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➤ BROOKLYN PRIDE, from p.22 hailed the spirit of the Park Slope celebration. “Everyone feels welcome,” he declared, before turning to one of the evening’s political implications — that he and his four gay Council colleagues all face term limits in 2021. Activists several weeks ago announced an effort, dubbed LGBTQ in 2021, to ensure that queer representation on the Council will not vanish as a result of these term limits. Menchaca was joined in the parade by nearly a dozen of his Council colleagues, including out gay Speaker Corey Johnson from Manhattan and Daniel Dromm from Queens. Jared Arader, who is president of the borough’s LGBTQ Lambda Independent Democrats, echoed Menchaca’s emphasis on the 2021 elections, saying of his club’s participation in the parade, “This is our opportunity to show Brooklyn’s LGBTQ community that that we are engaged in local politics, we care about local politics. We care about representation, and we have

GayCityNews.nyc | June 20 - June 26, 2019

to make sure that the rest of the city know that just because marriage got done, just because GENDA [the Gender Expression NonDiscrimination Act] got done, we’re not done.” The club, Arader said, has grown during the Trump era surge of activism on the left. As important, he said, Lambda is growing beyond its historic roots in affluent, predominately white neighborhoods like Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights and drawing in increased numbers of transgender members and people of color. “We’re marching in Park Slope right now because that’s been the traditional heart of Brooklyn’s community but we’re moving out, moving from Park Slope to where we belong,” he said. Other elected officials marching in the Brooklyn parade spoke to more global political issues, as well. Menchaca repeated his criticism of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent broadening of the range of criminal offenses on which he would work with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Though Menchaca got blowback from sever-

al of his Council colleagues because the incremental offenses included some sex crimes, the councilmember insisted, “It’s about trust, and the one thing you can’t legislate is trust and when you send a signal as the mayor of New York that you’re okay cooperating with ICE for any reason whatsoever then it sends a signal that you’re not important and that’s the wrong message and that you can’t get back.” Jumaane Williams, a former Brooklyn councilmember who earlier this year won the race to succeed State Attorney General Letitia James as the city’s public advocate, said of his new post, “I think it’s a pretty cool one. I get to be an activist. I get to be an organizer. I get to hold government accountable on behalf of groups as I’ve tried to do for the past 10 years.” Asked about his travels in recent weeks, not only to Albany but to other upstate cities as well, Williams explained that he is looking to organize unified support statewide for a tenant protection bill that he described as “the best combination of upstate and downstate legislation I’ve seen in a long time.”

Speaking about her new post, James said, “I think given the fierce urgency of now, given the politics of our nation, as we see an increase in hate crimes, as we see an administration that unfortunately is targeting marginalized populations, I am so honored to be the attorney general of the State of New York to show the way for the nation in seeking justice and equality for the nation.” Turning out for Pride, she said, is a way to send a message to President Donald Trump so “that knows there’s more of us than of them.” Vowing to keep pressure up on the administration in Washington, James said, “Nobody is above the law.” Adams, the borough president, also took aim at Trump. “Without a doubt, the energy and spirit that is coming out of Washington, DC, has really made those who are anti-all-groups comfortable in being anti,” he said. “This is a spirit we have not seen in a long time. But we’re not going to allow it to suffocate us, we’re going to continue to breath and keep our belief in diversity.”

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Profile for Schneps Media

Gay City News - June 20, 2019  

June 20, 2019

Gay City News - June 20, 2019  

June 20, 2019