Next Tuesday, February 26, we go to the polls to vote for New York City’s next public advocate. This election is critical, and our community has a responsibility to vote. I am urging you to vote for Melissa Mark-Viverito. Here’s why:
The public advocate is a citywide elected official, second in line to the mayor, with a strong voice. When the PA speaks, press and lawmakers listen.
As City Council speaker, Melissa spoke up for our community when Albany would not. She got legislation passed allowing us to change the gender markers on our birth certificates and clamped down on the cruel practice of conversion therapy in the five boroughs.
Melissa’s campaign includes an LGBTQIA platform addressing many of the long-ignored needs of our community. She has proposed banning taxpayer dollars from going to groups that discriminate against us, will press for hearings to focus on the NYPD’s policies toward transgender persons, and will push for increased funding for HIV testing and services, economic justice for homeless queer youth, and so much more. Check out her platform here.
We aren’t done. We still need comprehensive reform of a criminal justice system that targets transgender and queer people of color. Our city (and our country) has seen a rash of violent assaults against queer people. Earlier this month, a city councilmember lashed out against our community and against our political strength.
Our community needs someone like Melissa to get things done. Please make a plan to vote on February 26—and tell all your friends.
Jared Arader, LID President