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Meet Kevin Schmotzer, LGBTQ+ Liaison to the City of Cleveland

Sep 14, 2018

Kevin Schmotzer has been working for the city of Cleveland for 20 years. He currently works for the Department of Economic Development, helping the city get funding for small business entrepreneurs and to attract businesses to Downtown and into the neighborhoods.

He lives in the Ohio City neighborhood with his husband, Lawrence, and their pugs. They own a small pet boutique on Clifton called Pettique and are members of the Plexus LGBT and Allies Chamber of Commerce. He was on the board of Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, and has been an active participant in the Gay Games in Cleveland, Paris, and Cologne. This year, Kevin was named the LGBTQ+ Liaison for the city of Cleveland.

This position was created as part of an effort to make Cleveland a more inclusive place to live and work. To accomplish this goal, the city started working using guidance from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index to bolster these efforts.  This included Kevin’s appointment, as well as the appointment of Sherry Bowman to the Community Relations Board and the appointment of Commander Deirdre Jones as the LGBTQ+ Liaison to the Department of Public Safety. These three will work together to provide resources for LGBTQ+ people in the community and to serve as a voice for the LGBTQ+ community inside of City Hall to make sure equality is a priority in Cleveland.

As Liaison, Kevin works with various departments to make sure that the city is both proactively and reactively supporting LGBTQ+ residents including reviews of HR policy and manuals, creating inclusive bathrooms in city buildings, and removing roadblocks for LGBTQ+ initiatives such as the creation of rainbow crosswalks in historically gay districts. “I want to be a problem solver for our community,” Schmotzer says, “I want to make sure that Cleveland is visibly LGBTQ+ friendly for our community, prospective residents, and visitors.”

In the short term, this process will include taking additional steps to raise Cleveland’s score on the HRC Municipal Equality Index and a thorough review of recruitment and training practices at the city. In the long term, Kevin hopes to help create visible testaments to Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ history, specifically through a large scale, public art monument to Cleveland’s participation as one of the 9 cities that have had the honor to host the Gay Games.

You can reach Kevin at kschmotzer@city.cleveland.oh.us or by calling (216) 664-3720. He is available to help partner to promote LGBTQ+ projects and business openings, to provide resources to those facing discrimination within the city, and to help showcase the successes and contributions of LGBTQ+ Clevelanders.

Thank you, Kevin, for all of your hard work!

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