for Friday’s vote of the City Council where it passed an a unanimous roll call vote.

Here’s the resolution that creates the Transgender Equity Council:

Download (PDF, 71KB)

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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