Openly gay candidate bids for Midvale City Council

Helping community development and other regional community growth programs is the most important issue for an openly gay candidate for Midvale City Council. Alan Anderson doesn’t want to make his sexuality the defining issue of his candidacy, and instead he’d like to focus on representing Midvale and helping the community grow.

“I love my city. I love my neighborhood and I really do think it is the hidden gem of the valley,” Anderson said. “I am really interested in running not because I am gay, but because I care about my neighborhood and I want to see it develop.”

Anderson has been involved politically on several levels, and while the race is officially non-partisan, he has held different leadership positions within the Democratic Party. He is now running for Midvale City Council District 3, which is a four-year term.

“I first voted for George McGovern in 1972, and I’ve been involved in politics in one way or another since,” he said.

Anderson has been a precinct and legislative chair within the party and he has also been involved in grassroots activism for different Democratic candidates.

Anderson moved to Utah in 1978 and has been active in his community and queer rights in his sometimes conservative neighborhood.

“With the enormous help from Brandie Balken and Equality Utah, I helped get the anti-discrimination measures into Midvale, which were passed unanimously,” Anderson said.

Because there is little more that can be done concerning queer rights at the city level, Anderson said that is not a main focus for his candidacy and if elected, he said one of his main goals would be to help bring some revitalization efforts to struggling areas of the city.

“I live in a nice neighborhood and I’d really like to see all of Midvale live up to its potential,” Anderson said.

Anderson said his sexuality hasn’t been an issue so far in the campaign and his opponents, Paul Hunt and Neil Whicker, have not made any indication that it would become one.

“I think times are really changing, for example, Jim Dabakis was just elected to lead the Democrats in Utah. I just don’t think it’s an issue that people care about as much,” Anderson said.

Along with politics, Anderson is involved in the Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, Utah’s oldest LGBT-oriented charity.

Because there are three candidates vying for the same position, a run-off election will be held Sept. 13 to narrow the field down to two candidates for the general election in November. To find out more information about the campaign or to donate, go to Anderson4Midvale.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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