Appleton voters elect transgender candidate to city council

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Voters in Appleton on April 1 elected transgender candidate Gypsy Vered Meltzer to their city council. 

Meltzer, 31, told the Post-Crescent, "I can see some push back, but I hope they'll get over it. I hope things don't go that route. I don't want to lose focus on the issues and increasing communications between the city and its residents.”

Meltzer, who identifies as male and moved to Appleton in 2000 to go to school, defeated Barney Lemanski in the municipal election. The vote was 295-199.

Fair Wisconsin, a statewide LGBT group, said Meltzer is the first openly transgender individual to hold elected office in the state. The election is historic, said Fair, which endorsed Meltzer in the race for the District 2 post.

In an appeal for support before the election, Meltzer offered this to voters: "I have been going to city council meetings and learning everything I can about how the city operates. Serving on city council has been a dream of mine for many years, and I couldn't do it without your support and encouragement. I am excited, prepared and confident. I will follow through on all my promises with a commitment to openness and transparency. I have no higher political aspirations beyond serving Appleton. Non-partisan local government is the arena in which we can truly improve our quality of life and meet the needs of our community!"

On a Facebook page for the District 2 alderperson after the election, Meltzer said his mission is "the same as the city of Appleton, to meet your needs and improve the quality of your life."

On the Web…

For more about Meltzer, go to