Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vote Dec. 1: Amir Farokhi for Atlanta City Council, Post 2 At-Large

In this year's runoff election that stands to define the concept of change, GLBTATL.org is proud to endorse Amir Farokhi for the position of Atlanta City Council, Post 2 At-Large.

After the unethical, and possibly illegal, police raid on Atlanta Eagle on September 10, GLBTATL organized a public rally to give a a voice to the victims of the raid. Local candidates for public office were invited to show their support for the community. For City Council Post 2 At-Large, only Amir Farokhi presented his case to the assembled crowd of hundreds:

We are all here to determine the future of our city. Atlanta is what we make of it, and whether this is a city that fulfills its potential to become a truly great city, a city that has space for everyone, in which there are no second-class residents, in which everyone is respected by residents and by the city, we have work to do.... I hope to stand shoulder by shoulder with you, today, tomorrow, and if elected, make sure this a city that continues to be a beacon of light... for the LGBT community in the southeast and around the country.

Amir Farokhi has already spelled out his platform for equality to include better promotion and utilization of Atlanta's domestic partner registry—which has existed since 1997, yet appears nowhere on the City's web site. Farokhi takes further bold steps by pledging to seek out contractors who provide domestic-partner benefits, and promote the hiring of LGBTQ+ Atlantans to City offices.

In stark contrast, Farokhi's opponent does not even address the existence of Atlanta's gay community on his campaign website. With nearly one-eighth of our city population identifying as lesbian, gay, or transgender, Atlanta's LGBTQ+ community cannot afford to elect officials who do not put a priority on our community's needs.

GLBTATL asked Farokhi about extending his equality platform beyond Atlanta, particularly whether he would support marriage equality, to which he said: "I support full equality for marriage. It's a yes-or-no issue. Any definition that is fuzzy or in-between is just a matter of political convenience."

In September, our community was attacked by our own sworn protectors. Just this week, our iconic community publication of record, Southern Voice, was shut down. Now, more than ever before, our community needs the direct and open support of our City government. GLBTATL believes that Amir Farokhi is the best candidate for Atlanta City Council, Post 2 At-Large—both for Atlanta's LGBTQ+ community, and our City as a whole.

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