County’s LGBTQ+ Commission holds first meeting

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — In what officials called a history-making debut, the Los Angeles County LGBTQ+ Commission met for the first time June 11 with a ceremony led by county Supervisor Hilda Solis marking the occasion.

The meeting culminated an effort that began in June 2023, when Solis and Supervisor Janice Hahn co-authored a motion to create the commission, with a mandate to make recommendations on policies that impact LGBTQ+ communities.

During the June 11 ceremony, Solis introduced the commission’s executive director, Sunitha Menon, and several commission members.

“Los Angeles County is making history — again — and hopefully setting an example for the rest of the nation to follow,” said Solis, who represents the First District. “We’ve arrived at this moment because the Board of Supervisors stood in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ family. I applaud my fellow Board of Supervisor members for their courage and integrity and compassion.”

Hahn echoed her colleague’s sentiments, adding that the county is a “safety net” for its 10 million residents.

“We are here to catch people who reach the end of their ropes, physically, mentally, financially,” Hahn said. “That means we serve some of the most vulnerable populations in L.A. County, and within those groups, LGBTQ people are disproportionately represented.

“That is why the first-ever L.A. County LGBTQ Commission is so important. It means having LGBTQ voices at the table when we are shaping foster care policy, health care policy, housing policy and so many other issues the county touches.”

Hahn said the commission will lift LGBTQ voices when “we need to hear them most,” and that she hopes residents will not only attend commission meetings, but get involved as the panel plans events across the county.

Commissioners set their meeting schedule and bylaws. Menon — who previously served as the managing director of operations at Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization — said she was looking forward to working alongside the commissioners to “ensure we are uplifting the needs of the over 500,000 members of our community.”

“The inaugural meeting of L.A. County’s LGBTQ+ Commission marks a significant milestone in the county’s commitment to uplift and deliver for our LGBTQ+ communities,” Board of Supervisors Chair Lindsey Horvath said. “This commission will be instrumental in our ongoing journey towards equality by empowering our LGBTQ+ siblings and ensuring their voices are heard and valued.”

County Assessor Jeffrey Prang added, “The imprimatur of the county means that this is not just a symbolic gathering — it is an official act of government at its very best. This is long overdue, and I am grateful to the Board of Supervisors for their vision and leadership.”

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