Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 Transgender Political Candidates

We've had not only a historic level of trans participation at the Democratic National Convention this year, but over the last few election cycles have had trans candidate stepping up to run for public office.

The 2012 election cycle is no exception as we had transman Mel Wymore step up to run for the New York City city council District 6 seat.

Metropolitan Business Association president Gina Duncan attempted to run for District 5 county commissioner in Orange County, Florida which is in the Orlando area.

Gina Duncan was unfortunately defeated August 14 in her bid for the District 5 seat after a spirited campaign.  Incumbent Ted Edwards received 59 percent of the votes, and Duncan 40 percent despite having endorsements from the Central Florida AFL-CIO an the Orange County Democratic Party to get a third term in District 5

She declared her candidacy back in January, and I was hoping she'd pull off that historic win, but it was not to be. 

The other trans candidate in this cycle is Mel Wymore, who is running for the District 6 council seat which covers the Upper West Side.  Its current councilmember is term-limited and Wymore is running against three other candidates for it.

As to why he's running for the seat, this is from his website:

As a parent of two children on the Upper West Side, my first priority is creating a safe and caring community that values every person and brings us together as human beings.  In my professional career as a systems engineer, entrepreneur, and community activist, I am a collaborative leader who focuses on the big picture, then works tirelessly on the details that really make a difference.

If Wymore wins, he would not only become the first trans councilmember in New York City, he would also become the first in the United States to be elected to a city council in a city with a population over 250,000 people

Good luck Mel and hope you make history.    If I discover there are other trans candidates running for office in this 2012 election cycle, I'll definitely write it up on these electronic pages.

A transperson getting elected to a large city council anywhere in this nation is a huge deal if transpeople are going to take the next electoral step and get someone elected to Congress.  Congressional candidates tend to be current of former large city council members, county commissioners or judges and we don't have we only have one person in Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vicky Kolakowski in California who is an elected sitting judge and two time Hawaii state board of education member Kim Coco Iwamoto.  Unfortunately in the same 2010 election cycle in which Iwamoto was reelected to the Hawaii State Board of Education voters also passed a constitutional amendment that reverts the BOE to a nine member appointed board, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) declined to appoint her to it.

For the trans human rights movement to evolve to the next level, we're going to need to get our transpeeps elected to city councils, school boards, county commissioners board, state legislatures, and Congress with the power to write law and enact policy, not just lobby the people with that power.

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