by Gary Axelbank
January 11, 2018
Energized by his 80-member LGBT Policy Task Force, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and his staff have put together an LGBTQ Needs Assessment Survey that will help drive policy and capital funding, as well as provide a roadmap for organizations serving the Bronx LGBT community.
They recommend that everyone who identifies as LGBTQ jump on the opportunity to have input on future action, activities, and infrastructure.
“It’s very hard to collect data on the LGBTQ population, which makes it hard to think about what services, not only from a government standpoint, but also from a business standpoint, can be offered to this part of the population,” said Paul Richter, Director of Health and Human Services, “and so we are taking the initiative into our own hands.”
Ms. Richter said that questions abound about discrimination against LGBTQ citizens in housing and business, and there is also concern that medical needs are not being appropriately addressed.
As far as capital improvements, currently four neighborhoods have been mentioned as possible locations for LGBTQ centers in the Bronx: in Community Board 7, the Hub, Crotona Park, and also as a ‘giveback’ to the Jerome Avenue Community in the rezoning project. Also, Bronx Congressional prepresentatives had advocated for a new LGBTQ center in a letter to the Mayor, noting that the Bronx is the only Borough that doesn’t currently have one.
“The Borough President is hoping the survey will help identify projects to which he can invest in the capital infrastructure for the LGBT community in the Bronx,” said Dirk McCall, Director of External Affairs. “He’s also hoping the survey can guide some of the efforts of organizations that are working on LGBTQ issues and help them see where there are needs and where there might be room for growth.”
“We want everyone rowing in the same direction together,” he said.
The deadline to submit completed surveys has been extended to January 22, 2018.
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