Applications are being accepted for seats on the board of the Transgender Equity Council, a newly formed group tasked with advising the City Council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on matters related to the city’s transgender community.
The City Council on Feb. 10 voted to create the 15-member advisory committee on the recommendation of the Minneapolis Transgender Issues Work Group. The work group, formed in 2014 by the City Council and mayor, meets regularly to examine disparities affecting Minneapolis’ transgender residents and make city policy recommendations.
“The creation of this committee demonstrates the City of Minneapolis’ commitment to support and uplift the transgender community and gender-nonconforming Minneapolitans by bringing us to the table,” Phillipe Cunningham, a policy advisor to Mayor Betsy Hodges, said during the City Council’s Feb. 8 Committee of the Whole meeting.
Cunningham, who is running for City Council in Ward 4, is one of two transgender candidates currently campaigning for a city office. Andrea Jenkins is a candidate in Ward 8, where she hopes to succeed City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, Jenkins’ former boss who announced last year she doesn’t plan to run for re-election.
Glidden, who authored the resolution creating the Transgender Equity Council, said it would give the transgender community a “permanent and sustainable way” to impact city policy-making.
Applications to join the board will be accepted through March 9. Members, who are unpaid volunteers, may serve up to three two-year terms.
Nine of the board’s members are appointed by the City Council, including six community members and three city employees. The mayor appoints two community members and one city employee. Appointees from the Park Board, Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools fill the remaining three seats.
Cunningham described the board as “truly groundbreaking.”
“Our voice will be centered in a way that is nearly unmatched in any other municipal government in the country,” he said.