Amber Hikes resigns from the Office of LGBT Affairs
The Mayor’s Office announced the surprise resignation on July 9. It comes a little more than two years after Hikes was appointed Executive Director in May 2017.
July 31, 2019 will be the last day Amber Hikes is at the helm of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs. The Mayor’s Office announced her resignation on July 9 to take on a new role, which will be shared by Hikes and her new employer in the “coming weeks”.
“Serving the City of Philadelphia and our LGBTQ residents has been an absolute honor,” Hikes said in a press release.
She took over in May 2017, during a turbulent time for the Office of LGBT Affairs. Then-executive director Helen L. “Nellie” Fitzpatrick was facing major backlash from the city’s LGBTQ community for her handling of a scandal involving the owner of a popular Gayborhood bar being recorded saying a racial slur.
Hikes’ tenure brought much-needed stability to the office and worked to include more members of the LGBTQ community in the discussion than ever before.
Some of her initiatives include introducing the “More Color, More Pride” flag, which added black and brown stripes to the LGBTQ flag to represent the marginalized people of color in the community, launching an LGBTQ Leadership Pipeline with local LGBTQ nonprofits, and working with the Philadelphia Police Department and transgender and nonbinary communities to enact more respectful, dignified treatment policies of law enforcement.
“We will miss having Amber’s voice, passion and perspective inside City Hall, but her impact on the city will be felt for years to come,” said Mayor Kenney in a released statement.
The city is actively looking for her replacement. In the interim, senior members from the Office of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer will fill the gap.