LOCAL NEWS: Republican City Councilman Proposes Bill to Aid LGBT Small Businesses

Plus: A GALAEI board member will serve as interim director, and LGBT meetings and conventions are expected to generate $21.9 million in economic impact.

City Council Entrance

Councilman David Oh proposed a bill that will consider LGBT companies as another category of disadvantaged business enterprises to help give them a better shot at landing city contracts.

Republican Councilman David Oh introduced Bill 160152 last week as a method of “finding ways to expand access and encourage local small business owners of all minority groups to apply to be prioritized for city contracts.” With the LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill being blocked by Republicans at the state level despite increasing public support, there is currently no guarantee that local LGBT businesses will be able to receive proper consideration for city contracts. The bill would also expand protection to those who have experienced “religious prejudice.” Nationally, progress for LGBT businesses and owners has not matched the rapid policy advancements for their individual rights.

GALAEI board member Miguel Andrade steps down to become interim director.

Andrade, who has been vice president of the board for the social justice organization, will serve as the group’s interim director after previous executive director Elicia Gonzales announced on Friday that she was leaving after six years. “While a transition of any kind is never easy,” Andrade said in a statement, “I intend to make sure that the needs and voices of our city’s Latin@ LGBTQ community are always in the forefront.” The search for a permanent executive director has begun, with the interview process slated to be conducted over the next three months. All interested in the position can email GALAEI here.

Upcoming LGBTQ meetings and conventions are estimated to bring in $21.9 million in economic impact for the city.

PHLDiversity, a division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau,, recently announced that bookings of LGBTQ events could bring $21.9 million to Philadelphia. With 14 LGBTQ conventions currently booked for this and future years, these ventures’ financial boost will double that of the past two years. “This is beyond unprecedented, but a strong sign of how inclusive our city is continuing to be,” said PHLDiversity executive director Greg DeShields during a luncheon on Monday. One of the standout LGBTQ conventions responsible for the huge projection is The National Conference for LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the nation’s largest convention of LGBT activists, which will be in the city from January 17 through 21, 2017.