REDWOOD CITY – Today, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to establish California’s first county or city commission focused on the needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community.
“This commission will further the cause of inclusiveness, create a resource to help inform future policy decisions affecting the LGBTQ community, and serve as a model for counties and cities in the State,” said Board President Dave Pine, the sponsor of the resolution to establish the commission.
In February of 2014, members of the San Mateo County LGBTQ community came together to request that the Board of Supervisors establish a San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission in order to improve the quality of life and well-being of LGBTQ County residents. In the ensuring months, at the direction of Supervisor Dave Pine, county staff worked with community representatives to develop guidelines for the commission and to define its potential goals.
"A perception exists that the LGBTQ folks in the Bay Area only flock to major urban cities like San Francisco or San Jose. But in reality, San Mateo County is home to a large number of LGBTQ citizens who currently lack a centralized body to express their needs to their local government,” said Jason Galisatus, past president of the Bay Area Youth Summit and the primary community activist who worked to establish the Commission. “I advocated to create this commission as it will provide a forum for developing collaborative solutions to the problems LGBTQ people face."
The Commission will have nine voting members appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve three-year terms. The Commission will meet at least six times a year, implement a yearly work plan, and provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors at least once a year.