Mayor Julián Castro has appointed an LGBT Liaison as a way to reach out to San Antonio’s gay, lesbian and transgendered community on social issues when city council and government is concerned.
Many major cities in the U.S. like New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia have a liaison to the gay and lesbian community installed in either their local government or police departments.
The San Antonio Police Department already has a LGBT liaison, and now there is one in City Hall.
Mayor Castro appointed his senior policy advisor, Adam Greenup, as the Gay and Lesbian Liaison to the city and city council. Castro said Greenup’s new job is to function as a way to ensure all San Antonio residents are heard.
“We need a city government that works for everybody and San Antonio is a cosmopolitan city,” Castro said. “It’s a city where there are no second class citizens so this is part of the effort to ensure that everyone is heard.”
With the position, Greenup will be a direct point of contact for the gay community and its supporting organizations.
“My role as a liaison is to ensure that that collaborative spirit is taking place and that the city is listening to the community,” Greenup said.
He said some of the issues on the radar are finding ways of assisting the up-and-coming Pride Center and adding LGBT members of the community to the city’s non-discrimination policies.
“We want to be a bridge to the community, ensuring that the needs of the LGBT community are met by the city,” He added.
Before becoming senior policy advisor, Greenup worked in the District 1 council offices under Mary Alice Cisneros.
The Human Rights Campaign – an organization focusing on equality – assess a Municipal Equality Index determining which cities incorporate gay and lesbian issues into its law an policies. By adding Greenup as a liaison, San Antonio upped its ranking in the list.
The appointed received a positive response from organizations in the gay community. Chad Reuman, the area representative for the Human Rights Campaign in San Antonio, called Castro appointment of liaison a major step in the right direction
“It will, I think, bring so much more to the city as far as our policies and our regulations and the way that the LGBT community is treated,” he said, adding that there is still more than can be done to increase the city’s equality standards.
The budding Pride Center also hailed Greenup’s new position.
“Supporting the community comes in a multitude of ways and this is important to just gain some recognition from our city leaders,” said Richard Farias, the Chair of the board for Pride Center San Antonio. “First off, that the city is recognizing that there is an LGBT community and more importantly that the city is willing to have open discussion by having a liaison so that there is dialog that goes on.”