Jersey City LGBTQ leaders endorse Education Matters team for BOE race

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LGBTQ activists including Michael Billy, the co-chair of Jersey City Pride, endorsed the Education Matters Jersey City Board of Education ticket ahead of the November 8 election. Michael Billy

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Among the candidates running for Jersey City Board of Education this year, I am happy to endorse Sudhan Thomas, Gina Verdibello and Angel Valentin,” Billy said in a statement.

“The Education Matters team has made diversity central to their campaign. A pivot towards celebrating LGBTQ history, culture, advocacy, awareness and counseling is part of the diversity platform of the Education Matters team. They vow to protect LGBTQ students in Jersey City and produced the most comprehensive LGBTQ platform in JC BOE history.”

The Education Matters team also received endorsements from Demetrius Terry, the executive vice president for the College Democrats of NJ and LGBT activist Bruce Patcher, director of Heritage of Pride New York and assistant to State Senator Tom Duane and J. Roman Torres of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee (SOGI) of the NJEA.

“The Education Matters team understands the importance of equality in all of our schools which is vital towards the success of our district. It’s important to realize there are students who identify with the LGBT community and they need not to be forgotten about,” said Terry.

“I can attest to Sudhan Thomas’ excellent track record in support of the LGBTQ community … Thomas has served in various capacities including perimeter security manager at the New York Pride march, volunteered at various anti violence initiatives sponsored by State Senator Tom Duane, Heritage of Pride events and is a member of the volunteer group for the upcoming world pride march,” added Patcher.

The Education Matters team has garnered support from Mayor Steven Fulop, the local teachers union, the local police and firefighters unions, and the Hudson County Labor Council ahead of a competitive, 10-person race for three, three-year terms on the board.

Election Day is November 8.