Over the coming two months, the LGBTQI Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights is gathering information through surveys, interviews and group meetings on the state of the LGBTQI community in Sonoma County. Comprised of Commissioners Kevin Jones (2nd District), Christopher Mahurin (3rd District) and Ramon Meraz (5th District), and supported by an Advisory Committee of several dozen community members, the LGBTQI Task Force is enlisting the assistance of people from all segments of the LGBTQI community and the agencies and organizations that serve them.
When asked about the need for this survey, Commissioner Jones responded, “We live in the top rated state in the United States for LGBTQI inclusive laws and policies – and in a county that is largely inclusive of our community. Inclusive policies, however, do not automatically translate into an inclusive experience for everyone in all circumstances. That is especially true for LGBTQI people who find themselves isolated, dependent on services, and/or living at the margins – our youth, elderly, shelterless, neighbors living with disabilities and others whose LGBTQI status makes more challenging safe access to the resources they need. We hear stories about incidents of discrimination, bullying, lack of respect. Unfortunately, we do not collect data on sexual orientation or gender identity, so it is difficult to distinguish those stories of discrimination from systemic issues that needs our attention. This survey is a first step in trying to understand the state of human rights in Sonoma County for LGBTQI people – and where we need to improve access to inclusive resources.”
The LGBTQI Task Force will be requesting the participation of as many people as possible in order to develop recommendations for making Sonoma County truly inclusive for everyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or intersex. The more people who complete the survey, the better information we will have to make recommendations that are meaningful and will serve the entire community.
The survey is available in English and Spanish at the following links: