Mel Wymore, who narrowly lost the Democratic primary for a City Council seat four years ago to Helen Rosenthal, is throwing his hat in the ring again this year, saying he’s the best person to combat Donald Trump’s policies in the district.
“City Council is our last line of defense against Trump’s attacks on our most vulnerable citizens,” he said in a statement. “We must be vigilant, take initiative, and most of all, organize for action right here in New York. Helen Rosenthal lacks the responsiveness and inclusiveness to serve every member of our community and bring us together.”
Affordable housing has disappeared faster on the UWS than in other parts of the city and classrooms remain overcrowded, Wymore says, criticizing Rosenthal’s response to the problems: “Good leadership isn’t a Twitter rant or an automated voice message.”
Rosenthal responded with a statement saying she is “proud of the work we’ve accomplished together. In upholding the values we as a community hold dear, from tenant protections, school integration and educational excellence, and supporting our seniors, we have given a clear and strong voice to those most vulnerable among us.” We’ve posted her full statement at the bottom of this post.
Wymore, a former community board president who is active in progressive politics, could be a formidable challenger, given his name recognition in the community. In 2013, he got 6,149 votes to Rosenthal’s 7,509. He is a systems engineer who grew up in Arizona and moved to the Upper West Side in 1988. Among his accomplishments on the community board was shepherding the opening of the Gertrude Ederle Rec Center on 60th Street.
Wymore spent much of his adult life as a woman. He married a man and is the mother to two children. But a presentation at his children’s school (Fieldston) was the spark that changed his life, he told the Times in a profile during his last City Council run. He announced he was transgender at his first community board meeting in 2009. Wymore is now the executive director of Transpac, a group focused on advancing trans rights in New York.
Wymore would be the first transgender member of the council.
Cary Goodman, a fierce opponent of the Museum of Natural History’s expansion plans, has also announced he’s running for the seat.
Rosenthal’s full statement is below:
I’m honored to serve the UWS in the City Council and proud of the work we’ve accomplished together. In upholding the values we as a community hold dear, from tenant protections, school integration and educational excellence, and supporting our seniors, we have given a clear and strong voice to those most vulnerable among us.
Now, more than ever, we must continue to come together and stand up for these values. When the current presidential administration is committed to eroding protections for immigrants, women, the LGBT community and many others, we have an obligation as New Yorkers and as Americans to fight back. As your Council Member, I will continue to stand up to hate in all of its ugly forms, from xenophobia to anti-LGBTQ, to misogyny, to racism.
As Trump has unleashed hate, the UWS has been on the front lines of resistance and solidarity. I’ve partnered with the New York Immigration Coalition to speak out against Islamaphobia. As Co-Chair of the City Council’s Women’s Caucus, I’ve led the Council’s efforts to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. Standing together with my colleagues on the Council’s LGBT Caucus, I have fought to expand protections for LGBT New Yorkers.
With the support of the residents of District 6, I look forward to continue to be a leading voice in the City Council fighting for our values.