Brian Knudson hopes to be first openly gay Councilman

A primary election for City of Las Vegas open council positions will be held Tuesday, April 2. Brian Knudsen hopes to be the first openly gay person elected to local office in Southern Nevada. Knudsen is running for City Council Ward 1.

Over the past 15 years, Knudsen has built a record working for LGBTQ equality in Las Vegas.

While at the City of Las Vegas, the Human Rights Campaign asked Knudsen to help improve its Municipal Equality Index (MEI). At the time, the City ranked towards the bottom compared with cities of similar populations. Brian helped effect policies that raised the City’s score from 70 points in 2011 to a perfect 100 points in 2014. In doing so, the City was forced to address and update many of its policies to make it a more inclusive place for its employees and City residents in general.

During his tenure at the City, Knudsen played an instrumental role in negotiating an agreement between the then-new LGBTQ Center (“The Center”) and the City. The City provided The Center with grant funds towards its operating budget in exchange for allowing the City to off er programming and classes in its conference rooms. Knudsen served on the board of We Are Family, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting social events for LGBTQ youth and their families. Brian is currently co-chairing a committee with the Discovery Children’s Museum to encourage awareness for its LGTBQ patrons.

Brian is married to Brian Eagan, a local attorney. The “Brians” have been together for 14 years and have adopted two children together, Andrew, age 3, and Katherine, age 1.

Derek Washington, Ward 5

In another City of Las Vegas race, openly gay Derek Washington is running to represent Ward 5, the seat currently held by Cedric Crear.

Washington has been active in Democratic politics for many years and is the former president of Stonewall Democrats. Washington argues that Ward 5 has become the “dumping ground” for the homeless. He’s is against sanctuary cities, according to an interview with Veterans in Politics.

He wants to redirect funds to organizations for homeless organizations that keep the homeless engaged 24/7, rather than “dump them out onto the streets at 7 a.m. in the morning.” He states that services for the homeless should be offered all across the valley, including Summerlin and Green Valley. Homelessness shouldn’t be a problem only addressed in Ward 5.

Washington says he is a black, gay, HIV+, Democrat who “Republicans can love, who Libertarians teach everything I know about regulations. I’m everybody. I’m also a Patriot, a proud American. At the end of the day, we’ll get it together.”

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