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EI Press Release

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 2, 2020

EQUALITY ILLINOIS APPLAUDS PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION’S SUCCESS IN DIVERSIFYING REPRESENTATION ON STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
While there is more work to do regarding representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders, Illinois’ State Boards and Commissions are moving closer to reflecting the vibrant diversity of our state

CHICAGO – Equality Illinois applauds the Pritzker Administration’s efforts in FY20 to appoint more LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders to state boards and commissions. On Thursday, the Governor’s Office released the Administration’s FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report that details the demographic data of gubernatorial appointments to state boards and commissions, including the voluntarily disclosed LGBTQ identities of appointees.

“We thank Gov. Pritzker and his Administration for their work to ensure our state boards and commissions better reflect the diversity of the people and communities they serve,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “While there is more work to do to ensure representation of LGBTQ, women, and BIPOC leaders in public service, the governor’s new report shows the results of the Administration’s diligence and partnership with community organizations like Equality Illinois. This report reflects the governor’s ongoing commitment to making sure Illinois is a state where all people are inspired to lend their talents to public service.”

According to the FY20 report, Governor Pritzker has nearly quadrupled the appointment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) people to state boards and commissions compared to appointments made in FY19.

Also, unlike in previous years, appointees in FY20 were able to self-report if they are trans; if they are asexual, pansexual, or queer for their sexual orientation; and if they are intersex or non-binary/genderqueer for their gender. The application page is located here.

“When LGBTQ people are visible, we are powerful. As an organization that believes strongly in LGBTQ representation in roles of civic leadership, we are excited to see more and more out LGBTQ people pursuing public service,” said Myles Brady Davis, Press Secretary and Director of Communications at Equality Illinois. “Representation at tables of power matters when it comes to passing inclusive policies and for changing hearts and minds by sharing our stories.”

The data on LGBTQ identity in the Boards and Commissions Act Report is collected because of the LGBTQ Public Service Law (Public Act 100-0234), an initiative of Equality Illinois that was sponsored by State Sen. Scott Bennett (Champaign) and Rep. Will Guzzardi (Chicago) in 2017. The measure allows individuals who apply to serve on boards and commissions under the authority of the governor to voluntarily identify as LGBTQ. Prior law requires applicants to state board or commissions to self-identify their gender, disability status, and ethnicity. All of this data must be published annually in a report to the General Assembly of the demographic data of individuals who apply for boards and commissions and for those who are appointed. The state website appointments.illinois.gov contains information about the boards and commissions and previous annual reports of the demographic data of the appointees.

Here are some key takeaways from the FY20 Boards and Commissions Act Report:

Regarding sexual orientation:

  • 3.7% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as LGBQ (up from 1% in FY19).
  • 4% of the applicants in FY20 identified as LGBQ (roughly the same as in FY19).
  • Also, FY20 appointees who declined to state or did not respond to the inquiry about their sexual orientation dropped significantly compared to FY19 (30% in FY20 but 52% in FY19). This could mean more appointees are comfortable living authentically and publicly.

Regarding gender identity (which were new questions added in FY20):

  • 1.17% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as genderqueer or non-binary.
  • 1.36% of the governor’s appointees in FY 20 identified as trans.
  • The result is that 0.5% of those currently serving identified as trans and 0.4% identify as genderqueer or non-binary.

More highlights from the FY20 report:

  • The percent of Black, indigenous, and people of color appointees by the governor in FY20 was 37.6% (up from 32.8% in FY19).​​​
  • The percent of appointments who identified as women in FY20 was 48.3% (up from 39.4% in FY19).

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