New LGBTQ Advisory Board Announced
Berlin Sylvestre firstname.lastname@example.org How serious about LGBTQ issues is newly minted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms? Serious enough to have her office give us a call on a Friday afternoon to let us know that she’s about to introduce her incredibly diverse LGBTQ Advisory Board. According to the mayor, these are the folks who “will help shape the city’s policies and engagements with Atlanta’s LGBTQ communities, and serve as a bridge between City Hall and LGBTQ residents.” Let’s meet her appointments — they might even be folks you know!
Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen,
Vision Church Atlanta Community Organizer Atlanta Coalition for LGBTQ Youth (ACFLY)
Kia Barnes, Emily Halden Brown, State Representative Park Cannon,
GA House District 58 Former Owner, Jungle
Co-Founder, Transformation Journeys Worldwide Founder, Out Front Theatre Prevention Specialist, Positive Impact Health Centers CEO, Atlanta Film
Paul Conroy, Tori Cooper, Lisa Cunningham,
Partners Founder, Jamie Fergerson, Atlanta Pride
Executive Director, Georgia Equality LGBT Caucus Chair, Democratic Party of Georgia MSW, Co-Founder, Annual Rustin/Lorde Breakfast Founder, Southern Jewish Resource Network (SOJOURN) Board of Directors,
Colton Griffin, Roshelle Darlene Hudson, Rabbi Joshua Lesser, Ivette Lopez,
Executive Director, Juxtaposed Center for Transformation Community Activist Saint Mark
Josh McNair, Rev. Dr. Joshua M. Noblitt,
United Methodist Church Board Chairman, AID Atlanta Former Owner, OutWrite Book Store & Coffeehouse Principal, Avison Young Founding Executive Director, LGBT Institute Senior Director of Development, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Matt Parkey, Philip Rafshoon, Kirk Rich, Ryan Roemerman, Jonathan Russell, Brigid Scarbrough,
National Board of Governors, Human Rights Campaign Owner, Soul Bar At
University Law Professor, Emory
Pam Stewart, Feroza Syed,
Executive Director, Board of Directors, GLAAD Transgender Activist Alex Wan, Former Atlanta City Council Member, District 6
Prevention Programs Manager, AID Atlanta Actor, Star (FOX) Atlanta President, Muslims for Progressive Values
Miss Lawrence, Kelly Wentworth,
In an exclusive with Georgia Voice, Mayor Bottoms’ team expressed that these are people she’s known personally and professionally over the years. Additionally, a good portion of the LGBTQ Board came in the form of recommendations from senior staffers like Robin Shahar, who’s been a mayoral LGBTQ advisor since 2013, having worked under former Mayor Kasim Reed; Rashad Taylor, a current political consultant and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives; Malik Brown, whose brilliant and exhaustive list of accomplishments the mayor’s letter expounded upon May 7; and Reese McCranie, a former advisor on LGBTQ issues under former Mayor Kasim Reed.
And what are their current priorities?
According to the mayor’s office: Reducing the LGBTQ homeless youth population in Atlanta Working to combat the rising rate of new HIV infections in Atlanta Developing programming to support jobreadiness among LGBTQ youth Working to attract and host more LGBTQ conferences and events in Atlanta Georgia Voice also spoke to Press Secretary Michael Smith, who had this to say: “Mayor Bottoms is a fifth-generation Atlantan, so she understands the important role our community has played in pushing the city forward. The formation of the LGBTQ Advisory Board is further testament that we have an unwavering advocate and ally in the Mayor’s Office. Addressing the community at large, Mayor Bottoms states: “During my campaign, I spoke at length of my commitment to the LGBTQ community. As Mayor, my recognition of that importance has been put into action, as I have made the formation of the LGBTQ Advisory Board and the hiring of a full-time LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator a priority. I am proud to welcome our first fulltime employee dedicated solely to liaising with our LGBTQ constituents, and I am equally proud to welcome such a distinguished group of community advocates and leaders to the City’s LGBTQ Advisory Board.” So let this be some amazing news as we head into summer: We have a progressive leader in a high position who cares about the needs of our community — not too many big cities can claim that. We at Georgia Voice welcome the new advisory board and thank Mayor Bottoms for her commitment to the LGBTQ community.
May 11, 2018