Topeka receives highest equality score in city’s history

The City of Topeka received a near-perfect Municipal Equality Index (MEI) score in 2023, earning 97 out of 100 possible points. The score is the highest in the city’s history.

The MEI is a nationwide evaluation by the Human Rights Campaign of 506 cities on how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

“This is the third year the City of Topeka has participated in the Municipal Equity Index and receiving the highest score yet is a recognition of our efforts to make Topeka an equitable, inclusive, and belonging community,” said Ernestor De La Rosa, the city’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer. “As a city, we will continue to work within the organization and with our community partners to ensure we are a welcoming community where we recognize the contributions of ALL residents, including those of the LGBTQ+ community.”

“I’m so proud of our collective community efforts to reach this exciting milestone of a near-perfect MEI score,” said Topeka Mayor Michael Padilla. “This score speaks to the intentional investments and thought we’ve put into ensuring greater equity in Topeka, including the creation of our DEI Office in January of this year.”

To read Topeka’s scorecard in full, visit