BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin has selected Josh Coleman as the city's first LGBTQ liaison to serve as both a spokesperson for the city as well as a representative of LGBTQ interests.
Coleman will start June 25. The announcement was made today at PrideFest at Sloss Furance.
"From our administration's standpoint, when we watch what's happening in our country, when we watch what's happening at the state level, I think it's important that municipal governments, local governments, play an active role in making sure that we're not discriminating, that we fight against discrimination," said Mayor Woodfin.
Coleman currently serves as is vice president of Central Alabama Pride, a nonprofit organization focused on celebrating pride and diversity in Central Alabama. He is also a volunteer with the Human Rights Campaign, a certified life coach and an ordained minister. He previously worked as chief operating officer of Rickmark Inc., a large multi-unit Pizza Hut franchisee.
"I've been working with the community for the last five or six years, but some of the issues have just been not feeling safe in certain spaces, not feeling welcomed in certain businesses. We just want to make sure that everyone in the city feels welcome where they live and work and play," said Coleman.
The duties behind Coleman's new role are advocacy, education, and bringing issues of discrimination to the attention of the city.
"I think there are some things we have to do in regards to having conversations down in Montgomery at the state capitol as well, and I think Josh Coleman will fit that role very well," said Woodfin.
And to those Birmingham residents who may not embrace the LGBTQ community, Mayor Woodfin had this to say.
"My position as mayor, I'm well aware that I will never ever please every single person. But that's not my job. My job is to serve the entire community, and I will do that as mayor," he said.
Coleman's position as the LGBTQ liaison with the city will focus on the public safety of the LGBTQ communities. He will build upon the relationship between the LGBTQ community and the City of Birmingham through provision of fair and professional policies and services.