Atlanta City Council no longer has an openly gay, lesbian member - CBS46 News

Atlanta City Council no longer has an openly gay, lesbian member

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The new Atlanta City Councilmembers have only been on the job for a few days and for the first time in 20 years, no one on the council is openly gay or lesbian.

"It's a shame none were elected this cycle, hopefully in the future that will change, however what's important is to hold the candidates who are in office accountable for representing the LGBTQ community well," said Aaron Dowdy.

Cathy Woolard agrees. The former city council president, and most recently former councilmember and mayoral candidate, lost but the openly gay politician garnered a healthy 16 percent of the vote.

By phone on vacation she told me she's concerned about the zero percent representation of people who are openly gay or lesbian, out of the 16 councilmembers. 

"What I have found is, when there are LGBT people in office they tend to be a little bit more quickly aware of what's needed and what's going on what the overall movement is interested in doing, and without the leadership on the council, someone's going to have to take on that role," said Woolard.

New city councilmember Jennifer Ide whose district includes the Midtown, Morningside, Virginia-Highland and Ansley Park neighborhoods. She took over for openly gay councilmember Alex Wan, when he gave up the seat and lost the council president election to Felicia Moore. 

"I have many neighbors and friends in the neighborhood who are gay and I have gay family members as well, so I am a straight woman but I am, I think that I can relate," said Ide.

Cathy Woolard told CBS46 Atlanta leaders also have power to influence state lawmakers on issues like the adoption bill and the hate crimes bill.

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