The Wisconsin primary is Tuesday, and you’re not going to get out of me who I’m voting for, because frankly, I think either Sanders or Clinton will serve this country well. I’m saving my energy for getting whoever gets the nod into office.
Because the opposition is hateful – every single one of the Republican nominees is ridiculous, divisive, and hate-minded.
But locally is a different issue: our incumbent mayor Tim Hanna, who is far from perfect, has been challenged by an ambitious newcomer, Josh Dukelow. I know both of them, and I like and respect both of them personally.
But as an LGBTQ+ person, Tim Hanna has already proved himself a supporter of my rights as a citizen and my rights to choose my family. He’s supported a diversity coordinator position, domestic partnership rights (when we still needed them, before marriage became legal on the federal level), and trans rights, and he has been transparent and upfront about supporting those rights.
Dukelow, however, wants to make the diversity coordinator position regional, which I think is a mistake. Right now Appleton has some of the strongest laws protecting us in the region, and our diversity coordinator already works with local governments on their issues.
Moreso, he hasn’t actually said he supports and will defend LGBTQ+ rights unequivocally. He also supported a family values candidate for school board.
But the important thing is this: as LGBTQ+ people in Wisconsin in a presidential election year, we know a few things:
- That Governor Walker is not our friend.
- That his nominee for State Supreme Court, Bradley, called us degenerates.
- That we don’t know who will become president, no matter how much I want this country to find its sanity and actually elect a competent person, which this year, means a Democrat.
- That it worries me that my city mayor may be the only elected representative between me and my rights, because with Walker in charge, and potentially one of these hateful Republicans as president, it will come down to whether our local representatives have the wherewithal to make sure we are valued, treated equally, and treated with respect.
All of which leads me to conclude I must, absolutely, vote for Tim Hanna again: because he has said it, he has done it, and I have no doubt that he will continue to do so despite the political climate otherwise.
Dukelow just hasn’t. I think he has some good ideas and I look forward to a day when he is ready enough to be mayor that he will absolutely, without question or hesitation, support my rights even in the face of opposition or the loss of votes. I hope he will court us in some future election for mayor, and that he might serve some other office and prove, due to his actions and not just his words, that I am valued and equal.
He hasn’t, yet. Tim Hanna has — which is why Tim Hanna is getting my vote for Mayor of Appleton.