Meet Brian Sims
Brian Sims, the first openly gay man to run for state representative, hosted an open house at his new campaign headquarters last night on Broad Street. “It’s 75 days until the election,” said Sims, who’s challenging Rep. Babette Josephs as a Democrat in the 182nd District which encompasses the area between Gray’s Ferry to Spring Garden, including Rittenhouse and Fitler Squares, Bella Vista and the Gayborhood.
Sims is the former president of the board of directors of Equality Pennsylvania, an advocacy group for LGBT rights. He’s also a policy attorney who lives in Center City, former staff counsel for policy and planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association and a member of the campaign board for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, as well as a regular lecturer at the Center for Progressive Leadership.
His campaign was previously housed in President Obama’s former Philly headquarters before moving into the new space across from the Bellevue on Broad. Sims also recently hired two staffers this month – Brianna DelValle and Sabrina McLaughlin – both of whom recently relocated to Philadelphia to become Sims’ field director and finance director, respectively.
“I knew who Brian was,” says DelValle, who worked with him in Bucks County. “Then I got a call from his campaign manager.”
The staff collected signatures for his petition during the open house last night, where Democratic voters in the district showed up to lend their support for Sims, who would be challenging Josephs, a veteran in the state house. Interestingly, in the 2010 primary campaign, Josephs accused her then-opponent Gregg Kravitz of lying about his sexuality to attract voters. “I outed him as a straight person,” said Josephs, who has voted in favor of several LGBT-friendly initiatives in the past.
“I’m denied my civil rights,” said Rob Sondey, a resident of the Gayborhood who came out to support Sims last night. “He would represent gay rights.”
Sims said that issues of importance in his campaign also include education, seniors, the environment, public safety, healthcare and ethics reform.