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LaWana Mayfield Elected to Charlotte City Council

LaWana Mayfield in 2014

A landslide win in the 2011 general election for LaWana Mayfield not only made her the first out LGBTQ+ elected official in Charlotte, but also just the second Black woman to serve on the City Council. Prior to her election, Mayfield spent years volunteering with a variety of causes, serving as national female diversity co-chair for the Human Rights Campaign and a casework supervisor with the American Red Cross. During her time in office, she focused on issues pertaining to housing, transportation, small business growth, and wages. She is an alum of LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training as well as the Bohnett Leaders Fellowship, and received LGBTQ+ Victory Fund’s support in her city council races. 

Robin Kniech Elected At-large in Denver

Robin Kniech in 2011

Winning second place in an at-large election that placed two people on Denver’s City Council, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund candidate Robin Kniech became the first ever out LGBTQ+ person elected to the position. After 10 years in policy work, Councilwoman Kniech has used her time in office to focus on expanding affordable housing, local food access, energy efficiency, and more. She also worked to establish a $15 minimum wage for city employees and contractors and has collaborated on efforts to update Denver’s regulations governing the marijuana industry.

LGBTQ+ Lawmakers Secure Marriage Equality in New York State

Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell holds a press conference to urge colleagues to support a marriage equality bill in 2009. Courtesy of Donna F. Aceto
Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell holds a press conference to urge colleagues to support a marriage equality bill in 2009. Courtesy of Donna F. Aceto

Out New York Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell and Senator Tom Duane introduced the Marriage Equality Act of 2011 after a narrow defeat in 2009 and subsequent electoral efforts to oust some of their anti-LGBTQ+ colleagues. Three anti-equality senators had been replaced with pro-equality legislators in the 2010 elections, making way for the bill to clear the upper chamber, where it had previously stalled. The bill was fast-tracked by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed it into law on June 24, 2011. 

In its 2011 annual report, LGBTQ+ Victory Fund emphasized the role of LGBTQ+ elected officials in the marriage equality fight: 

New York’s six openly LGBT state lawmakers weren’t just introducing and supporting marriage bills over the years, they were telling their own stories to colleagues, introducing their partners, and challenging their peers to stand with them in this fight. As their caucus grew in size, so did the power and strength of their argument. On the night the bill finally passed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly gathered the LGBT caucus in his office and signed the legislation with those legislators standing around his chair. It was fitting that the governor invited them to witness history. After all, they helped make it.

Victory Congressional Internship and Fellowship Launches

The 2018 class of Victory Congressional Interns
The 2018 class of Victory Congressional Interns

LGBTQ+ Victory Institute’s Congressional Internship and Fellowship programs are designed to increase LGBTQ+ inclusion on Capitol Hill. Launched in 2011, the programs provide outstanding LGBTQ+ college students with intensive leadership skills and experience in the most-difficult-to-access political offices.

Every year, the Victory Congressional Internship brings cohorts of LGBTQ+ undergrads – selected from hundreds of applicants around the country – to Washington, DC, where it provides them a stipend, housing, mentorship and trainings as they complete internships with pro-equality members of Congress. The Victory Congressional Fellowship brings one LGBTQ+ young professional to Capitol Hill for a year-long fellowship with the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus, where they work with members of Congress to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. 

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund Endorsed Candidates in 2011

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund endorsed 76 candidates in 2011.


Daniel Hernandez (D), School Board Governing Board, Sunnyside Unified School District K-12, Arizona

