156 LGBTQ Elected Officials Call On President-elect to Advance LGBTQ Equality During His Presidency

Letter to Trump signed by concerned LGBTQ elected officials, including U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Mark Pocan

Washington, D.C.—Today, Victory Institute commended LGBTQ elected officials representing millions of Americans from across the country for calling on President-elect Donald Trump to respect LGBTQ Americans and continue efforts to advance equality. In an open letter to the President-elect, 156 elected officials express grave concerns about his Cabinet appointees, and implore Trump to “be a president for all Americans.” The letter is signed by U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Mark Pocan, as well as openly LGBTQ mayors, state legislators, city councilmembers and other LGBTQ elected officials.
“These LGBTQ elected officials represent America at its best – diverse leaders who make the values of inclusion, fairness and justice the cornerstone of their policy positions and decision-making,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Institute. “This letter urges the President-elect to govern by those core American values, and to put forward legislation and policies that improve quality of life for all Americans. They are using their collective voice to demand continued progress on equality, and to make clear they will oppose any efforts that threaten our rights or families.”
“LGBTQ elected officials are unified and promising to use their positions of power to drive equality at every level of government. This unprecedented solidarity aims to reassure our community – at a time when many are understandably concerned – that our issues remain a priority, and they will strategize new ways to work across jurisdictions to protect and expand our rights. Their commitment is a testament to the importance of LGBTQ elected officials, and we urge our community to bolster their ranks by running for office – to join them in showing Americans that public service remains an impactful and noble profession. Victory Institute will double-down on efforts to train the next generation of LGBTQ leaders in the coming months and years so we can increase representation and ensure our voices are heard.”

The full letter and signatories are included below. More than 40 LGBTQ elected officials began work on the open letter during a closed-door strategy session at Victory Institute’s International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in Washington, DC on December 8, 2016.
Full text of open letter to President-elect Donald Trump:
January 13, 2017
Dear President-elect Donald Trump:
Congratulations on being elected the 45th President of the United States. We are 156 proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) elected officials representing millions of constituents, and we urge you to join us in embodying the highest ideals of our great and diverse nation.
The long and divisive presidential campaign is over, and now more than 300 million Americans depend on you to bring our nation together. To do this, we ask you deescalate the hostility and intolerance expressed by a small but vocal minority throughout the election season. We ask you appoint individuals with inclusive policy solutions that aim to better the lives of all Americans. And we ask you declare full support for LGBTQ equality, and remain true to earlier statements promising to be a president supportive of our rights.
We believe in an America that values and accepts everyone, and a country that strives to improve quality of life for all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. These principles are what distinguish America in an often-troubled world – they are what make America great. And it is the elected leadership of our nation that determines whether our government embodies or undermines those ideals. It is elected leaders like ourselves – from the U.S. president to city councilmembers – that either appeal to the better angels of our fellow Americans, or use fear and rancor to spur unproductive discord.
While we hope you appeal to those better angels and support inclusive and fair-minded policies, we have grave concerns given the individuals appointed to your administration thus far. Nearly all hold anti-LGBTQ views aimed at denying our community acceptance and inclusion in American society. Many proudly tout legislative records opposing basic rights for LGBTQ Americans, and others express disdain for our lives and relationships. Intended or not, these appointments signal a Trump administration preparing to rollback recent advances for LGBTQ people, and an administration opposed to LGBTQ people living open and free.
Our concern is not unfounded, given our historic gains are recent and vulnerable. Openly LGBTQ men and women can now proudly serve in the Armed Forces; committed same-sex couples can legally marry nationwide; federal contractors can no longer discriminate against LGBTQ employees or job applicants; the U.S. State Department is leading the world in advancing global LGBTQ equality; and more than 300 openly LGBTQ individuals were appointed to positions in the federal government over the past eight years. These hard-fought advances transformed our place in American society, and we are disturbed that most of your appointees opposed these efforts.
Mr. President-elect, our nation will be weaker if LGBTQ military personnel are prevented from serving openly and equally. America will be worse off if discrimination protections for LGBTQ government employees or students are revoked. The entire country will suffer if there is a national attempt to implement “religious exemptions” that allow businesses to turn away LGBTQ customers. And the world will be a darker place without America speaking against anti-LGBTQ violence and injustices abroad. We need you to vocally reject our country moving backward – to reject the anti-LGBTQ positions of your appointees and promise a pro-equality Trump administration.
We also must emphasize the LGBTQ community is as diverse as our nation. We are black, we are Latino, we are white, we are immigrants, we are Muslim, we are Jewish, we are women, and we are people with disabilities. LGBTQ elected officials know well the sting and consequences of discrimination, injustice and intolerance, and we carry that lived experience into our policy positions, legislation and decision-making. We hold central the American values of fairness, justice and liberty – and ensure these values are the foundation for our work as public servants. As the nation debates economic security, immigration, women’s rights, voting rights, policing, and mass incarceration, we ask you also apply the American values of fairness, justice and liberty, and ensure the best interests of all communities are incorporated into your policies and positions.
Americans of every political party, ideology, race, ethnicity and religion support LGBTQ equality – it does not need to be a partisan issue. As elected officials, we understand support for LGBTQ equality as both morally appropriate and politically shrewd. History looks fondly upon leaders who stand for social justice when those around them argue otherwise. History also views harshly those who fail to recognize and support morally righteous causes – and history will undoubtedly view LGBTQ equality as both moral and righteous.
We sincerely hope you aim to be a president for all Americans – including LGBTQ Americans of every race, ethnicity, gender and religion. As representatives of the LGBTQ community, we will hold your administration accountable for actions that infringe upon our rights and opportunities, and will oppose presidential appointees who denigrate or harm our community. But we much prefer to work with you to continue the incredible progress toward LGBTQ equality – to have you stand with us on the right side of history. We hope you voice your support for existing rights and protections for LGBTQ Americans, and commit to furthering LGBTQ equality during your presidency. We promise to be a strong and persistent voice for equality either way.
Sincerely,

