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LGBTQIA+ Commissioners

About

The Howard County LGBTQ+ Workgroup was established on November 1, 2019. County Executive Calvin Ball signed an Executive Order to create an LGBTQ+ (Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+) Workgroup to promote the shared community values of diversity and civility. The Workgroup partnered with county agencies non-profit organizations, and other community groups to facilitate an environment of inclusion, communication, understanding, and respect throughout Howard County.

LGBTQ+ Workgroup held quarterly meetings that were open to the public and provided a yearly report to the County Executive that addressed and identified current and emerging issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ Workgroup terminated on April 1, 2021.

In October 2022 the County Executive and the County Council voted to establish the LGBTQIA+ Commission to continue the much needed work of equity, inclusion, communication, understanding, and respect for all gender and sexual identities. The purpose of this Commission is to advance policy and systemic change for all persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, Non-binary, and who identify in other capacities along the LGBTQIA+ Spectrum. The Commission is made up of 17 voting members and will seek out 2 non-voting student members in the new year. They meet bi-monthly beginning on January 12, 2023.

Commission Information
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Commissioners
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Brian Bailey - Term Expires: 10/31/2023

Ash Baker - Term Expires: 10/31/2023

Sue Bryant - Term Expires: 10/31/2024

Melissa Curtis - Ex-Officio: Howard Community College

Danielle DuPuis - Ex-Officio: Howard County Public School System

Bob Ford - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

Kimberly Gillette - Term Expires: 10/31/2024

Juls Gilliam - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

Morgan Gingles - Term Expires: 10/31/2023

Chris Heft - Term Expires: 10/31/2024

Anna Katz - Term Expires: 10/31/2023

Beck Liberatore - Term Expires: 10/31/2023

Faye Liberatore - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

Kristi Sica - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

Adrienne Thomas - Term Expires: 10/31/2024

Saad Usmani - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

Becki Vivrette - Term Expires: 10/31/2025

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LGBTQIA+ Commission Staff
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Todd Gives, Executive Secretary
Claudia M. Allen, Recording Secretary
Joanna Chen, Recording Secretary 

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Meeting Schedule
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The LGBTQIA+ Commission will meet on the 2nd Thursday bi-monthly at 6:30 p.m. at 9820 Patuxent Woods Dr., Columbia, MD 21046.

January 12, 2023

March 9, 2023

May 11, 2023

July 13, 2023

September 14, 2023

November 9, 2023

Meeting Agendas & Minutes
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2023
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November 9, 2023

  • Agenda
  • Minutes

September 14, 2023

  • Agenda
  • Minutes

July 13, 2023

  • Agenda
  • Minutes

May 11, 2023

  • Agenda
  • Minutes

March 9, 2023

  • Agenda
  • Minutes

January 12, 2023

Workgroup Information
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LGBTQIA+ Press Conference
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June 22, 2022
Howard County Executive Ball Proposes County’s First Permanent LGBTQIA+ Commission to Advance Equity and Inclusion.



 

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Calvin Ball at podium

 

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Yolanda speaks
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Commissioners

 

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Group shot
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Love is Love

The new Commission would follow the work of an LGBTQ Workgroup launched in 2019, by County Executive Ball, that provided recommendations on best practices and improvements to support the LGBTQ community. Executive Ball unveiled the plan, which will require the approval of the Howard County Council.

“We will always support and affirm our LGBTQ community and need to take action in the face of increased attacks on gay and transgender equality across the country,” said Ball. “Howard County can be a beacon and a model on how to uplift all our residents, and how to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone.” 

 Building off the work and recommendations already made by the LGBTQ Workgroup, the commission will be made up of at least13 members who are from the gay and transgender community or are representatives of regional LGBTQ organizations.  

The commission will have the following responsibilities: 

  • Support efforts to organize, educate, and mobilize the LGBTQIA+ community through coalition building and coordination with allied individuals, groups, and organizations; 
  • Identify best practices to affirm members of the gay and transgender community; 
  • Recommend initiatives to support LGBTQIA+ families and children; and 
  • Advise the County on policy and programs that impact our gay and transgender community, and on how to improve outcomes for underserved and at-risk members of the LGBTQIA+ population. 
  • Support, plan, and execute events, like PRIDE, to celebrate and affirm the community. 

The commission will also submit an annual report to the County Council and County Executive. Legislation for the commission is expected to be filed in July.  

OHRE Administrator Yolanda F. Sonnier, served as the emcee. There were inspiring remarks from Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball; the Honorable Byron E. McFarlane, Register of Wills; Bob Ford, a Member of Howard County's Human Rights Commission & a former member of the LGBTQ+ Workgroup; Jumel Howard Chapter President of the PFLAG Columbia-Howard County, MD and a former member of the LGBTQ+ Workgroup and community member, Becki Weiss Vivertte.

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Workgroup Members
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Maya Carey, HopeWorks of Howard County Max Crownover, PFLAG Columbia-Howard Debb Dunn, Chase Brexton
Robert Fontaine, Community Member Robert Ford, Human Rights Commission Dr. Juls Gilliam, Community Member
Jumel Howard, PFLAG Columbia-Howard County Andrew Kanicki, Community Member
Akbi Khan, Community Member
Vanita Leatherwood, HopeWorks of Howard County
Faye M. Liberatore, Community Member

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Howard County Government Staff
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Yolanda F. Sonnier, OHRE Administrator
Claud OHRE Outreach Supervisor
Kimberly Pruim, Director of Constituent Services and Community Partnerships

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