This just in ....

From: Dardanell, Megan []
Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 3:57 PM
To: Sue Kerr
Cc: Executive
Subject: On behalf of Dan Onorato - Ordinance 4201-08


April 27, 2009


Ms. Kerr:


Thank you for contacting our office. County Executive asked that I respond on his behalf. I sincerely apologize for my delayed response.


The County Executive believes that we must always stand united in our belief that discrimination is wrong because it damages us as a society. In Allegheny County, we must not tolerate discrimination on the basis of gender, race, mental or physical disability, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, educational status ? or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Together, we will continue to improve the quality of life for our residents.


The County Executive is strongly supportive of passing inclusive non-discrimination legislation here in Allegheny County, as well as at the state level. He encourages our elected officials to do so without delay. All citizens, including members of the LGBT community, need to know that they are fully protected in employment, housing and public accommodations everywhere in the Commonwealth in order to make Allegheny County and Pennsylvania stronger and more economically competitive.


Thank you again for sharing your thoughts regarding this important issue.




Megan Dardanell

Office of the County Executive

All jesting aside, this is a very important moment.  The support of the Chief Executive is critical to the success of the County and State legislation.  He is clearly a leader and clearly has the ear of many Democrats whose support is wavering. 

It has been a big week.  The Mayor's office went public on the LGBT Advisory Council and now this.  While we should enjoy these steps forward, let us keep in mind that we should continue to press our advantage and address other critical issues.  It is important the County extend domestic partner benefits to their employees, especially with any future merger talks in progress.  We've already allowed employees of the City's 911 Response Center to lose these benefits; we cannot allow that to happen again.  We must also continue to push for the appointment of openly LGBTQ individuals to boards, authorities and commissions as well as the hiring of openly LGBTQ staffers in their offices.  There are miles to go before we sleep, so to speak.

Still, I admit I am pleasantly surprised and grateful to the folks I know have been working on this matter in other ways.  Good show.