Federal

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney
U.S. House of Representatives
New York, Congressional District 18

Representative Mark Pocan
U.S. House of Representatives
Wisconsin, Congressional District 2

Alabama

Representative Patricia Todd
Alabama House of Representatives, District 54

Arizona

Representative Daniel Hernandez
Arizona House of Representatives, District 2

Representative Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete
Arizona House of Representatives, District 30

Lawrence Robinson
Governing Board Member
Roosevelt School Board

Karin Uhlich
Councilmember, Ward 3
Tucson City Council

Arkansas

Kathy Webb
Vice Mayor
Little Rock City Board

California

Senator Toni Atkins
California State Senate, District 39

Jovanka Beckles
Councilmember
Richmond City Council

Kevin Beiser
Board Vice President
San Diego Unified School District

Sabrina Brennan
Commissioner
San Mateo County Harbor Commission

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
West Sacramento

Adam Carranza
President
Mountain View Board of Education

Chris Clark
Councilmember
Mountain View City Council

John D’Amico
Councilmember
West Hollywood City Council

John Duran
Councilmember
West Hollywood City Council

Representative Susan Talamantes Eggman
California State Assembly, District 13

Joel Fajardo
Vice Mayor
San Fernando City Council

Ginny Foat
Councilmember
Palm Springs City Council

Larry Forester
Councilmember
Signal Hill City Council

Mayor Robert Garcia
Long Beach

Assemblymember Todd Gloria
California State Assembly, District 78

Georgette Gomez
Councilmember, District 9
San Diego City Council

Steve Hansen
Councilmember, District 4
Sacramento City Council

John Heilman
Mayor Pro Tem
West Hollywood City Council

Gabe Kearney
Councilmember
Petaluma City Council

Geoff Kors
Councilmember
Palm Springs City Council

Senator Ricardo Lara
California State Senate, District 33

Steven Llanusa
Vice President, Board of Education
Claremont Unified School District

Assemblymember Evan Low
California State Assembly, District 28

Rafael Mandelman
Trustee
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

Alex Randolph
Member
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

Jeff Sheehy
Supervisor, District 8
San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Rene Spring
Councilmember
Morgan Hill City Council

Tom Temprano
Trustee
City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees

