The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a win for equality this week. Mayor Rick Kriseman and other local leaders announced a perfect score on the 2014 Municipal Equality Index.
In an email today, chamber president Chris Steinocher touted the recognition, which is based on the city’s policies, ordinances and available LGBT services. In 2013, the chamber adopted a phrase to go along with its diversity task force, “The Chamber values diversity and equality as core fundamentals of a healthy and vibrant community.”
“It’s ok to dream big. In fact, sometimes it’s what’s necessary,” wrote Steinocher in an email. “Today we celebrate a great victory in St. Petersburg. A great example of what working together for a big, bold, audacious goal can achieve.”
That audacious goal is economic diversity through inclusion. During his statements yesterday at the press conference announcing the city’s perfect equality score, Steinocher and other talked about the importance of accepting differences in creating a business-friendly environment that attracts talented professionals.
“Our Task Force put out the challenge over a year ago – let’s score 100. We engaged our city leaders, administration and key stakeholders in conversations to offer our support for good policies that create a competitive advantage for our business climate,” Steinocher wrote. “By working hand-in-hand with the City of St. Petersburg, we have created an inclusive atmosphere to live, work and thrive.”
Just last year St. Pete scored just 66 out of 100 on the index. This year, St. Pete is one of only three cities statewide to receive a perfect score.
“This scorecard is a calling card for those communities seeking talent and innovation. The best communities embrace diversity and St. Petersburg and our Chamber have a commitment to be the premier destination for working, living and visiting,” Steinocher concluded in his email. “We believe that the best approach to a shared prosperity recognizes and leverages the value of our diversity.”