Comptroller Issues User-Friendlier LGBT Guide
BY PAUL SCHINDLER | Pride Month has traditionally been the time when the Office of the New York City Comptroller issues an updated directory of local LGBT resources. For years, this guide was issued in printed form, and over time was supplemented by an online version.
This year, Comptroller Scott Stringer has introduced several new features likely to increase its utility for city residents. In a directory that encompasses descriptions, resources, and contact information for hundreds of organizations, enhancing ease of use is likely to be particularly important for LGBT New Yorkers uncertain about exactly what group can best serve their needs –– often the same people most in need of immediate assistance.
The new directory, available in both interactive and pdf form online, organizes and indexes community resources according to both the types of services they provide and the borough where they are located. Categories of services include legal, HIV/ AIDS, general health and wellness, and anti-violence resources, and also organizations addressing the specific needs of youth, seniors, communities of color, and transgender New Yorkers.
The index also breaks out services located in the four boroughs outside Manhattan, and maps of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island pinpoint their specific locations.
“New York City is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world, with over 300 LGBTQ-oriented service providers located throughout the five boroughs,” Stringer said, in a statement accompanying release of the new directory. “We have revamped the LGBTQ guide to make it even more easy to use and comprehensive. I am proud to take the lead in providing this extensive listing of resources so that members of the LGBTQ community can more easily connect and find vital services across the city.”
Stringer, who served two terms as Manhattan borough president and 13 years in the State Assembly prior to his election last year as city comptroller, has a long record of working with the LGBT community. Earlier this year, in tandem with State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, he called on corporate sponsors of the Winter Olympics in Sochi to speak up against Russia’s campaign of harassment and criminalization of its LGBT community.
With fiscal oversight of one of the nation’s largest pension systems, the comptroller’s office has for several decades played a leading role in shareholder activism aimed at improving workplace fairness for LGBT employees in corporate America. One of the Fortune 100 companies that has resisted such pressure most determinedly has been ExxonMobil, which, ironically, Stringer recently had success in pressuring to be more transparent in disclosing risks related to its hydrofracking operations.