Cathy Woolard Elected Atlanta City Council President
First elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1997, Cathy Woolard had the distinction of becoming Georgia’s first out LGBTQ+ elected official. In 2001, she campaigned and won the citywide election for president of the council, making her one of the earliest out leaders of a major American city. Woolard was the first woman ever elected council president in Atlanta.
Though unsuccessful, Woolard’s bid for mayor in 2017 re-animated LGBTQ+ advocates in Georgia, who pointed to her record on the council.
“Cathy Woolard has spent much of her life leading the fight for LGBT equality around the country and in Georgia, going back to the 1980s,” said Georgia Equality’s Jeff Graham in a statement endorsing Woolard. “The progress we enjoy today really rests on the shoulders of champions like Cathy. LGBT people would not have civil rights protections in Atlanta if it weren’t for her. We couldn’t have defeated all of the anti-gay legislation in the Capitol in recent years if it weren’t for Cathy. She has been, and continues to be, a remarkable leader for our community.”