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L.A. announces formation of transgender advisory panel

L.A. announces formation of transgender advisory panel
Mayor Eric Garcetti appears at a news conference Tuesday beside Karina Samala, a member of L.A.'s newly formed Transgender Advisory Council. (Peter Jamison / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles elected officials on Tuesday announced the creation of the city's first Transgender Advisory Council, saying the committee would offer a new avenue of policy-making input from L.A.'s transgender men and women.

The advisory council, which will report to a City Council committee, is still in the early stages of sizing up its basic functions at City Hall. For example, officials said Tuesday they were still unsure how often the group would meet.

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Advisory Council member Karina Samala said areas of focus would include city hiring policies and hate crimes against transgender people.

"A Los Angeles in which systemic discrimination and violence is a thing the trans community faces is a thing of the past," Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference Tuesday morning, adding that nationwide figures on violence against transgender people "are just overwhelming."

"For too long, trans voices have been silenced in policy-making," Garcetti said.

City officials asserted L.A. is the largest city in the country to create a transgender advisory council, and only the second city overall, after West Hollywood.

Twitter: @petejamison

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