Wanden Treanor
Trustee
Marin Community College District

Christopher Ward
Councilmember, District 3
San Diego City Council

Scott Wiener
California State Senate, District 11

Ken Yeager
Supervisor, District 4
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

Colorado

Representative Joann Ginal
Colorado House of Representatives, District 52

Representative            Leslie  Herod
Colorado House of Representatives, District 8

Debra Johnson
Clerk and Recorder
Denver

Representative Paul Rosenthal
Colorado House of Representatives, District 49B

Robin Kniech
Councilmember, At-Large
Denver City Council

Gwen Lachelt
Vice Chair, County Commissioner, District 2
La Plata County Commission

Senator Dominick Moreno
Colorado State Senate, District 21

District of Columbia

Jack Jacobson
President, Ward 2
District of Columbia State Board of Education

Florida

Heather Carruthers
Commissioner, District 3
Monroe County Commission

Lesa Peerman
Commissioner
Margate City Commission

Representative David Richardson
Florida House of Representatives, District 113

Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith
Florida House of Representatives, District 49

Georgia

Representative            Park Cannon
Georgia House of Representatives, District 58

Representative Karla Drenner
Georgia House of Representatives, District 85

Representative Sam Park
Georgia House of Representatives, District 101

Alex Wan
Councilmember, District 6
Atlanta City Council

Idaho

Representative John McCrostie
Idaho House of Representatives, District 16A

Illinois

James Cappleman
Alderman, Ward 46
Chicago City Council

Representative Kelly Cassidy
Illinois House of Representatives, District 14

Representative Gregory Harris
Illinois House of Representatives, District 13

Raymond Lopez
Alderman, Ward 15
Chicago City Council

Colette Lueck
Trustee
Oak Park Village Board

Deborah Mell
Alderman, Ward 33
Chicago City Council

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa
Alderman, Ward 35
Chicago City Council

Debra Shore
Commissioner
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Mark Tendam
Alderman, Ward 6
Evanston City Council

Thomas Tunney
Alderman, Ward 44
Chicago City Council

Iowa

Representative            Liz Bennett
Iowa House of Representatives, District 65

Senator Matt McCoy
Iowa State Senate, District 21

Kansas

Mike Poppa
Councilmember, Ward 4
Roeland Park City Council

Maine

Senator Justin Chenette
Maine State Senate, District 31

Representative Ryan Fecteau
Maine House of Representatives, District 11

Representative Lois Reckitt
Maine House of Representatives, District 31

Representative Andrew McLean
Maine House of Representatives, District 27

Maryland

Delegate Luke Clippinger
Democratic Caucus Chair
Maryland House of Delegates, District 46

Delegate Bonnie Cullison
Maryland House of Delegates, District 19

Delegate Anne Kaiser
Majority Leader
Maryland House of Delegates, District 14

Byron Macfarlane
Register of Wills
Howard County

Senator Richard Madaleno
Maryland State Senate, District 18

Delegate Maggie McIntosh
Maryland House of Delegates, District 43

Mayor Jeffrey  Slavin
Somerset

Massachusetts

Senator Julian Cyr
Massachusetts Senate, Cape & Islands District

Jeremy Micah Denlea
Vice President, Ward 5
Attleboro Municipal Council

Eileen  Duff
Councilor, District 5
Massachusetts Governor’s Council

Mayor Kevin Dumas
Attleboro

Representative Jack Patrick Lewis
Massachusetts House of Representatives, Middlesex District 7

Mayor Alex Morse
Holyoke

Mayor E. Denise Simmons
Cambridge

Michigan

Mayor Jim Carruthers
Traverse City

Mayor David Coulter
Ferndale

Mayor Amanda Maria Edmonds
Ypsilanti

Representative Jon Hoadley
Michigan House of Representatives, District 60

Brian McGrain
Commissioner, District 10
Ingham County Board of Commissioners

Jason Morgan
Commissioner, District 8
Washtenaw County Commission

Representative Jeremy Moss
Michigan House of Representatives, District 35

Richard Renner
Township Supervisor
Pioneer Township

Mayor Kenson J. Siver
Southfield

Minnesota

Representative            Susan  Allen
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 62B

Carol Becker
President
Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation

