Bowers became Lincoln’s first out LGBTQ councilmember in 2019
Washington, DC – Today, members of the Lincoln City Council made history in electing James Michael Bowers as chair of the council – the first out LGBTQ person to serve in the position. It is the latest in a series of LGBTQ-related milestones for the Lincoln City Council.
Earlier this month, out LGBTQ candidates Sändra Washington and Tom Beckius were the top two vote-getters in a race for three open council seats. Washington, who was appointed to a council position in 2019, became the first Black out lesbian elected in Nebraska with her win. When Beckius is sworn-in, three of the seven councilmembers will be LGBTQ, a significant number, given Bowers was the first out Lincoln councilmember ever when elected in 2019.
“James earned the council chair position by leading on issues important to his community – including his efforts to fight the pandemic – but the impact of his election is about more than issue positions and legislation,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “In just two years, Lincoln went from having never elected an out LGBTQ city councilmember to now having strong LGBTQ representation and an LGBTQ chair. The rapid progress is certain to inspire more LGBTQ people to run, not just in Lincoln, but throughout the state, and their leadership will change hearts and minds along the way.”
LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed and supported Bowers in his 2019 race for Lincoln City Council – which he won in May of that year. Bowers, along with several other councilmembers, championed Washington’s appointment to a vacant seat on the council in June 2019. Victory Fund endorsed Washington and Beckius in their 2021 races earlier this year.
Currently, Nebraska has just nine out LGBTQ elected officials in the entire state.
LGBTQ Victory Fund
LGBTQ Victory Fund works to achieve and sustain equality by increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve.