Post submitted by Trevor Chandler, former HRC Associate Regional Field Director
Last night in Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, the Anchorage Assembly voted 9-2 in support of a strong and inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that protects LGBT citizens in employment, housing and public accommodations.
Assembly Member Bill Evans initially introduced the bill. After improving upon a compromise version with Assembly Member Patrick Flynn, an ordinance was crafted that has the full support of the LGBT community. Given how much of Alaska’s population is based in Anchorage, almost half the state is now protected under this ordinance.
HRC has been on the ground in Anchorage for weeks working with local and state partners to get a strong and fully inclusive ordinance through the Assembly. Working hand-in-hand with our friends at Identity, Inc., the statewide LGBT organization, Alaskans Together for Equality, ACLU of Alaska, Pride Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Christians for Equality and the AK AFLCIO, the coalition was able to work with our allies in the Assembly and with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to make this historic day happen.
In addition to our municipal and legal teams providing their expertise during the drafting and amendment process, I’ve been on the ground to provide political support to assist in organizing the coalition, provide messaging training, as well as logistical support throughout the public hearing and amendment process.
It’s been incredible to work with such committed organizations and activists here in Anchorage. Together, a group of dedicated people and organizations pooled their knowledge and talents to make this happen so quickly after Mayor Berkowitz was elected just a few months ago.
We now move forward to fully implement, educate and defend the ordinance.
HRC's Municipal Equality Index (MEI) examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work there. Learn more at HRC.org/MEI.