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Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert won out with 63 percent of the vote in her city last November. She ran on a platform that advocated for changing the city’s budget, bringing back services and increasing development. She said that though Ypsilanti is already an LGBTQ-friendly place, she’s excited and honored to work with a city that’s focused on inclusion. She added that her goal is to combat any existing hostility against the LGBTQ community and to make Ypsilanti a positive example in the state. Ideally, a city to which people are drawn and where they’ll end up wanting to stay.
“Michigan’s had a lot of brain drain in the last 20 years and a lot of people that left were talented people and a lot of people that left were from the LGBTQ community,” Bashert said. “And if Michigan is going to continue to be hostile, it’s going to restrict people from coming back. I hope that [the midterm election results] make all of our work at the local level more effective and allow us to do more work to support civil rights.”
When asked if she expects any obstacles to achieving her goals, she mentioned divisiveness within parts of the LGBTQ community.
“There are some factions that feel like it’s us or them or that some people say, ‘If we do this kind of development that helps this part of the community then it takes away from me,'” Bashert said. “That kind of thinking is just going to really interfere with the unification of the LGBTQ movement going forward. We have got support each other as we grow for our health and the strength of our community.”