City sees a significant increase in Municipal Equality Index score and names first LGBTQ+ Liaison
News Release from Office of the Mayor, Nov 17, 2023
HONOLULU – Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced today the City and County of Honolulu has achieved its highest-ever score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Municipal Equality Index (MEI), earning 89 out of a possible 100 points.
“We were appalled to learn of the city’s score of 60 when we came into office. Consequently, I am incredibly proud of our progress in the last three years to promote equality and inclusivity,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “This score reflects our ongoing commitment to creating a more just and welcoming community for all residents. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our city’s residents, advocates, and leaders. We will continue to strive for a brighter, more inclusive future for everyone who calls Honolulu home, and I expect that in next year’s survey, we will reach a perfect score.”
The Human Rights Campaign serves as the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, and their MEI survey, now in its 12th year evaluates the inclusivity laws, policies, and services pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community residing and working within municipalities.
The City’s previous high was in 2014, scoring a 72. The Index used 49 different criteria to rate 506 cities across the country. The average score nationally jumped to an all-time high of 71, up three points from 2022 and marking the sixth consecutive year of national average increases.
Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement & leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Honolulu achieved additional points in this year’s rankings for having transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, naming a 3-person LGBTQ+ Liaison Task Force in the Honolulu Police Department, and having a youth bullying prevention policy for City services.
>>> View Honolulu scorecard here. <<<
The full Municipality Equality Index can be found at http://www.hrc.org/mei.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi also designated Deputy Managing Director Krishna Jayaram as the City’s LGBTQ+ Liaison, the first of its kind. Jayaram plays a critical role in the City’s day-to-day operations and long-term initiatives.
Krishna Jayaram, Deputy Managing Director
“I am proud to be given this honor and opportunity,” Jayaram said. “I pledge to serve, support, and listen to the needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Jayaram is tasked with the following responsibilities:
Continue to nurture relationships with LGBTQ+ community organizations
Continue to seek and recruit members of the LGBTQ+ community for City boards and commissions
Work with the Department of Human Resources to promote diversity, equity, and inclusivity within the City workforce
Be responsible for elevating/addressing LGBTQ+ concerns with appropriate City personnel
For more information on the City and County’s initiatives, contact Deputy Managing Director Krishna Jayaram at email@example.com.
11/08/23 Mayor Blangiardi names first LGBTQ+ Liaison for the City and County of Honolulu