Katherine Triatanfillou

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Katherine Triantafillou, City Council, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Photo by Ron Schlittler.

Katherine Triantafillou

Born September 23, 1950

Cambridge City Council

Cambridge, Massachusetts

98,000 constituents

Career Overview

Elected November 1993,

Re-elected 1995, 1997

Among her many accomplisments during her first term in office, Katherine Triantafillou spurred full implementation of the city's Domestic Partnership Ordinance to ensure that all city workers and their partners were provided health benefits. She lost the bid for re-election discussed below by a very slim margin. It was so close that it was several days after the election before the outcome could be determined.

Essay by Katherine Triatafillou for Out And Elected in the USA

Perhaps this is a good time to be writing this piece, given that the election is two days away. I am beyond tired and can’t bear the thought of one more hand to shake, speech to give, or candidates’ forum to attend. I would prefer to be doing the job, not reminding people why they should reward my past six years of work with another two years.

It is Halloween, a traditional gay High Holiday. I should be preparing to party. Instead, I will be attempting to identify more “#1 voters.”

Yesterday at the subway a young man – self identified as a “Gen-Xer” told me he didn’t vote because it did not impact his life. I responded with “who do you think cleans your streets? Picks up your trash and snow? Determines how tall and where buildings will be built?” He was not moved, but noticed a half-hour later the campaign volunteers holding signs for me. He calls them my “minions” and wonders why they give up their time on such a beautiful Saturday. I smile and say, “because they believe in democracy and this is how they express it.” We are both awed by the largess of the sign holders.

Is that really why they do it? Whatever the reason, they keep my spirits up. They touch my heart in ways few can understand. I can stand there one more hour, shake one more hand, smile and entreat one more passerby to vote for me.

Two more days, but who’s counting? I await the judgment of the people, however few they are.

For information on a touring exhibit version of Out and Elected in the USA: 1974-2004, contact Ron Schlittler at rlschlittler@verizon.net.

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