I am a lawyer and community organizer.

I hope to earn your vote for Raleigh City Council, At-large.

Photo of Jonathan Melton, candidate for Raleigh City Council

I am running for City Council because Raleigh deserves leaders who are willing to listen, plan, and effect positive change. I believe I am equipped with the skills necessary to help guide the future of our city.

For the past several years, I have worked to build safe, inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ community and our allies in Raleigh and in cities throughout the United States. My journey started in 2010, when two of my friends created an LGBTQ and allied kickball league in Washington, D.C., called Stonewall Kickball. I visited them a few times and experienced how their league created a sense of community for its players. As a community, those players began volunteering their time off the field, raising money for local nonprofits. Each time I returned to Raleigh from D.C., I would think “Raleigh should have an organization like that too.” So, I created one.

In 2013, with the help of some friends, I started a Raleigh chapter of that D.C. kickball league. Not long after we brought the league here, that same sense of community arrived as well. Off the field, we planned service projects for organizations like the Raleigh Rescue Mission and the Tammy Lynn Center. We also raised tens of thousands of dollars for the LGBT Center of Raleigh and other local nonprofits. Our league quickly grew from 125 kickball players that first season, to more than 2,500 participants engaged in numerous sports and activities.

Soon, people in other cities started to take notice and wanted us to bring a league to them. So, we created a national organization, Stonewall Sports, USA, and hit the road. For more than two years, I traveled to places like Minneapolis, New Orleans, Richmond and even Charlotte, Greensboro, and Wilmington to help establish leagues. I worked with local parks and recreation systems to find fields where our leagues could play, and I facilitated sponsorships with local business owners. We are now in 15 cities.

Because of my involvement with Stonewall Sports, I was afforded a platform that I channeled into further advocacy. In 2017, I helped create an annual fundraising event for the NC AIDS Action Network. I also joined the Board of Directors of the Tammy Lynn Center. And in my profession as an attorney, I helped create a program that provides pro bono legal assistance to families involved in domestic violence actions in Wake County District Court.

I never expected that little idea, to build a community around an LGBTQ kickball league, would take off the way it did. I simply felt a void in Raleigh that I knew I could address, and I took action. I feel a similar void again in Raleigh, this time in our local government. Again, I am ready to serve. I would greatly appreciate your support.

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