The City of Hoboken on Monday kicked off its inaugural Hoboken Pride Week with a flag raising ceremony. At the ceremony, Hudson Pride Center CEO Michael Billy presented Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla with the organization’s Evolution Award.
“Our understanding of gender and sexuality are ever evolving, and as we evolve, so must our society and so must our policies and laws,” said Billy. “In a few short months, Bhalla has set the bar high in New Jersey by protecting the dignity of trans and non-binary individuals with his gender-neutral bathroom ordinance. Beyond that, our community is intersectional, and his advocacy on behalf of immigrants, working parents, and the homeless help lift us all up.”
Bhalla is the only elected official to have received this award.
“I am grateful and humbled to receive this recognition from Hudson Pride Center,” said Bhalla. “As a civil rights activist, I am trying to do my part to make life more equitable for members of traditionally marginalized communities. As an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, I look at this honor not as an end prize, but as a sign that we are doing our part here in Hoboken to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.”
At the ceremony, Bhalla announced the selection of Laura Knittel as Hoboken’s LGBTQ Community Liaison. In this volunteer role, Knittel will serve as a resource for the public to raise concerns related to the LGBTQ+ community. Knittel will meet with Bhalla as needed to present solutions to these concerns.
Hoboken Pride Week is part of the first-ever Hudson Pride Month, with events happening across Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne throughout the month of August.
Events in Hoboken include:
For more information, visit https://jerseycitypride.com/upcoming-pride-events/.