Haley Kinsler is a local to Raleigh who is passionate about activism and the environment. She enjoys volunteering and in her free time, she works on her nature photography, and can frequently be seen taking photos at local parks, arboretums, and gardens in the Raleigh area. She made the following remarks to City Council on June 7, 2022:

Happy Pride Month, Y’all

First, I want to address the recent anti-LGBT legislation we are witnessing at the state level. Legislators in the General Assembly have put forth their own version of the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, with the purpose of targeting LGBT+ youth.

But, what does this have to do with the City of Raleigh? Well, I think this is the time to begin to question those who financially support our candidates at all levels, especially during an election year. It is no secret that John Kane donates to anti-LGBT politicians, including our very own Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, who has taken to calling people like myself “filth.” And yet, we have council members and a mayor who refuse to return John Kane’s donations and to call him out on his anti-trans sentiments and funding.

At a time when LGBT youth are under attack, it is nothing short of shameful that anyone on the council can share Pride Month posts while accepting money from people who refuse to acknowledge our humanity. Not one person on this council should accept money from or contract with John Kane. Otherwise, you are only paying lip service to the LGBT+ community and claiming solidarity while actively allowing developers to shape this city without being accountable to our needs.

Who do you represent? The queer and trans youth who consider Raleigh a safe haven from much of the brutal antagonism and violence they face in other parts of the state, or developers like John Kane who actively work to fund campaigns that create this violence in the first place? This Pride Month, you should return any and all of his donations, because if $5,600 is so great an amount that you are willing to accept it from openly anti-LGBT developers, then you cannot call yourself a champion of equality or inclusion.

I encourage everyone this Pride Month to look into the donations our council members accept, and see whether the values of those who fund their campaigns actually match up with the vision of Raleigh they claim to have.

Thank You,

Haley Kinsler


Note from Livable Raleigh – We have written previously about this issue. You may read about that here: Raleigh Mayor and Councilors take campaign cash from Anti-LGBTQ bigot