Philadelphia – Today, the city announced the membership for the Commission on LGBT Affairs, a 23-member body that will advise the Mayor on policies that support the lives of LGBT individuals in the city and support and amplify the work of the Office of LGBT Affairs.

“Philadelphia values and promotes diversity and the contributions of our LGBT community,” said Mayor Kenney.  “I appreciate the commitment of these stellar individuals to serve on the LGBT Commission, and I believe the city will benefit from their rich and varied perspectives.”

Following a broad outreach effort, the commission was selected through a rigorous application and review process led by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, the Office of LGBT Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office.  The members reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, which includes transgender, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer communities, as well as diversity in ethnicity, religion, race, gender, disability, profession, citizenship status, socioeconomic status, geography, housing status and age.

Key activities of the Commission will include advising the Kenney administration on ways to increase LGBT community access to government resources and sharing information with various LGBT communities about relevant government efforts.   Other functions include assisting the Office of LGBT Affairs in bringing vital LGBT community needs to the attention of all relevant city agencies and helping those agencies to develop plans addressing those needs.  The commission will also connect regularly with LGBT organizations and individuals outside the Commission or city government.

“I am overjoyed and honored to work with the newly appointed Commission on LGBT Affairs. These 23 individuals represent some of the greatest, most dynamic minds of our community and I am grateful for their steadfast commitment to Philadelphia’s LGBTQ population,” said Amber Hikes, newly-appointed LGBT Affairs Director.  “I look forward to serving with this vibrant team as we address the needs of our community and elevate the voices of our most underserved community members.”

Members of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs are listed below:

  • Deja Lynn Alvarez, Trans Activist and Director, LGBTQ Home for Hope
  • Chris Bartlett, Executive Director, William Way LGBT Community Center
  • Kimberley Brown-Flint, Education Administrator, WWCC board member
  • Leonore Carpenter, LGBTQ civil rights attorney and Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • Sharron Cooks, Owner & CEO Making Our Lives Easier LLC, Social Justice Advocate, Equality Pennsylvania Board Member
  • Francisco Cortes, Education Administrator, Youth Program Coordinator Galaei, Juntos board member
  • Amanda Dougherty, Associate Attorney Reiff and Bily, Philadelphia Trial Attorneys, Longtime advocate for the LGBT community.
  • Jason D. Evans, Community Activist, Board Member Philly AIDS Thrift
  • Heath Fogg Davis, Professor of Political Science, Temple University, Volunteer TMAN (Trans Masculine Advocacy Network)
  • Soheila ‘Gigi’ Nikpour, Community Legal Services Aging & Disabilities Unit, LGBT Sports/Actively Assists Lesbian Asylum seekers
  • Kati ‘Jazz’ Gray-Sadler, President/Producer Gray-Sadler, Inc., LesBe Real Radio/Media & Fifty Shades of Purple Against Bullying
  • Kae Greenberg, Assistant Defender, Defenders Association of Philadelphia
  • Stephanie Haynes, Executive Director, Philadelphia Family Pride
  • Deborah Johnson, Visitor Services Manager, African America Museum of Philadelphia
  • Jeffrey Jordan, Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church
  • Malcolm Kenyatta, Member Engagement Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce
  • Anthony Leon, Youth Education Manager, Mazzoni Center
  • Barrett Marshall, Attorney/LGBTQ legal services expert
  • Libby Peters,  Assistant Rowing Coach, University of Pennsylvania Women’s Rowing Program
  • Bianca Pichardo, Latinx Activist, Galaei Board member
  • Raquel E. Saraswati, Muslim activist/writer, expert on gender based violence
  • Evan Urbania, Chief Executive Officer, Chatterblast Media, Founding Board Member & former President of the Independence Business Alliance
  • Yoshiaki Yamasaki, Executive Director, The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium dba World Health Care infrastructures