Carolyn Wysinger

El Cerrito City Council


Carolyn will be the first out LGBTQ Black woman elected to the El Cerrito City Council!


Carolyn Wysinger is a longtime West Contra Costa County resident and community activist running for El Cerrito City Council. Wysinger is running on a five-pronged platform that emphasizes leading economic growth and recovery, ensuring an equitable and transparent budgeting process, prioritizing community safety, supporting housing for all, and expanding El Cerrito’s climate leadership. Carolyn will bring over 25 years of community service experience from her leadership on local, regional, and statewide boards. She has garnered early endorsements from Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Congressman John Garamendi, California Treasurer Fiona Ma, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, District Attorney Diane Becton, California Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, and the list is growing.

Carolyn Wysinger is currently serving a 3rd term as San Francisco Pride President and was recently appointed by Supervisor John Gioia to serve on the Contra Costa County Library Commission. Carolyn works as the Education Coordinator at the Commonwealth Club of California.

In 2020, she was appointed by Mayor London Breed and Treasurer Jose Cisneros to the Economic Recovery Task Force of the City and County Of San Francisco. As part of the Task Force, Carolyn contributed policy recommendations to a 74-page report to guide the City’s efforts to revive local businesses and employment through the COVID-19 recovery.

Carolyn’s LGBTQ activism goes beyond her role at SF Pride. In 2013, Carolyn published her first book, Knockturnal Emissions, which has been listed as essential on LGBTQ reading list at several universities including the University of Washington, Madison. From 2008 – 2015, Carolyn wrote several blogs insightful articles for blogs such as Autostraddle, Everyday Feminism, Black Girl Dangerous and Media Diversified. She is also a regular LGBTQ contributor on “Roland Martin Unfiltered.” Carolyn Wysinger is sought out as an expert on LGBTQ issues and has been invited to provide commentary on public policy issues that impact all levels of government on ABC 7 News. She also has facilitated several workshops including Black Lesbians United, BLAQout Conference, and Gender Spectrum.

Carolyn is an active Democratic leader and has also served in many roles at the local, state, and national level. Locally, Carolyn serves as the Vice President of Programs for the El Cerrito Democratic Club. In 2020, Carolyn was elected to a two year term as an Assembly (AD-15) Delegate to California Democratic Party (CDP). As a delegate she is a Standing Committee member serving on the CDP Legislative Committee. She has also been appointed to serve on the Legislative Committee of the National Federation of Democratic Women which functions as the Women’s Caucus of the Democratic National Committee.

Carolyn’s family is originally from Louisiana and moved to West Contra Costa County in the 1940s. Her uncle Odis Cotright and her aunt Willie Mae Cotright opened the first black business in downtown Richmond called Cotright’s Groceries in 1940. Cotright Groceries became a prominent business in the area and served the community for over five decades.

Carolyn Wysinger was born and raised in West Contra Costa County. She was raised in Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond. Carolyn graduated from El Cerrito High School in 1997. As a proud Gaucho, Carolyn also served in many leadership roles including 1997 Class President, Director of Communications, Conflict Manager, BSU President and even School Mascot. Carolyn Wysinger received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach in 2004 and her Masters of Fine Arts at Antioch University.

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