Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón on Monday, April 25, announced the creation of the office’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, which will advise the DA’s Office on policies, priority issues, and best practices related to LGBTQ+ and the criminal justice system.
“The contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people have made to society make up a rich part of U.S. history. Sadly, LGBTQ+ people have long been subjected to public hostility, discrimination, and violence,” Gascón said in a news release. “This new Advisory Board creates a precedent for this office to truly listen and learn from the LGBTQ+ community and inform my policies.”
The Advisory Board will meet regularly, seek input from the greater community, and provide regular feedback on improvements to better serve LGBTQ+ residents and all those who come into contact with the DA’s office, as well as improve diversity and inclusion within the office itself, Gascón said.
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Board members include Allison Blaylock, president of the OUTreach Center in Lancaster.
Other board members are:
- Bamby Salcedo, CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, which advocates for and addresses the issues of transgender Latinas throughout the United States.
- Vincent Jones, CEO of The Citizen Jones Companies, a collection of socially minded businesses created with the spirit of doing good, having fun and helping others do the same.
- Chela Demuir, founder of the “TransGiving Dinner,” a dinner with all the traditional trimmings of a holiday meal that is now celebrated in various states across the country.
- Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula, producer of the Latino LGBTQ+ Pride Festival and co-founder of the HONOR Political Action Committee and the Latino Equality Alliance.
- Joey Hernández, director of Policy and Community Building Department at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
- Skylar Myers, a victims rights advocate for the Anti-Violence Project at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
- Brad Sears, Associate Dean of Public Interest Law at UCLA Law, who has published a number of research studies, primarily on discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV.
- Stella Ursua, board president/chair at the LGBTQ+ Center Long Beach and programs & partnerships manager of GRID Alternatives-Greater Los Angeles.
[Information via news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.]