Patty Sheehan, Central Florida’s first openly gay City Commissioner, announced Feb. 19 that she is running for re-election.
Sheehan is city commissioner over Orlando’s District 4, which consists of the majority of historic districts in downtown. During her time as commissioner, Sheehan has overseen the restoration of the Lake Eola fountain, the preservation of the Eola House, the addition of 1.3 acres to Lake Eola Park and the construction of sidewalks for children going to and from school.
Sheehan declared her bid for re-election via Facebook and announced her first campaign fundraiser. The event will be held at Quantum Leap Winery on March 6 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Sheehan — alongside former Orlando Police Chief John Mina — also passed the OPD Safe Place Initiative, which provides safe spots for those within the LGBTQ community throughout Orlando should they find themselves victims of crime. This was passed six months after the Pulse nightclub shooting. In addition, Sheehan also helped to create the Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit, which is a free conference dedicatito empowering LGBTQ youth and allies through education and support.
First elected in 2000, Sheehan was re-elected in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2015. She also serves as vice chair of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and is the founder and chair for Wheels for Kids, a program that has provided over 1,000 bikes to elementary and middle school students.