At the Casper City Council pre-meeting on Tuesday, Alex Petrino, the co-chair of Casper's LGBTQ Advisory Committee offered updates on what the committee has accomplished since its inception in November of 2020.

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Petrino was joined by fellow committee members as she spoke to the council about some of the things they have achieved over the last two years.

"First and foremost, of course, is the non-discrimination ordinance," Petrino said. "And we would like to offer a big 'thank you' to council for putting in the work and supporting us, and also providing your expertise and leadership on that. We'd also like to thank, of course, the city attorney and city manager for that as well."

Petrino also mentioned the increased visibility of the non-discrimination resolution on the City of Casper website. She stated that multiple individuals and entities have applauded how easily accessible and visible the resolution is.

She did say that on the website, the link provided leads to the resolution and not the actual ordinance. So she asked the Council that that be changed.

Petrino also stated that the LGBTQ Advisory Committee has developed and maintained relationships with both the Natrona County School District and Casper College.

Additionally, Petrino said that the Advisory Committee has also continued to partner with Casper Pride, utilizing their feedback and guidance as well.

She said that they are working with Casper Pride to identity businesses and entities within Casper that are "warm and affirming" towards the LGBTQ community.

The committee also provided the Council with some information from the 2022 Municipality Equity Index and spoke about how Casper could increase their score, noting that an easy way to get 12 points on the index is to simply report hate crimes to the FBI.

The full Municipality Equity Index can be read at the Human Rights Campaign website.

Both Mayor Knell and Vice-Mayor Pacheco offered their gratitude to the committee for the work that they have done.

"I know this Council is very proactive in wanting to make Casper a safe place for everyone," Mayor Knell stated. "This Council, in particular, has been very good at taking up that fight. And so we appreciate all the hard work that you folks have done, too."

Pacheco agreed.

"At the beginning, when we first created the task force to create this advisory council several years ago, it was just a really cool opportunity to see that grow," he said. "And I think, beyond even, when we look at LGBTQ issues but beyond how we can look at humanity - I think, as Casper, we can really be that focal point. So I appreciate the work that you guys all do. I appreciate the work that I've seen you guys put into that and the conversations to bring it back to us, so we can have thought-provoking ideas and questions and things like that. And I appreciate [Councilor] Amber [Pollock] being a part of that as well."

To find out more about the LGBTQ Advisory Committee, you can visit the City of Casper website. 

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