Ann Arbor City Council elects first openly gay mayor pro tempore since 2000

Travis Radina was elected to represent Ward 3 on the Ann Arbor City Council. (Travis Radina)

ANN ARBOR – Tree Town’s newly formed city council has elected Ward 3 representative Travis Radina to serve as Ann Arbor’s new mayor pro tempore.

Radina, who was elected to the city council in 2020, will be the first openly gay council member in the pas 20 years to serve in the position.

“I am honored that my colleagues have placed their trust in me to serve in this important leadership role for our City, and welcome the opportunity to expand my service to this Council and the community we all love,” Radina said in a release.

“I am particularly humbled to be selected by the current composition of the City Council, which has become the most diverse in our City’s history. The magnitude of that honor and the responsibility that comes with it is not lost on me.”

Radina has served as both the LGBTQ Liaison to the Office of the Ann Arbor Mayor and as President of the Jim Toy Community Center. He was unanimously elected to the position during the Monday, Nov. 21, Ann Arbor City Council meeting.

He has worked on numerous issues and legislation including housing, renter’s rights, anti-discrimination, free menstrual products, accountability of local officials, banning conversion therapy and other human rights issues.

“The diversity of expertise, experience and perspective on this Council is incredibly impressive,” Radina said. “I look forward to working with each of my colleagues over the next two years to restore civility on this body and confidence in our government, to deliver better-than-basic city services, to continue making progress toward our housing and climate goals, and to advance progressive policies that make Ann Arbor a desirable place to live, learn, work, raise a family, recreate and eventually retire.”

He is the first openly gay man to be elected as mayor pro tempore since former city council member Chris Kolb, who went on to serve as one of Michigan’s first openly gay state legislators in the Michigan State House of Representatives.

He will take over duties from former Ward 3 representative Julie Grand.

What is a mayor pro tempore?

The mayor pro tempore takes over mayoral duties when an elected mayor is absent or incapable, or if the position of mayor is vacant.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.