EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, Sept. 12 to approve two resolutions aimed at promoting transgender rights in the City of El Paso, according to city Rep. Alexsandra Annello’s office.
Both resolutions were introduced by Annello.
The first resolution directs the city manager and the Police Department to initiate “a community stakeholder process to receive input on potential improvements to the El Paso Police
Department policy and training regarding identification of transgender and gender-diverse individuals, according to Annello’s office.
The resolution asks the city manager and the Police Department to come back to report the results of this process to the City Council by no later than the last meeting in December.
The resolution also directs the city manager to ensure that the Police Department’s Policy Manual includes a number of bias/hate crime department policies to ensure members of the LGBTQ community “feel safe and protected in the City of El Paso,” according to the news release.
Some of the policies outlined in the resolution include that the El Paso Police Department employees will ask individuals about their preferred name, gender identity, and pronouns, and
will address and refer to gender-diverse individuals how they prefer to be addressed. Police Department officers will also be barred from conducting any searches to determine an individual’s sex, according to Annello’s office.
The policies are also aimed at ensuring that the Police Department has an established system and protocol to handle reports of hate crimes and allegations of bias-based policing. The resolution also asks the chief legal officer to prepare a report that describes and analyzes bias-based policing allegations during each quarter and the status of the department’s
effort to prevent bias-based policing and make the report available to the public on the EPPD website.
The resolution finally asks the Police Department to work with a community stakeholder task force.
The second resolution introduced by Annello directs the city manager to create a policy that
ensures access for transgender individuals to freely use City facilities consistent with their gender identity and/or expression in any City-owned building. Additionally, the resolution directs the city attorney to create an ordinance to require single-user restrooms to have gender-neutral signage.
“I am so happy to have worked with organizations like the Borderland Rainbow Center, the El Paso Gender and Sexualities Alliance Board, Sun City Pride, Texas Rising, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Rights Union, and other members of the community to put these items together to continue the important work of protecting transgender rights in our city,” Annello said. “We must recognize the importance of correctly identifying an individual’s gender and to continue taking steps towards ensuring that transgender individuals feel seen and included in our community. I am looking forward to continuing to work with these organizations to make our city more inclusive for all.”