Government

Press Releases

Union County Hosts First LGBTQ Roundtable

f1e63b957526806a1452_LGBTQ_Roundtable_welcoming_remarks.jpg
4b54c21de6ba0b89e9da_LGBTQ_Roundtable_group_photo.JPG
f1e63b957526806a1452_LGBTQ_Roundtable_welcoming_remarks.jpg

On Tuesday, February 20, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the Office of LGBTQ Services, hosted a roundtable with over 20 leading LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey. Facilitated by Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, more than 40 participants met to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and priorities for 2018.

The roundtable was organized by the new Union County Office of LGBTQ Services that was established by Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados as one of many progressive “Moving Union County Forward” special initiatives that he announced in January of this year.

Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino encouraged open and engaging conversations about many unique challenges of the LGBTQ community including: access to healthcare services; state policy recommendations; safe spaces to live, learn, work, play and pray; access to resources and information; and achieving safety, permanency and well-being for LGBTQ youth and families. Participants also offered strategic thinking toward building culturally-appropriate programs and partnerships that affirm the dignity and human worth of LGBTQ people and supporters.

Sign Up for E-News

“The Freeholder Board unwaveringly supports our LGBTQ residents and their families, and I am proud we are leading County governments in the State of New Jersey to protect progress and resist discrimination, hate and division,” Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados noted in his welcome address. “It is only by joining forces and working in partnership with LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that we will be able to make progress in effectively supporting LGBTQ individuals, families and allies. I make no reservation in my commitment as an elected official to back up my words with action – I will stand side-by-side with LGBTQ individuals, advocacy groups and supporters to fight for equality and security in our communities.”

This first organized meeting, as part of a series of outreach efforts, is to engage the LGBTQ and ally communities in a county-wide needs assessment. A priority of the Office of LGBTQ Services is to provide a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serve as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

“On behalf of the Freeholder Board, I applaud the organizations who participated in the roundtable for the work they are already doing to support LGBTQ people, families and friends in our communities, and for participating in the roundtable with the shared goal of discussing existing programs, and addressing barriers, strategies and gaps in services,” said Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, liaison to the LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee.

Several prominent New Jersey organizations that serve the LGBTQ community commend the networking and results-oriented effort of the roundtable.

"Leading by example to create a more inclusive community starts with the conversation. Union County's LGBTQ roundtable is taking that lead and Hyacinth in proud to add our voice," noted Hyacinth AIDS Foundation roundtable participants Danielle King and Allen Lockhart.

“WellCare of New Jersey is dedicated to building partnerships with organizations working to make a difference in our communities. The Union County LGBTQ roundtable is one such example. It was an honor to be included in this important discussion with individuals who are truly passionate about eliminating the barriers facing LGBTQ families and WellCare looks forward to joining them in this commitment,” said Clarissa Robles, Sr. Community Relations Specialist for WellCare of New Jersey.

"As facilitators of the first 2018 LGBTQ Roundtable, Garden State Equality was both honored and enthusiastic to share ideas with other incredible advocacy organizations and individuals. Events like this Roundtable are so important for addressing LGBTQ-related programs, services, and issues. We are so proud of the Union County Freeholders for establishing the Office of LGBTQ Services, the first county office in the state of NJ," said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality.

Through assessment, research, analysis and strategic collaboration, the Office of LGBTQ Services, under the Division of Outreach and Advocacy in the Department of Human Services, provides essential support that impacts the quality of life for LGBTQ people and allies through community building and human services.

“HMI: NJ is excited to partner with Union County to provide any complimentary services, training and or technical assistance to support the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services. Union County has taken great strides in advancing services to its LGBTQ residents.  We are committed to supporting this initiative to ensure its success,” said Ashawnda Fleming, Ph.D., MS Executive Director, Hetrick-Martin Institute New Jersey.

For more information about the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services, contact Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742 or dnewbury@ucnj.org.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

Video Link: youtube.com/watch?v=WAOKPZ_dMKU

Photo Caption (welcoming remarks): Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados, joined by Freeholders Alexander Mirabella and Bruce Bergen, welcomed roundtable facilitator Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality and over 40 participants representing more than 20 LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey to the 2018 LGBTQ Roundtable to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and priorities for 2018.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Dozens of Dogs Rescued from Squalor in Roselle, According to Authorities

June 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ — A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, June 19

June 20, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Good evening everyone! It’s been another busy two weeks with lots of great stuff happening. These past two weeks were particularly fun because I spent lots of time with lots of kids:

-I met with Franklin third graders in Mindowaskin Park as part of their day-long ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_047913bad52c65b1222e_westfield_band_photo_summer_2015__2_on_gazebo

Thu, June 21, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Westfield Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_494009374f5b6e909328_spb-4937_newsletter_june_22

Fri, June 22, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Sports

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Westfield Police Blotter: Criminal Mischief to Vehicles Continues & More

June 20, 2018

June 13, 2018 9:24 a.m.

Officer Santangelo arrested Hakan Kaya, age 46, of Westfield, New Jersey on an outstanding warrant (#E19490) in the amount of $304.00 out of Neptune City Municipal Court pursuant to turning himself in at WPD Headquarters. Subject was processed and released after posting the full bail amount.

 

June 13, 2018 11:02 a.m.

Lieutenant McFarlean and Officer ...

Flowers Welcome Visitors to Downtown Westfield

June 21, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Central Avenue is in full bloom once again with Queen of Balcon Ivy geraniums thanks to the efforts of William Nursery, Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC), and the Town of Westfield Department of Public Works.

Downtown Westfield Corporation annually funds the downtown flowers as part of their "Westfield in Bloom" beautification efforts and Williams ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...

Understand the New Law for Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave is now the law in New Jersey.

New Jersey has passed a paid sick leave law which preempts paid sick leave ordinances adopted by several cities and towns so there is now one uniform law in this area for New Jersey employers. Here is what you need to know about the new law.

33 Homes Sold June 10 to June 17 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Thirty-three Homes sold from June 10 to June 17, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside.*

 

TOWN         ADDRESS                      STYLE    ...

Westfield 3rd Graders Receive Top Honors at Mock Trial Competition

Westfield third graders recently received top honors for three mock court cases they presented at the New Jersey Bar Foundation Law Fair.

“I am proud that, out of 84 entries submitted, our third grade students (now fourth graders) in the Gifted Program have won 1st Place, 2nd Place and Honorable Mention in the 3rd Grade category [of the Law Fair ...

Maximizing Your Portfolio’s Returns -- Beware the Taxman

The old adage in the investment world is that it is not what you make, but what you keep that counts.  Investors often overlook the ultimate deflator of portfolio returns – the taxman. An astute global asset allocation should be the number one priority for investors.  However, there are preferred ways to distribute this asset allocation over the spectrum of taxable and ...

Greatness

In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Bridgewater Mall Shut Down for 2 Hours After Fight Breaks Out

June 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — No injuries have been reported after a fight involving a crowd of people shut down the Bridgewater Commons Mall for two hours Thursday evening.

According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall was resuming normal business operations.

According to Somerset County ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more