LGBTQ activist and Democrat Travis Radina announces campaign for Ann Arbor City Council

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 2:45pm

LGBTQ activist Travis Radina announced his candidacy for Ann Arbor City Council on Thursday.

LGBTQ activist Travis Radina announced his candidacy for Ann Arbor City Council on Thursday. Buy this photo
Sarah Kunkel/Daily

Travis Radina, LGBTQ+ activist and Democrat, announced he is running for Ann Arbor City Council on Thursday. He needs 100 signatures by April 21 to appear on the primary ballot on Aug. 4. Radina is seeking the seat of incumbent Zachary Ackerman, who will not be running for re-election this November. 

Radina said he is running to represent Ward 3 on City Council because he wants to fight for improved public goods and affordable housing. Radina said the people of Ann Arbor “deserve better.” 

In a statement to The Daily, Radina said his campaign strategy is to go out into the community and speak with people face-to-face about issues that impact their daily lives. 

“As a former UM College Dem & Democratic staffer in the Michigan House of Representatives, I see campaigns as a real opportunity to engage with voters about the issues that impact their lives every day,” Radina wrote. “So, with that in mind, I’m really excited to kickoff this campaign and to get out into the community, as a candidate, to have really important conversations with my neighbors about the issues they care most deeply about. I plan to knock a lot of doors and attend a lot of events to make sure my neighbors are heard and feel represented throughout this election.” 

Ackerman has held the seat since 2015. In a statement, he said he was happy to hear about Radina running for his seat. 

“During my tenure, I’ve gotten the privilege to work with him on issues relating to the LGBTQ community,” Ackerman said in a statement. “I trust he will be a dedicated and effective representative for the people of the Third Ward.”

A University of Michigan alum, Radina works at the Alumni Association as the director of global alumni communities. 

Radina said he does not have the answers to every problem but will look to the community to help develop innovative solutions. 

“My approach to solving problems is to be very thoughtful, inclusive, and collaborative,” Radina wrote. “I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I have all the answers to every problem, but I know we are surrounded by a community of incredibly smart and talented people. If elected, I believe it will be my responsibility to be accessible and present in the community to bring more of them into the conversation about our city’s future.”

Radina is also the president of the Jim Toy Community Center, an organization that serves the LGBTQ community of Washtenaw County. LGBTQ activist Jim Toy said he was the voice the LGBTQ community needs.  

“As president of the Jim Toy Community Center and LGBTQ liaison to the mayor, Travis increased visibility for LGBTQ causes, advocated for our most marginalized residents, and was a champion for equal rights,” Toy said. “As our next council member, Travis will fight to make Ann Arbor more inclusive, equitable and fair for all our families.”

Daily Staff Reporter Alyssa McMurtry can be reached at amcmurt@umich.edu