New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn revealed her plan for her four-year term if she is elected, regarding New York’s LGBT community.
“I know first-hand the challenges New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community faces,” Quinn, currently serving as New York’s City Council Speaker, said in a press release.
“Make no mistake, we have seen tremendous progress in New York and across the country this week, but we still have a long way to go in providing the support services for a community that is still disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS and whose youth still face extreme pressures when they come out. We also see that despite the progress we made in gaining acceptance, hate crimes are still an ugly and real part of our lives and that must stop.”
Quinn’s proposal details five major initiatives. The first two are establishing a major office of HIV/AIDS Policy and building New York City’s first LGBT Senior Housing Community.
By aiming to make the city a national leader in HIV/AIDS policy, Quinn hopes to provide citywide services in treatment and prevention for patients across all of New York’s programs and agencies. The new initiative will lead to agencies and programs focusing on poverty, policing, mental health, aging, housing, education and corrections.
Quinn hopes to establish the first LGBT Senior Housing Community as affordable, available and an institute that will bestow essential services. The aforementioned services include social and cultural programs, income security, economic case management, and connecting seniors with their benefits.
Her initiative states that “Quinn will also work to promote, facilitate and fund training for the city’s existing senior housing facilities, to make all senior housing more LGBT friendly.”
Quinn’s third initiative for New York’s LGBT community would be to decrease LGBT homeless youth. According to her press release, “20% of New York City’s homeless LGBT youth population becomes infected with HIV.” She vows to fund shelter beds and abolish the waiting list so the attention will be on their education and learning trade skills, as well as ensuring access to vital health services.
Quinn’s fourth initiative focuses on “effectively serving” New York’s LGBT community through its city agencies.
“Currently, many city surveys don’t include options for New Yorkers to indicate sexual orientation or gender identity, thereby not providing accurate data on service delivery and effectiveness for a large New York City demographic,” said Quinn.
“As Mayor, Quinn will require city surveys and other data collection tools to include appropriate categories for tracking LGBT and transgender New Yorkers, who may have very distinct health and other needs.”
With New York currently witnessing a resurgence of LGBT-related hate crimes, Quinn’s last initiative is “redoubling efforts” to fight LGBT hate crimes as well as promoting tolerance. To achieve success, she plans to create a “regular and sustained law enforcement strategy for high-target neighborhoods” with New York’s Police Department.
“[Quinn] will also direct the Schools Chancellor to strengthen tolerance curriculum throughout the public school system,” according to her press release. “And she will ensure that community anti-violence organizations have the resources they need to effectively combat hate crimes.”
If elected, Quinn would be the first female as well as the first openly gay major of New York. Quinn’s most serious competition is mayoral candidate Anthony Wiener, who recently received criticism regarding his lack of response to a voter’s use of a homophobic slur in regards to Quinn.