— The City of Los Angeles has dedicated $290,000 toward addressing disproportionately high rates of unemployment in the transgender community, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday.
Allocated by the Workforce Development Board, the funds will boost employment services that the TransLatin@ Coalition, in partnership with Special Services for Groups, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center offer to transgender Angelenos and LGBT homeless youth. They will also be used to conduct a needs assessment to guide efforts by the Economic and Workforce Development Department to connect trans Angelenos to training, employment, and career opportunities.
“Opportunity is for everyone in Los Angeles — no matter who they are or how they identify,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This is a city built on diversity and inclusiveness, and this investment puts our values into action. Like everyone else, transgender Angelenos have limitless potential, and deserve every chance to find employment, and succeed in the workplace.”
National data on the U.S. transgender population underscores the urgent need for support by city governments. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the unemployment rate for trans Americans is twice that of the general population, and nearly four times higher for transgender people of color. When unemployed, transgender people become twice as likely to become homeless or turn to street-based economies (e.g. sex work, selling drugs), 85% more likely to become incarcerated, and twice as likely to become infected with HIV.
“This funding will provide training and networking opportunities for the transgender and gender non-conforming community that contribute to Los Angeles having a more diverse, talented, and productive workforce,” said Charles Woo, Chair of the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board.
The funding allocation comes at the close of Transgender Awareness Month, and rounds out a year of bold efforts by Mayor Garcetti to amplify transgender voices and widen the circle of opportunity.
In March, Los Angeles became the nation’s largest city to establish a permanent council of transgender leaders. The Transgender Advisory Council advises Mayor Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, City departments and other officials on projects and policies that address critical issues facing the trans community — including economic development, public safety, accessibility, and public awareness.
Mayor Garcetti has also signed a non-essential travel ban to North Carolina after the state government enacted a discriminatory bathroom policy, and joined Equality California to launch “Transform California — a statewide public awareness campaign that seeks to increase acceptance and reduce stigma of transgender Californians. And in June, the Mayor hosted L.A.’s second transgender job fair, to provide networking opportunities and career advice to trans Angelenos while promoting diversity and tolerance in the workplace.