Steve Pougnet (D), Mayor of Palm Springs, California

Ruth Atkin (D), Emeryville City Council, California

Larry Forester (D), Signal Hill City Council, California

Juanita Gonzales (D), El Monte School Board, California

Stephanie O'Brien (D), College of Marin, Board of Trustees, California

David Vela (D), Montebello School Board, California

Robin Kniech (D), Denver City Council, At-Large, Colorado

Debra Johnson (D), Denver Clerk & Recorder, Colorado

Pedro Segarra (D), Hartford Mayor, Connecticut

Daryl Finizio (D), Mayor of New London, Connecticut

Steve Kornell (D), St. Petersburg City Council, Florida

Michael Smith (D), Largo City Commission, Florida

Kecia Cunningham (D), Commissioner, City of Decatur, Georgia

Lance Rhodes (D), East Point City Council, Georgia

James Cappleman (D), Chicago City Alderman, 46th District, Illinois

Ray Johnson (D), Village of Oak Park Trustee, Illinois

Zach Adamson (D), Indianapolis City Council, Indiana

Clifford Cunningham (R), Chelsea City Council, Massachusetts

Alex Morse (D), Holyoke Mayor, Massachusetts

Ken Reeves (D), Cambridge City Council, Massachusetts

Denise Simmons (D), Cambridge City Council, Massachusetts

Jass Stewart (D), Brockton City Council At-Large, Massachusetts

Patrick Wojahn (D), College Park City Council, Maryland

David Coulter (D), Mayor, Ferndale, Michigan

Mary Doran (D), St. Paul School District, Minnesota

Caitlin Copple (D), Missoula City Council, Montana

LaWana Mayfield (D), Charlotte City Council, Dist. 3, North Carolina

Lydia Lavelle (D), Carrbaro Board of Alderman, North Carolina

Reed Gusciora (D), New Jersey State Assembly, Dist. 15, New Jersey

Tim Eustace (D), State Assembly, Dist. 38, New Jersey

Bruce Harris (R), Chatham Mayor, New Jersey

Ed Zipprich (D), Red Bank City Council, New Jersey

Brad Bender (I), Southhampton City Council, New York

Michael Cannataro (D), Judge Seat, Civil Court of New York City, 3rd Municipal, New York

Michael Sabatino (D), Yonkers City Council, Dist 3, New York

Ken Zalewski (D), Troy City Council, Dist. 5, New York

Chris Seelbach (D), Cincinnati City Council, Ohio

Bruce Kraus (D), Pittsburgh City Council, Pennsylvania

John Campbell (D), Harrisburgh City Treasurer, Pennsylvania

Daniel Clifford (R), Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania

Geraldine Delevich (D), New Hope Borough Council, Pennsylvania

John Kashwick (R), Borough of Closter, Councilman, Pennsylvania

Hugh McGough (D), Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania

Elinor Warner (D), Easton City Council, At-Large, Pennsylvania

Mike Laster (D), Houston City Council, Seat A, Texas

Joel Burns (D), Fort Worth City Council, Texas

Annise Parker (D), Mayor of Houston, Texas

Adam Ebbin (D), Virginia State Senate, Dist. 30, Virginia

Ken Schneck (D), Brattleboro Selectboard, Vermont

Sally Clark (D), Seattle City Council, Washington

Robert Gelder (D), Kitsap Board of Commissioners, Washington

Joe McDermott (D), King County Council, Dist. 8, Washington

Ryan Mello (D), Tacoma City Council, Washington

Tom Rasmussen (D), Seattle City Council, Washington


Bevan Dufty (D), San Francisco Mayor, California

Jose Solache (D), Lynwood School Board, California

Kenneth DeLeon (D), East Point City Council, Georgia

Pam Miller (D), Savannah City Council, Dist. 4, Georgia

Amaad Rivera (D), Springfield City Councilor, At-Large, Massachusetts

Greg Lemke (D), Moorhead City Council, Minnesota

Rory Neuner (D), Lansing City Council, At-Large, Michigan

Wayne Abraham (D), Greensboro City Council, North Carolina

Ray Velazquez (D), Jersey City City Council (At-Large), New Jersey

Stephen Keblish (R), Herkimer County Legislator, Dist. 3, New York

Sean Massey (D), Binghamton Council, New York

Sherrie Cohen (D), Philadelphia City Council, Pennsylvania

Malcolm Lazin (R), Philadelphia City Council, At-Large, Pennsylvania

David Glasgow (D), Metro Nashville City Council, District 18, Tennessee

Nancy VanReece (D), Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, District 8, Tennessee

Chris Hightower (D), Arlington City Council, Texas

Randi Shade (D), Austin City Council, Texas

Alan Andersen (D), Midvale City Council, Utah

Patrick Forrest (R), Virginia State Senate, Dist 32, Virginia

Samuel Stevenson (D), Madison City Council, Wisconsin

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