Gay former teacher announces campaign for Atlanta School Board

LGBT civic activist and former teacher Charlie Stadtlander announced his campaign for a seat on the Atlanta School Board, an effort that comes eight years after his first attempt fell short.

Stadtlander said his campaign will focus on six areas – reducing property taxes, fiscal responsibility, bullying awareness, accountability, quality of education, and support for students and parents.

"We have a moral obligation to provide a world-class Atlanta education system, while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. Only then, will we be able to provide the high quality of education and welcoming learning environment that all students deserve," Stadtlander said in his email announcement Monday.

"I look forward to meeting parents, students, and taxpayers across District 3 as I work hard to earn your vote in November," he added.

Stadtlander is seeking to replace Matt Westmoreland, an LGBT ally who is running for the Atlanta City Council instead of another term on the school board. District 3 is north of Interstate 20 and east of the Downtown Connector. It includes portions of Midtown, Buckhead and Morningside.

In 2009, Stadtlander ran for the school board (photo) and lost the District 3 race to incumbent Cecily Harsch-Kinnane 56 to 44 percent.

After the 2009 campaign, Stadtlander became involved in LGBT issues, including fundraising for AID Atlanta, hosting an LGBT reception for a gay-friendly state lawmaker, and trying to save YouthPride as the non-profit imploded.

Stadtlander was also among a cadre of LGBT politicos that lobbied Mayor Kasim Reed on gay marriage in 2012. Reed finally backed same-sex marriage in December 2012.

Stadtlander hosts a kickoff reception for his campaign on July 25.

He is among several LGBT candidates running for office across metro Atlanta. This list includes Josh McNair for Fulton County Commission and Christopher Weed for the East Point City Council. Two LGBT candidates – Cathy Woolard and Laban King – are running for Atlanta mayor, while City Council member Alex Wan is running for council president. Liliana Bakhtiari, Tyai Green, Kirk Rich and Lock Whiteside are running for seats on the Atlanta City Council.