• Jews of NY team

Melissa Sklarz, Senior Government Relations Specialist

Updated: Jun 30

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Melissa Sklarz is a trans activist, one of the first trans delegates to the Democratic Party's Manhattan Judicial Convention, former co-chair of the empire state agenda, current advocate with SAGE - LGBTQ elder org.


Melissa Sklarz is the Senior Government Relations strategist for SAGE. She has an extensive background in LGBT communities and Democratic Party politics. She is the former Board Co-Chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and the National Stonewall Democrats. She is the former President of Stonewall Democrats of New York City and served on Community Board No. 2 in Manhattan for six years. She was a former Hillary Clinton delegate from New York at the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and was a voting member of the Electoral College that year. In 2018, Melissa ran for New York State Assembly for the 30th District in Queens. She had a speaking role in the Academy Award–nominated filmTransamerica.



In 2018, Melissa Sklarz ran for the New York State Assembly in the 30th District in Queens, hoping to become the first trans member of the Assembly. Although she lost in the primary, she did receive 36% of the votes,


In 1999,  Melissa became the first transgender person elected to office in New York when she was elected a Judicial Delegate from the 66th Assembly District. In 2004, Melissa became the first transgender person from New York to be part of the state delegation at the Democratic National Convention, by being appointed to the Credentials Committee and again on the Rules Committee in 2008.


In 2016, Melissa became the first New York trans person elected to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Later that year, Melissa became the first trans American to be selected for the Electoral College.



She helped bring civil rights to transgender people in New York City when INT 24 became law in 2002, served on the Working Group with the New York Human Rights Commission to flesh out the law, and advocated for trans rights in New York State since the late 1990s. She was at the side of Governir Cuomo when he signed GENDA this year.


Currently, Melissa is the President of Northern Woodside Democrats, is a Commissioner on The Failla Commission, committed to LGBT equality in the New York Court system, and works at SAGE, on behalf of LGBT elders, as the senior government relations strategist.



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