LGBTQ In 2021

Councilman Ritchie Torres

Activists, Lawmakers Launch Effort To Elect LGBTQ Members To City Council

May 22, 2019 - 7:19 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There is an effort underway to encourage more LGBTQ candidates to run for the City Council.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reports, “LGBTQ In 2021” is a coalition that is attempting to encourage members of the LGBTQ+ community to consider running for political office.

One activist at the rally noted that it was crucial the council have representation for all members of the community saying, “If you aren't at the table, you're on the menu.”

Bronx City Councilmember Ritchie Torres, who is openly gay, also says there continues to be places in New York City where, “Vicious homophobes have been elected to the City Council.”

He directly called out Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr.’s past homophobic remarks, including his most recent controversial comment in which he said the “City council is controlled by the homosexual community.”

Meanwhile, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who also is openly gay, pointed out that after 2021, the City Council could see a dramatic drop in LGBTQ representation.

“When Ritchie Torres and Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer, and Carlos Menchaca and myself are term-limited out of the council in just over two years, we want to ensure that there isLGBT representation,” the speaker said.

Activists are also trying to create a bigger push to encourage candidates to step up that represent more than just the “G,” as the only council members who are part of the LGBTQ community are currently gay men.

“We cannot afford to be complacent, we have to organize,” Torres said.