Candidate for New York City Council, 6th District
Mel Wymore is a 29-year Upper West Side resident and mother of two native West Siders. In 2013, Mel was among the first openly transgender candidates to run for public office. He earned the endorsement of The New York Times in a seven-way race. 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.
Because of the historic nature of his candidacy, Mel has a national profile. But, fundamentally, he is a neighborhood candidate running in a local race. And he believes that our community deserves better. Our neighborhood is being overrun by out-of-control development, as our current Council Member, Helen Rosenthal, has stood idly by. To create a fair, strong, safe, and open neighborhood, we need a City Council member who will stand up for our community.
Mel refuses to take money from big developers and will fight to keep housing costs down and bolster our small businesses. He is organizing activists across New York and empowering our community to fight back against hate and oligarchy at a national, state, and local level.
As two-term chair of Community Board 7, Mel led groundbreaking negotiations to challenge one of the biggest developers in the city. Mel won us new public schools, permanent affordable housing, a new recreation center and the expansion of Riverside Park, all without taxpayers paying a dime.
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 SRO tenants 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.
As executive director of TransPAC, an organization dedicated to advancing the rights of transgender people in New York State, Mel received wide acclaim for his work to 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.