The city of Sterling Heights is proud to announce it has received a score of 91 on the Human Rights Campaign's 2022 Municipal Equality Index (MEI).
The MEI is a nationwide evaluation of 506 municipalities' laws, policies, and services that affect the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals.
In the latest MEI report, Sterling Heights received a score of 91 out of 100, an increase from its previous score of 8 in 2019, 38 in 2020 and 61 in 2021. This marks a significant improvement in the City's efforts to promote equality and inclusivity for all residents, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
“When we received our 2019 scorecard, we knew the score was not reflective of who we are as an organization, and certainly not reflective of our community. We took immediate action and started working internally to gather data and documentation for the Human Rights Campaign. Our current score of 91 is a wonderful improvement, especially as we have many community members and some of our very own employees who are part of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Sterling Heights Human Resources Manager Kate Baldwin. “We have also launched additional initiatives since 2019. For example, our police department has adjusted their coding to capture reports of hate and bias, we launched our first ever human rights commission called the CommUNITY Alliance, and the City recently embarked on our own Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey to develop a consistent DEI Strategy for City staff.”
The MEI evaluates municipalities based on a variety of factors, including non-discrimination laws, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, and municipal services and programs that support the LGBTQ+ community. Sterling Heights received high marks in several categories, including its non-discrimination laws, its efforts to reduce barriers to healthcare for transgender individuals and City Leadership’s Public Position on LGBTQ+ Equality.
“We are thrilled to see that our efforts to promote equality and inclusivity for all residents have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign," said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. "We will continue to work hard to make Sterling Heights a welcoming and inclusive community for everyone.”
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the United States. The organization's MEI report is widely recognized as the most comprehensive analysis of LGBTQ+ equality in municipalities across the country. For more information about the Human Rights Campaign’s MEI, visit hrc.org/mei.