Representative Karen Clark
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 62A

Senator D. Scott Dibble
Minnesota State Senate, District 61

Representative            Erin Maye Quade
Minnesota House of Representatives, District 57A

Missouri

Shane Cohn
Alderman, Ward 25
St. Louis Board of Alderman

Representative Randy Dunn
Missouri House of Representatives, District 23

Nebraska

Barbara Baier
Member, District 3
Lincoln Board of Education

Nevada

Representative Nelson Araujo
Nevada State Assembly, District 3

Senator David Parks
Nevada State Senate, District 7

New Hampshire

Mayor Dana Hilliard
Somersworth

Christopher Pappas
Councilor, District 4
New Hampshire Executive Council

New Jersey

Michael DeFusco
Councilman, Ward 1
Hoboken City Council

Assemblyman Tim Eustace
New Jersey General Assembly, District 38

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora
New Jersey General Assembly, District 15

Pamela Renee
Councilwoman
Borough of Neptune City Council

Edward Zipprich
Councilmember
Borough of Red Bank Council

New Mexico

Senator Jacob Candelaria
New Mexico State Senate, District 26

Mayor Javier Gonzales
Santa Fe

Linda Siegle
Governing Board Secretary
Santa Fe Community College Board of Trustees

Senator Liz Stefanics
New Mexico State Senate, District 39

New York

Assemblymember Harry Bronson
New York State Assembly, District 138

Matt Haag
Councilmember, At-Large
Rochester City Council

Gregory Rabb
President, At-Large
Jamestown City Council

Michael Sabatino
Councilmember, District 3
Yonkers City Council

Assemblymember Matthew Titone
New York State Assembly, District 61

North Carolina

Representative Cecil Brockman
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 60

Mayor Lydia Lavelle
Carrboro

LaWana Mayfield
Councilwoman, District 3
Charlotte City Council

Damon Seils
Alderman
Carrboro Board of Aldermen

North Dakota

Representative Joshua            Boschee
North Dakota House of Representatives, District 44

Ohio

Representative Nickie J. Antonio
House Minority Whip
Ohio House of Representatives, District 13

Sandra Kurt
Clerk of the Court
Summit County Clerk of Courts

Oregon

Representative Karin Power
Oregon House of Representatives, District 41

Pennsylvania

Mayor Matt Fetick
Kennett Square

Bruce A. Kraus
Councilman, District 3
Pittsburgh City Council

Robert Langley
Councilmember
Meadville City Council

Lori Schreiber
Commissioner, Ward 14
Abington Township Board of Commissioners

Representative            Brian Sims
Pennsylvania House of Representatives, District 182

Tennessee

Chris Anderson
Councilmember, District 7
Chattanooga City Council

Nancy VanReece
Councilmember, District 8
Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County

Brett Withers
Councilmember, District 6
Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County

Texas

Representative            Mary González
Texas House of Representatives, District 75

John Turner-McClelland
President, District 11-A
Denton County Fresh Water Supply Board of Directors

Sheriff Lupe Valdez
Dallas County

Utah

Arlyn Bradshaw
Councilmember, District 1
Salt Lake County Council

Senator Jim Dabakis
Utah State Senate, District 2

Vermont

Representative Bill Lippert
Vermont House of Representatives, Chittenden-4-2 District

Virginia

Delegate Mark Levine
Virginia House of Delegates, District 45

Michael Sutphin
Councilmember
Blacksburg Town Council

Washington

Mayor Dave Kaplan
Des Moines

Senator Marko Liias
Washington State Senate, District 21

Representative Nicole Macri
Washington House of Representatives, District 43

Ryan Mello
Councilmember, At-Large Position 8
Tacoma City Council

Michael Scott
Councilor, Central Ward
Bainbridge Island City Council

West Virginia

Kevin Carden
Councilmember and Town Recorder
Corporation of Harpers Ferry

Wisconsin

Vered Meltzer
Alderperson, District 2
Appleton Common Council

Michael Verveer
Alder and Council President, District 4
Madison Common Council

Wyoming

Representative Cathy Connolly
Minority Floor Leader
Wyoming State House of Representatives, District 13

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The Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute works to increase the number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success.
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