Civic leader and retired health administrator Pam Miller wants to become Savannah’s first openly gay City Council member. She is running for the city’s District 4 seat against first-term incumbent Mary Ellen Sprague.
Miller (photo), who plans to officially announce her campaign in the next few weeks, recently completed from candidate training offered by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the national organization that helps LGBT political hopefuls prepare for their races and backs some of them during the campaign process. Victory Fund has not begun its endorsement process for the election, which takes place in November. Kevin Clark, director of Georgia Equality’s Savannah chapter, is personally supporting and actively involved in Miller’s campaign.
Miller said that it’s about time that gay Savannah had representation.
“I’m running first and foremost because I believe the citizens of Savannah deserve a leader that is committed to making sure every resident is given the same opportunity to live safely and happily in their neighborhood,” Miller said. “Because Savannah is so diverse, and because we welcome that diversity, I also think it’s time that an openly gay person be elected to office.”
Among many civic affiliations and accomplishments, Miller most recently served as chair of the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless, and co-founded Citizens for a Safe Savannah. She also co-founded Savannah’s Gay Community Collaborative advisory group for the local police department and served eight years as chair of First City Network, Georgia’s oldest LGBT organization.
Miller, who was the first recipient of Savannah Pride’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is the current president of the Kensington Park Community Association, one of two heavily gay neighborhoods in District 4 along with Ardsley Park.
“Of course I will be thrilled if I become the first openly gay elected official in Savannah, but humbled at the same time,” Miller says. “The LGBT community in Savannah is growing because the city is beautiful and welcoming, but also because I and others have worked hard to assure that we offer the kind of environment where LGBT individuals and their families can grow and prosper. We rival many cities twice our size with the programs we have that specifically support the gay community. “
Miller lives in Savannah with her partner of 15 years.