There is a certain temptation to marvel at the six openly LGBT candidates running for city council in New York City. And there’s a good reason for it: six Victory-endorsed candidates makes for the most ever seeking seats in the same body. That said, there are 51 seats in total on the New York City council. Even a clean sweep of victories for Victory’s endorsed candidates would put LGBT representation rougly proportional to the actual LGBT population of the city. The U.S. House of Representatives, by comparison, would need about 35-40 LGBT members to fairly represent America’s LGBT population.
Two of the candidates are seeking re-election. Christine C. Quinn, the lesbian representative for New York’s third district, holds the position of Speaker, the second most powerful elected official in the city. Quinn’s career on the Council has included strong advocacy for LGBT rights, including the passage of the Equal Benefits Bill. Quinn has teamed up with the council’s other openly lesbian councilmember, District 2’s Rosie Mendez, in an attempt to secure LGBT inclusion in New York City’s famous St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The field of potential newcomers to the council looks promising as well. Mendez has endorsed the lesbian candidate for District 29, Lynn Schulman. Schulman has also been endorsed by a wide range of significant political figures and organizations, from the Stonewall Democratic Club to former mayor Ed Koch.
Jimmy Van Bramer is running an out and proud campaign to represent District 26. Van Bramer is proud to make LGBT and AIDS activism not just a promise, but a central plank of his campaign.
Daniel Dromm, running for the 25th District’s seat, would end a 26-year career in public school teaching to take up a different kind of public service on the NYC council. Dromm made news when he came out in 1992, and resisted multiple efforts to remove him from his position as an educator.
Fighting to represent Brooklyn is Bob Zuckerman, who organized the largest LGBT career fair in the Northeast, “Out to Work.” Zuckerman’s LGBT platform is significant: he pledges not only to support marriage equality, hate crime protections, and all other major LGBT issues, but also has a plan to encourage local lawyers to ensure that LGBT citizens are afforded all the protections the law already grants them.
All of the current Victory-endorsed candidates running for New York City Council will compete in the all-but-determinative Democratic primary September 15th.