Out & About Newspaper encourages its Nashville readers to vote for Karl Dean in the run off mayoral race on Sept. 11.

Early voting begin Wednesday, August 22 and ends Thursday, Sept. 6 at eight locations throughout Nashville (click here for early voting information).

Dean has shown that he’s not only supportive of the GLBT community; he’s proven that he will work with the community to move it forward. His opponent, Bob Clement, has done nothing to win the GLBT community’s support and while he may not “harm” the community, he will most certainly not move it forward if he becomes mayor.

Dean made it clear during the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Forum (of which Clement did not participate) that he wanted Nashville to be a city that “celebrates diversity.”

At that same forum, Dean was one of the few candidates who had a vision for the growing gay district in the Church Street area.

“We need to market that area towards tourism, restaurants, and clothing stores and encourage that sort of growth,” he said. “We need to make it more pedestrian friendly and tackle issues of transportation.”

In an interview with O&AN, Dean said that he would encourage all gay and lesbian Metro City employees to be open and out at work under his administration. He also said he’d evaluate partner benefits for GLBT city employees. 

"Many larger corporations are providing these benefits to gay and lesbian employees,” he said. “It would certainly be on the table, as we want to follow best practices in this area and attract the brightest employees.”

On the issue of hate crimes, it’s Dean’s past as a prosecutor that should help the GLBT community fear safer under Dean’s administrative umbrella.

“Hate crimes have no place in Nashville,” Dean said. ‘As Mayor, I am totally committed to taking all steps to catch any individual that deals in hate.  This includes working with law enforcement.  I want all Nashvillians to feel safe and welcome in our city.”

We all want to feel safe in a city that celebrates the diversity of its citizens. For that reason, we endorse Karl Dean for Mayor.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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