An Endorsement for Colonie Town Board
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Brian R. Haak was appointed to the Colonie Town Board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Nancy Hernandez. He is the first openly gay member of the town board. Before his appointment, he was a member of Town of Colonie Planning Board.
With over 25 years of experience in government, including service at the state and local level and in both elected and appointed office, Brian is no stranger to the variety of issues that confront the Town Board on a daily basis. Brian is also no stranger to hard work and perseverance in the face of challenges early in his life.
History is made in big and small events. History was made on June 24, 2011 when the New York Legislature passed marriage equality legislation. History was also made on June 7, 2012 when I was appointed as the first openly gay member of the Colonie Town Board.
Some were concerned about selecting an openly gay man for the board. Some said I was “too liberal.” Others, more forthrightly, wondered if an openly gay candidate could win in a formerly solid Republican (and still fairly conservative) suburban town. They ignored my twenty-five years of experience in government – the youngest village trustee in St. Johnsville (my hometown) at the age of 20, chief financial officer of three separate municipalities, a village administrator, village and town justice in St. Johnsville, town and county supervisor in St. Johnsville, chair of the Montgomery County Finance Committee, member of the Colonie Town Planning Board, and an attorney with the Assembly — and my community work — helping start the Friends of the town library and with the Pride Center of the Capital Region — to focus solely on my sexual orientation. However, the local leadership was willing to take the chance on my experience and make a statement for diversity. This experience garnered me the support of the Democratic, Independence, and Working Families Parties.
I am not a “trailblazer.” I simply learned from my volunteer firefighter father and volunteer ambulance corps member mother that public service is important. While I never set out to be the first openly gay member of the Colonie Town Board, I certainly do not want to be the last one!
My Republican-Conservative opponent has been busy raising money while I was acclimating to my new duties and serving my constituents. As of the first filing, he has a substantial lead over me. I hope you will help me cut into that lead today with a donation. A loss could send the wrong mess to the larger community: that openly LGBT candidates cannot win in the suburbs. Please help me send the message that qualified LGBT candidate can win everywhere and make some history by becoming the first openly gay candidate to be elected in Colonie!
To make a donation by credit card, please go to the following link, which will take you to our PayPal account.
To make a donation by personal check, please make your check out to “Friends of Brian Haak” and send to:
Friends of Brian Haak
PO Box 1046
Latham, NY 12110