ATLANTA -- Making a rare appearance in front of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board, Mayor Kasim Reed made the historic announcement that he's appointing a transgender person to the board.
“I am pleased to appoint Tracee McDaniel to serve on the Atlanta Citizen Review Board,” Mayor Reed said in a written statement. “As a life-long advocate for the transgender community, Ms. McDaniel will bring an important perspective and a lifetime of experience to this role."
Reed said given the climate currently between residents and the police, putting someone from the transgender community on the board allows them to hear a unique voice.
"Giving them a role on this body, I think, amplifies that voice and informs us," said Reed.
The review board was originally created to give oversight during allegations of excessive force and misconduct from Atlanta police officers.
Reed said Friday, he plans to be more involved in the board in the future.
"The citizens review board is very important and I think a lot of people are talking about it as a national model," Reed said.
Cheryl Courtney-Evans, executive director of Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth, said the appointment is more "than just window dressing." She said it's a major victory for the LGBT community.
Reed's office reports that McDaniel has served on the Atlanta Police Department’s LGBT Advisory Board and facilitated transgender cultural competency training for APD academy recruits.
In 2014, she became a vetted trainer for the United States Department of Justice. McDaniel is also a recognized community leader, having served on multiple boards.
She has facilitated Atlanta’s observation of Stonewall weekends, including convening speakers' panels and marches. Currently, McDaniel serves on the board of directors for Trans Housing Atlanta Program (THAP) and on the programming board for The Center for Human Rights LGBT Institute.