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Brookings gets another perfect score on Municipal Equality Index

BROOKINGS – The City of Brookings and the Brookings Human Rights Commission have announced that Brookings has received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for the second year in a row. 

The Human Rights Campaign, a national organization which launched the MEI in 2012, is the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization in the United States. It evaluates and rates cities yearly on a variety of municipal criteria that affect the LGBTQ community. 

Brookings City Mayor Keith Corbett said he was impressed that Brookings once again was able to maintain a score of 100. “The Human Rights Commission has worked so hard on this, I have to give them the credit they deserve – the Human Rights Commission, and also the community for their continued dedication to make Brookings inclusive and welcoming for everyone.” 

Brookings’ 100 was tallied on a scorecard that rated non-discrimination laws, municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership in LGBTQ equality. The city also received bonus points for having openly LGBTQ elected or appointed municipal leaders, and for testing limits of restrictive state law.

Brookings also earned one of HRC’s 59 MEI “All Star” designations. MEI All Stars are cities nationwide that are excelling by advancing LGBTQ equality without relying on state law.

The average score for cities in South Dakota is 34 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average of 60.

The city’s first MEI score in 2013 rated at only 12 out of 100. Since then, the City of Brookings, community organizations, and the Human Rights Commission have continued to improve inclusivity efforts year after year, and it has paid off. 

“Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly over the past six years to help achieve the 100 MEI score,” said Hanna Holmquist of the Brookings Human Rights Commission. “This score and the policies that have been put in place to make it possible, show that Brookings is a welcoming community for all individuals.” 

Brookings is dedicated to advancing equality efforts and to continued advocacy for LGBTQ rights in the region. Brookings’ scorecard information can be found on the Human Rights Campaign website, hrc.org/mei.

Questions may be directed to Holmquist at hanna.holmquist12@gmail.com.

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