Join us in celebrating the historic victory that has seen Rebecca Maurer becoming the first openly LGBTQ+ councilperson in Cleveland!
In a tightly contested election, 16-year incumbent Cleveland Councilman Anthony Brancatelli narrowly secured victory over his opponent Rebecca Maurer by a slim margin of 80 votes in the September primary for Ward 12.
The final face-off between the two contenders was equally competitive. Their rematch unfolded in the November general election, where Mauer clinched victory with 51.2% of the votes, leaving Brancatelli trailing closely at 48.8%, a mere 72-vote difference.
Maurer's incredible victory marks a turning point in her extraordinary journey. Entrusted with the responsibility of representing Ward 12, her jurisdiction spans across vital areas, including Slavic Village, sections of Old Brooklyn, Brooklyn Centre, and Tremont.
Rebecca Maurer's remarkable victory in the Cleveland Council election stands as a testament to the culmination of her extraordinary journey, one defined by unwavering determination, a commitment to justice, and a tireless dedication to the betterment of her community.
Rebecca Maurer hails from Northeast Ohio, where she spent her formative years. She holds degrees from both the University of Chicago and Stanford Law School.
In 2008, she served as a field organizer for the Obama campaign in Cleveland. During this time, she was part of the grassroots movement that mobilized support for Barack Obama's presidential bid. Field organizers like Maurer were instrumental in organizing events, canvassing neighborhoods, and engaging with the local community to build momentum and secure votes for the campaign.
It was after this period of political engagement that Rebecca Maurer turned her focus toward housing law, driven by her own challenging experiences with landlords and a desire to address housing issues affecting individuals and communities.
"When I was 19, I noticed that the heat wasn’t turning on in the apartment I rented from a large property management company," she explained. "Call after call to fix the issue went unanswered as winter approached. Eventually, I called a tenants' rights hotline, and they told me how to write a letter to my landlord laying out my rights and requesting that the landlord resolve the issue. Within a day of delivering the letter, the heat was on in my apartment. When the heat came on in my apartment, I felt like I had been given a superpower: advocacy. I knew right then and there that I wanted to spend my career sharing that power with other people."
Being a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, she wholeheartedly champions the cause of equality. Her firsthand experience has made her acutely aware of the adverse repercussions of Ohio's 2004 same-sex marriage ban and the transformative impact of Cleveland's 2009 approval of a nondiscrimination ordinance. These experiences have fueled her deep commitment to becoming even more actively engaged in her city's advocacy efforts.
"I saw early on that municipal government could play a critical role in giving dignity and rights to every person," she said.
Rebecca Maurer's unwavering dedication to advocacy and her commitment to equal rights led her on an incredible journey, culminating in a historic win for LGBTQ+ representation in the city of Cleveland.
Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Fund
Following the election, Annise Parker, President and CEO of the Victory Fund, an LGBTQ organization that backs LGBTQ+ candidates and politicians in the political arena, issued a statement in celebration of Rebecca's election victory.
"LGBTQ people and women face unique obstacles and challenges when running for office, but Rebecca overcame them and is now a trailblazer for the city of Cleveland. Yet voters elected Rebecca because she is a community leader and is tuned into the issues that matter to them–especially providing equal resources and funding to all neighborhoods in her district," Parker said. "While she didn’t run to make history, her election will certainly inspire more LGBTQ women to consider public service as a way to make positive change in their communities."
Ohio now boasts a current count of twelve LGBTQ+ women holding elected positions, and among them, Rebecca Maurer stands out as a trailblazing LGBTQ+ leader on the Cleveland City Council.
With a commitment to equality and a wealth of valuable experiences, Rebecca Maurer is poised to be an exceptional advocate for her constituents in Ward 12.
Her historic win is a powerful reminder that progress can be made when we unite in pursuit of justice and equality. As she embarks on this transformative journey in Cleveland's city council, her success stands as a proud symbol of how far the LGBTQ+ movement has come.
Yet, it also serves as an important reminder that there is still much work left to be done in our ongoing quest for a more inclusive and equitable society. So as we reflect on her groundbreaking achievement, let this momentous event serve as a reminder that anything is possible when we stand together with courage and conviction, inspiring us to continue pushing for positive change in our communities.