Local
10:46 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Southern Tier lawmaker inspired by President's inauguration speech

An openly gay member of the Jamestown City Council says he was thrilled to hear President Obama call for equal rights for gays in his inauguration speech. 

Jamestown City Council president Greg Rabb traveled to Washington for the Inauguration.

"This was the first time the President of the United States, during an inauguration speech, twice openly embraced equality for gay people," said Rabb.

Rabb is a democrat and also teaches political science at Jamestown Community College.  He received tickets to the inauguration from the office of Republican Congressman Tom Reed. 

Rabb said the crowd was very diverse and roared with their approval at the President's statements on equality. But he says when it comes to equality for gays, he's not sure there's much more Obama will be able to accomplish.

"It always helps to have the President of the United States on your side," said Rabb.  "Some stuff he can do as President of the United States and some he can just lend his voice."

In his political work, Rabb participated in a White House conference call last month with Vice President Joe Biden and other local elected officials to discuss the fiscal cliff.

Rabb told the Vice President how he's been using community block grant funds to help revitalize Jamestown. He said he asked the vice president to defend the program.

Rabb also invited Biden to come visit Jamestown.