MEI (2022) Scores for the Central Valley

MEI, which stands for Municipality Equality Index, is a metric used by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to score cities based on various criteria on how fairly they treat its LGBTQ+ population. The lowest possible score is 0, and the highest 100. Obviously, largely progressive/liberal cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles score 100. Even liberal cities like Orlando in the worst states like Florida can score 100. For the latest report, which was released in December 2022, there are 506 cities in the report, 5 of which includes Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Visalia.

So, how do they do on the score card? Much to my surprise, Visalia scores the highest (78), followed by the rest whose scores are pretty close to each other, with Stockton (61) Modesto (60), Bakersfield (58) and Fresno (55). What makes Visalia stand out? Visalia has a LGBTQ+ Liaison in the City Executive Office (+5) and a LGBTQ+ Liaison/Task Force in the Police Department (+12), and non-discrimination in city employment that covers both sexual orientation and gender identity,

Hopefully next year there are more Central Valley cities, and improvements on the cities already on the report.