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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Election night: Big wins for LGBTQs, people of color
2021-11-03

This article shared 783 times since Wed Nov 3, 2021
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In the midst of mixed news for both main political parties regarding seemingly prominent elections (Republican Glenn Youngkin winning the Virginia governor's race; Democrat Eric Adams becoming mayor of New York City), the other major story was that LGBTQ individuals and people of color (such as Adams) scored some major victories Nov. 2.

According to an LGBTQ Victory Fund press release that Windy City Times received, six out LGBTQ candidates whom the organization endorsed won their general election campaigns for the New York City Council—the largest group of out LGBTQ councilmembers ever elected. Victors included Crystal Hudson (District 35) and Kristin Richardson Jordan (District 9), who will be the first two out Black LGBTQ women elected to the council; Lynn Schulman (District 29) and Tiffany Caban (District 22), who will be the first out LGBTQ women elected to any public office from Queens; Chi Osse (District 36); and Erik Bottcher (District 3).

Also, transgender incumbent Danica Roem was re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. LGBTQ Victory Fund President/CEO Mayor Annise Parker said, "Danica's voters again chose a qualified trans leader over an anti-LGBTQ opponent—rejecting the so-called 'culture wars' that aim to divide, not improve people's lives. While Danica's energies are focused on her district, the impact of her leadership resonates across the country."

Dion Manley made history as the first transgender person elected in Ohio after being elected to the Gahanna Jefferson School Board. There are currently just five trans men serving in elected office anywhere in the country. The victory comes as anti-trans activists have held protests at school board meetings across the country and as extremist politicians push anti-trans bills in state and local legislatures.

LGBTQ Victory Fund-endorsed candidate Christopher Coburn won his race for the Bozeman City Commission and became the first out Black LGBTQ person ever elected in Montana. He will also become one of just seven out LGBTQ elected officials serving in the state. Coburn was appointed to the city commission in April, but had never been elected.

Gabriela Santiago-Romero won her election for the Detroit City Council, making her the first out LGBTQ councilmember in the city's history. She is also the first Latinx out LGBTQ woman elected in the entire state of Michigan. In addition, Thu Nguyen won their race for Worcester City Council to become the first non-binary person ever elected in Massachusetts. Thu's family sought refuge in Worcester when Thu was an infant, after their father was captured in Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for six years. Thu now works at the Southeast Asian Coalition tackling food insecurity, promoting civic engagement, and supporting small businesses.

Minneapolis City Councilor Andrea Jenkins was re-elected, the Human Rights Campaign noted. Jenkins became the first openly transgender Black woman elected to public office when she won in 2017.

Non-LGBTQ people of color also achieved major wins. Boston City Councilmember Michelle Wu, 36, won that city's mayoral race after fellow Democrat Annissa Essaibi George conceded, according to USA Today. Wu is the first woman and person of color elected to the post; acting Mayor Kim Janey, a Black woman, was appointed after Marty Walsh stepped down to become U.S. secretary of labor under President Joe Biden.

Adams defeated underdog Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa (associated with the Guardian Angels) to become the second Black mayor in the history of New York City. Also, former federal prosecutor Alvin Bragg will become the first Black person to lead the Manhattan district attorney's office after his win.

In addition, Democratic state Rep. Ed Gainey, who is Black, is the new mayor of Pittsburgh; Aftab Pureval beat fellow Democratic opponent and longtime Cincinnati politician David Mann to become the first Asian American mayor of that city; and state legislator Abdullah Hammoud became the first Arab American mayor in a city known for its sizable Arab population (Dearborn, Michigan).


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