Tuesday Philadelphia voters will be asked whether to make the city’s office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs permanent.
Right now the office, created by Mayor Michael Nutter in 2008, is guaranteed only as long as he is mayor. It acts as a liaison between City Hall and the LGBT community, and advises the mayor on LGBT policy development.
Another office created by Nutter in 2008 by executive order, the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy is not on the ballot.
It was created by Nutter in 2008, and is not guaranteed to continue after his term ends.
The OACCE, which facilitates public art and budgets related to cultural initiatives, launched in 1986 under then-Mayor Wilson Goode. Later, Mayor John Street eliminated it.
Nutter quickly re-established the office when he came into office in 2008, renaming it the Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy.
“The reason he did it was the potential of growth in the city through the creative class through entrepreneurs and artists who work in the creative economy,” said Chief Culture Officer Helen Haynes. “We support programs, with the commerce department, that help support organizations and creative businesses.”
Democratic mayoral nominee and frontrunner Jim Kenney issued a statement saying he intends to maintain the office. Haynes says Kenney has requested transitional paperwork. His Republican rival, Melissa Murray Bailey, has not requested paperwork, and did not respond to email questions.
The office manages the city’s Percent for Art program, maintains the extensive collection of public art, and manages the budget for the Philadelphia Culture Fund, among other duties.
Haynes believes there is enough support in City Council to recommend the office become permanent, should anyone propose it and put it on the ballot.