Like so many of our members, as a board, we have carefully weighed how to move forward in the run off for Atlanta Mayor.
We had originally hoped to work with both candidates and a variety of LGBT organizations to sponsor a forum to delve deeply into the future vision each candidate had for LGBTQ Atlantans and people living with HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, given the limited time for such events and the logistical complications of this process, we were unable to make that happen.
We therefore have been following closely the positions and statements both candidates have made publicly regarding those issues and were extremely interested in to their comments at last night’s forum sponsored by Cathy Woolard.
The board of directors has voted to endorse Mary Norwood for Mayor. Mary was able to clearly articulate support of the following policy areas we have prioritized:
- Increasing the importance of the LGBT liaison position to cabinet level
- Understanding the importance of PrEP as a key HIV prevention tool
- A desire to use the influence of the mayor to push for a comprehensive civil rights law in Georgia that includes sexual orientation and gender identity
- A need to focus on the school to prison pipeline
- A willingness to use the office to advocate for reforming Georgia’s HIV criminalization laws
Finally, she now has the support of not only Cathy but also Shirley Franklin, Ceasar Mitchell and John Eaves. All of whom are elected officials we have worked with closely in the past.
As we’ve stated before, in a period in which many people seeking elected office are supportive of the LGBT community, the Georgia Equality Board of Directors will issue an endorsement for a candidate who we feel is best placed to advance our policy agenda. The lack of an endorsement should not necessarily be viewed as a negative reflection of a particular candidate’s views on LGBT issues in general.