The only nationwide organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ people into office announced this week that they’re endorsing a candidate for a Queens New York City Council seat.
The Victory Fund endorsed Lynn Schulman for New York City Council District 29 (Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, parts of Richmond Hill and Maspeth) in the 2021 New York City Council elections. If elected, Schulman would be the first openly lesbian elected official in the borough of Queens.
“Lynn’s commitment to smart public policy that addresses the real concerns of constituents makes her the best candidate in this race,” said Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, in a press release. “When she wins in June 2021, Lynn will become a vital LGBTQ voice for equality in Queens and all of New York City.”
The LGBTQ community is underrepresented in government, the press release said. According to Gallup, LGBTQ people hold 0.15 percent of the positions nationwide despite making up 4.5 percent of the U.S. population.
Schulman said that she hopes that the endorsement from the Victory Fund will encourage other LGBTQ people to run for office.
“I’m hoping that people will see someone that’s like them and say, ‘Wow, you know, I can do that too,’” she said.
Schulman is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Leadership Program at the Harvard University-Kennedy School of Government. She’s worked in public service, the private sector and for non-profits.
The 2021 election will be her third time running for New York City Council. She ran back in 2001 and 2009 for the same position. City Councilmember Karen Koslowitz has held the seat since 1991 except for a few years because of term limits.
“I wake up everyday thinking, ‘How can I help somebody? How can I make somebody’s life better?’” Schulman said. “Being a member of the council will help to increase my ability to help people.”
She’s running for office because her district and the city needs a healthcare system that’s accessible to everybody, she said. It needs more affordable housing and better access to good education for students. She said she’s a supporter of small businesses and wants to see more services for seniors.
With the 2021 elections still far in future, Schulman said she plans to continue outreach efforts to voters in her district. But she said her vision for the future doesn’t stop with her district but includes all of New York City.
“This election coming up is about the future of New York City and the future of this district,” she said.