In 1991, LGBTQ activists founded Victory Fund, an organization dedicated to achieving “equality for LGBTQ Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ officials at all levels of government.” Since their founding, Victory Fund has helped elect thousands of LGBTQ people into government positions where they have succeeded in passing anti-discrimination laws as well as striking down amendments that banned marriage equality.
Electing LGBTQ individuals into office is the best defense against anti-LGBTQ efforts from other government officials of all levels. Additionally, having more representation in government can influence policy and deliver repercussions for the sick individuals who think it’s amusing to mock, hit, and kill LGBTQ folks. Thus far, 2017 has seen a spike in violence against almost everyone who is not straight and White. Of course, this increase in violence can easily be attributed to the election of Donald Trump and his intolerance for everyone but himself but let’s be real, the LGBTQ community has always faced violence. This isn’t something new for them, but it surely is something that should not be tolerated–especially from the President of the United States.
The Victory Fund has been working for decades to increase LGBTQ representation in government and they are making progress little by little. Advertised on their page are four spotlight candidates who are “poised to break down barriers and drive equality forward.”
- Jenny Durkan is currently running for Mayor of Seattle where, if she wins, she will be the first openly lesbian Mayor in Seattle. She has worked as a criminal defense attorney, a federal prosecutor, and the US Attorney for Western Washington–appointed by President Obama. She was the first openly gay US Attorney in the country. Her entire life has been dedicated to fighting for criminal justice reform, veterans’ rights, and civil rights. Additionally, she helped secure the first federal court order barring Trump’s travel ban. She is a total badass and deserves your support!
- Danica Roem is running for Virginia House of Delegates for District 13. If she wins, she will be the first state legislator to win as an out trans candidate. She has a deep connection with her district, being a lifelong resident and dedicated reporter for nine years. Throughout her journalism career, she covered state and federal politics but gave up her job to run for office! Her opponent in this race, Bob Marshall, is Virginia’s most anti-trans legislator, who introduced a bathroom bill which would have mandated that transgender people in the state of Virginia use bathrooms that correspond with their “original birth certificate” rather than their gender identity. Keep fighting, Danica! Don’t forget to check out her page and support her journey to become the first open trans state legislator.
- Andrea Jenkins is running for Minneapolis City Council for Ward 8 and is a literary scholar. Her work in writing is more than amazing, winning awards for both her poetry and writing. Additionally, she has published several anthologies focusing on gender, identity, and sexual orientation as it relates to public policy. On top of her writing abilities, she served as a Minneapolis City Council policy aide for 25 years, working to bring fresh food to the community, dedicating resources to bringing a fine arts center to the city, and helping develop a community-building project to address racial healing and understanding. If she wins, she will be the first ever trans woman elected to a major city council. Support her the whole way by donating to her campaign.
- Cathy Woolard is pursuing a position as the Mayor of Atlanta and, if she wins, she will be the first openly LGBTQ mayor in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, she was a City Council Member for District 6 and City Council President for a number of years. During her time serving on Atlanta’s City Council, she personally led the City Council to pass the only comprehensive civil rights bill in the state of Georgia, protecting thousands of citizens from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Cathy is going to increase LGBTQ representation in the deep south but she can’t do it without your help. Donate to her campaign and keep this momentum moving forward!
Victory Fund is the nation’s only organization dedicated to elected LGBTQ leaders at every level of government–they need your help! Visit their website to donate your time and/or money and aid Victory Fund members in pushing for full representation of LGBTQ people in government.
Click here to add your name if you think more LGBTQ people should be elected to public office.