Equality Michigan Executive Director Erin Knott says 2020 will be an important election year for equality of LGBTQ people as well as other issues. She says it’s important to mobilize people and talk about “issues that matter.” Knott is also Kalamazoo’s Vice Mayor, she was named Executive Director of Equality Michigan in May. Knott had been leading the LGBTQ advocacy organization since late last year on an interim basis.
Marriage equality became the law of the land in 2015 because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Knott says since then there have been setbacks, mainly the Trump administration’s rolling back of LGBTQ protections. Knott says elections have consequences so it’s important to talk to people at the local level about issues of equality.
Knott says LGBTQ people running for local and statewide office helps to changes hearts and minds. During her first campaign for City Commission in 2015 Knott says she was known as the “gay candidate” despite years of work on boards organizations in the city. Kalamazoo’s Vice Mayor says “you don’t see that now.” Knott says more LGBTQ people are realizing that “The barriers that existed to serve the community, particularly as an elected official aren’t what they used to be.”