City of Yonkers Attains Perfect Score for Third Consecutive Year on Municipal Equality Index
YONKERS, NY – October 19, 2017 – The Human Rights Commission Foundation, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, this week released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, scoring the City of Yonkers with a perfect 100. Yonkers was one of four cities in New York to receive a perfect score and one of 68 nationally.
“Our administration works tirelessly toward full equality amongst our residents and employees,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “We are proud to continually be part of the growing list of communities with a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index. Our rating reflects diversity as Yonkers’ greatest strength and the respect we have for one another, regardless of who you love.”
Yonkers was specifically recognized for its non-discrimination laws; transgender-inclusive insurance coverage; elected gay officials, liaison from the police department, as well as the Mayor Spano’s LGBTQ Advisory Board established in 2014.
Michael Sabatino, Yonkers City Council Minority Leader stated, “I am proud to know that Yonkers was one of 68 cities nationwide to score a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index. We can attribute this to the hard work of Mayor Spano’s administration and the Mayor’s LGBTQ advisory board. Yonkers is truly a diverse city where our residents are respected and embraced regardless of their ethnicity, religion or their sexual orientation. We promote a safe environment that allows everyone to co-exist and creates an atmosphere that allows all to contribute to the betterment of the City of Yonkers. Congratulations to all.”
Angelique Piwinski Co-Chair of Mayor Spano’s LQBTQ Advisory Board commented, “This is a wonderful continuing validation that not only is Yonkers an incredibly diverse city, but that we welcome and embrace all people here in the true spirit of inclusion."
Anthony Nicodemo Co-Chair of Mayor Spano’s LGBTQ Advisory Board said, “Yonkers has truly embraced the spirit of inclusion. From Gay Straight Alliances in high schools to socials for members of the LGBT Community, the City has done a remarkable job using its diversity as its strongest asset. It is a wonderful place for members of the LGBT community to live, work and play.”
The 2017 MEI reveals that cities across the nation are not waiting for their states to extend vital protections to the LGBTQ community, nor are they intimidated by some state elected officials threatening to deny cities the ability to extend fully-inclusive protections to their residents and workers. This year, 68 cities earned perfect scores for advancing fully-inclusive policies and practices -- up from 60 in 2016 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI -- at a time when the nation has been seeing a record number of anti-LGBTQ measures proposed by state elected officials bent on promoting discrimination.