The City of St. Petersburg announced today that it has scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for the ninth year in a row. The MEI is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy, and services, and this score serves as recognition of the work done by the city to promote inclusivity at all levels.
The 2022 MEI evaluated more than 500 cities across the country, researching how inclusive cities’ laws, policies, and services are of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. And of course, those city policies and services are reflective of the community in St. Pete itself, one that has for years shone as a beacon of inclusivity, warmth, and hospitality for all.
St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch offered a message of pride after receiving news of the perfect score, while also emphasizing that much work remains to be done. He credited the Human Rights Campaign for holding cities accountable, and he thanked the city’s LGBTQ Liaison Jim Nixon for working to ensure St. Pete maintains that high standard of equality.
St. Pete has earned perfect marks every year since 2014
“In my first year as mayor, I am proud to be leading a city where intentional inclusivity guides our work,” Welch said. “After nine years of a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index, it could be easy for St. Petersburg to become complacent. Rather, it is motivation for the City to explore more ways in which our LGBTQ+ community can be supported, promoted and valued.”
“St. Petersburg works hard to preserve the inclusive, welcoming city we have become over the last nine years with a perfect score,” Nixon said. “Under the leadership of Mayor Welch, our city continues to make inclusivity and equity part of this administration’s principles. In the face of Anti-LGBTQ legislation, cities must continue to work towards achieving these benchmarks provided through the HRC Municipal Equality Index. Even if municipalities do not reach 100, this road map of municipal policies and outreach has proven to make Florida cities more inclusive and equitable and have improved the quality of life for all its citizens.”
St. Pete’s commitment to inclusion, from a governmental standpoint, goes back more than 20 years, when the City began taking official steps to foster and grow an equitable community. As a result, St. Pete has earned a perfect MEI score every year since 2014. More information on the City’s commitment to inclusions can be found at stpete.org/lgbt.