Friday, February 17, 2006

Watching the next mayor ease into his campaign!

Scott Galvin was a teenager when I met him about twenty years ago, but very active in the goings on of the city of North Miami, attending council meetings and various city events. When he turned 18 he announced that he was running for city council in the upcoming election, but not for a vacant seat. He accepted the challenge of running against a popular incumbant, raised money, organized not only his teenage friends but a lot of adults that were unhappy with the way things were. He had signs in yards and store windows all over town and probably walked every street and knocked on every door, introducing himself, chatting a bit, and leaving a brochure. At the time I was running for a different council seat, but that's a story for another time.

I did tell everybody that I thought Scott would be more effective on the council than the incumbant, but the city just wasn't ready for an 18 year old at that time. He did make a good showing however, and got more than just a token vote. After the election he and I worked towards getting to switch to district elections for the four council seats, which is the system we now have. A few years later he ran again, got elected, and he's been one of the most effective people we ever had on the city council. In the last election he would have had to resign from the council seat, a four year term, in order to run for mayor, a two year term. He decided to keep his seat.

A year or so ago he called me one day to ask if I'd be at the council meeting that night. I said that I would. His next question was "Did you know that I was gay?" I said no, I never gave it much thought. He said that he was "coming out" at the council meeting just before the break. There were a couple of stacks of the local gay newspaper with a front page story about it sitting in his office. Would I please put them around the lobby just before the break? "No problem!" I said. He made the announcement and nobody seemed upset. When election time came around last May the city overwhelming elected Kevin Burns, also gay, who openly campaigned with his partner and his three year old daughter.

I really expect Scott to shoot for a county commision seat or state representive when his term ends. He's too talented to confine himself to a small city like North Miami.

The top photo shows him greeting a woman who attended a seminar a month ago that he sponsored at the community center. The second photo was a few minutes later as more people were arriving.


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