Transgender Issues Work Group
The City of Minneapolis’ Transgender Issues Work Group was established in March 2014 to look at issues facing the Transgender community. The group’s goal is to examine issues, engage the broader community, and make policy recommendations for City government that will affect the lives of Transgender residents of Minneapolis. The work group includes participants from City departments, City Council offices, the Mayor’s office, and the community. The group is taking a systematic approach to examine issues and develop policy recommendations that could be adopted by the City. Some of the areas of focus may include:
- Police Relations
Homelessness, reporting, policies, interactions with police, etc.
Opportunities, workplace culture, discrimination, benefits, etc.
Access, information, care, options, etc.
- Civic Participation
Voting, neighborhood groups, boards & commissions, public activities, etc.
- Public Spaces
Transportation, bathrooms, parks, etc.
Transgender Issues Work Group participants include representatives from:
- Mayor’s office
- City Council Offices
- City Departments:
- Human Resources
- City Attorney’s Office
- Police Department
- Civil Rights
- Community Planning and Economic Development
- OutFront Minnesota
The progress so far
In the Transgender Issues Work Group’s first nine months, the City and its partners have made progress in a number of areas, including:
- Gender-neutral restrooms.In September, the City approved changes to its rules around single-user restrooms in businesses across the city. The new rules remove unneeded restrictions for these restrooms, which will improve access for everyone, but will especially make things easier for transgender people, people with children, and people with personal care assistants. Until now, the state building code and City ordinance required that most single-user restrooms be designated as either a men’s room or a women’s room. The state’s 2015 building code will allow for family/assisted-use facilities without designation of gender, and the ordinance changes adopted by the City also make these changes within Minneapolis. This will allow businesses with single-user restrooms to make them gender neutral. As part of this change, the City Council also approved a resolution that strongly encourages businesses, educational facilities, and other buildings within Minneapolis that offer single-user restrooms to employees or the public to provide those facilities as gender-neutral restrooms wherever possible.
- Police department training.The Minneapolis Police Department’s Leadership and Organizational Development Division is examining potential trainings for police officers that will improve the department’s relationship with the transgender community. Members of the transgender community will be involved in presenting any training that’s developed through this work.
- Police policies.The police department is also actively studying policing best practices that relate to transgender people. From that research, the department will consider whether policy additions or changes might make a positive difference in its interactions with the community.
- Employment services to youth. City of Minneapolis Employment and Training is looking into how Minneapolis Youth Works (the City’s year round youth program) could support transgender youth in paid work experience through one of our contracted partner agencies. The division is also exploring how this type of programming, not just paid internships, could become a more permanent structure or resource for transgender youth with barriers to education and employment.
- “Know Your Rights” trainings. The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, as a part of its outreach and engagement efforts, is actively seeking to deter discriminatory acts from employers by providing Know Your Rights Trainings. The trainings will include an overview of City, state, and federal anti-discrimination laws as well as newly passed legislation and federal guidelines that relate to the LGBT and Trans community. In addition, the training will cover the core components of proving discrimination as well as best practices in how to respond to a complaint of discrimination.
- City Human Resources efforts. The City’s Human Resources Department is reviewing its orientation materials for new hires to ensure that the needs of transgender employees are taken into account in those materials.
- Work group presentation, Feb. 2014
- Work group focus group invitation, April 2014
- Transgender Community Focus Group Notes, April 2014
Last updated Oct 14, 2014