New Britain Pride: State of Pride 2020

Community members at New Britain’s Second Annual Pride Flag Raising on June 8, 2020.
  1. Pride & Politics = A tri-partisan zoom roundtable discussion with Connecticut leaders (Erick Russell — CT Democrats Vice-Chair, Themis Klarides — House Republican Leader, Monte Frank — Past President of the Connecticut Bar Association & 2018 independent Lt. Governor Candidate) to discuss LGBTQ+ oriented [proposed] public policy.
  2. Teaming up with Five-Churches Brewing: Originally we planned to hold “Pride & Politics” at 5CB, however, due to COVID-19 we were unable to do so. However, we still supported this New Britain Business and promoted them during the event.
  3. Bin the Blood Ban — Encouraged all elected leaders (Congressional, State Executive, General Assembly, Political, and Municipal leaders [over 400+]) to sign a letter encouraging FDA Commissioner Hahn to eliminate the discriminatory blood ban against men who have sex with men.
  4. 2020 Census — Encouraged LGBTQ+ New Britain residents to complete the 2020 Census.
  5. Statewide LGBTQ+ Community Involvement — One of the positive aspects to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, is it has forced the “municipal pride groups” to come together and communicate with each other. Statewide leadership developed a survey and New Britain Pride participated and help to disseminate the survey.
  6. Gender Neutralization of City Ordinances — Collaborated with the Mayor’s office and advocated for the gender neutralization of our city ordinances.
  7. Human Rights Campaign Municipality Equality Index (HRC MEI) Score — Meeting with the Mayor regularly to work towards improving our City’s MEI Score, and reviewing our progress with the human rights and opportunities officer.
  8. Strengthening our relationship with Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) — Attending various LGBTQ+ events at CCSU (Rainbow Breakfast, the Pride Center, GSA meetings) and engaging in a dialogue with the University President to establish a Pride Crosswalk on campus.
  9. Pride Crosswalk — Before entering into a discussion with CCSU, we also spoke with the police chief, the Mayor, and Police Commission about having a Pride crosswalk downtown. The Police Commission rejected the proposal, despite over a dozen other municipalities across the Nation having similar crosswalks.
  10. Board of Education & Superintendent — Met with the Board of Education and Superintendent to discuss including LGBTQ+ history and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). These talks are ongoing.
  11. Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CTGLC) Involvement — Attended multiple CTGLC meetings, getting to know other members. We were selected as one of five members to question Governor Lamont on a Zoom breakfast meeting.
  12. Gay Panic Defense — Attended the “LGBTQ+ bill signing” where Governor Lamont signed three bills; including the outlawing of the Gay-Panic Defense in which we played a major role. Governor awarded us the ceremony bill which he signed.
  13. Stanley Black and Decker — Strengthened our relationship with Stanley Black and Decker, a corporation that consistently a perfect 100 on the HRC scorecard.
  14. Human Rights and Opportunities — Attend Human Rights and Opportunities Commission Meetings regularly and communicate with the city’s human rights and opportunities officer.
  15. Support other municipalities — Attended Middletown Pride 2019 and marched with other towns and elected officials. We were recognized for our work and contributions to the greater community.
  16. LGBTQ+ Roundtable with Lt. Governor — Attended a roundtable discussion with other groups and advocates, was able to engage with Lt. Governor on important issues for our community.
  17. Mayoral Debate — Submitted a question to the League of Women Voters 2019 Mayoral Debate. First-time LGBTQ+ rights were mentioned in a New Britain Mayoral Debate.
  18. 2020 Flag Raising — Over three dozen attendees and able to attract two State Executives to speak. This is the second time the Mayor has agreed to raise the Pride Flag in the entire history of the city.

An innovative, passionate, and outspoken leader who pursues change in public policy to make a difference!— Follow on twitter & facebook: @JohnBoardCT.