Mel Wymore: Community Activist, Organizer, and Leader
In the 29 years Mel Wymore has lived on the Upper West Side, he has been one of our community's most active and effective leaders. After 22 years representing us on Community Board 7―including two terms as its elected chair―Mel won the 2013 endorsement of The New York Times for his decades of tangible improvements to our community. An engineer by training, Mel's passion is activism and public service. He has raised two successful children on the Upper West Side.
In recent years, unregulated overdevelopment and high costs have hurt seniors, overcrowded our schools, and left storefronts vacant as beloved local businesses disappear.
Mel's record of tangible victories makes him the best choice to take on these challenges. As chair of Community Board 7, Mel led groundbreaking negotiations to take on one of the biggest real estate developers in the city. Mel forced the developer to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the first new public school building on the Upper West Side in 30 years, 600 units of permanent affordable housing, and expansion of Riverside Park, all without taxpayers paying a dime.
Mel is the right choice this year to stand up to big real estate and save small businesses, stop overcrowding in our schools, expand affordable housing and services for seniors, and clean up our neighborhood.
A lifelong community organizer, Mel has cofounded or chaired more than 30 organizations and civic groups formed to improve our quality of life and empower youth, seniors, people with disabilities, small businesses, local nonprofits, the LGBT community and low-income families of the Upper West Side.
Mel believes that everyone deserves a safe, secure life in our neighborhood. He organized neighbors to start the Stratford Arms Meal Program, which provided food security to seniors for more than 20 years. As chair of the West Side Y, Mel promoted youth development and mentorship opportunities, new programs for seniors, reconstruction of the community theater, and expansions of pre-school and teen facilities. As chair of Ethical Culture Fieldston School PTA, Mel focused on increasing diversity, which grew from 16 to 40 percent over a ten-year period.
In 2013, Mel was among the first openly transgender candidates to run for public office. If he wins the 2017 City Council race, he would be the first-ever transgender elected official in a major American city―a resounding message that hate has no place in New York. As executive director of TransPAC, an organization dedicated to advancing the rights of transgender people in New York, Mel received wide acclaim for his work to beat IDC members and elect a progressive New York State Senate in 2016.
Formally trained in mathematics, speech communications, and systems engineering, Mel’s professional experience spans several industries, including manufacturing, transportation, communications, hospitality, and digital enterprise.