November 26, 2012 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Mayor Gray’s GLBT liaison steps down
Jeffrey Richardson, gay news, Washington Blade

Jeffrey Richardson will leave his position heading the Mayor’s GLTB Affairs office to lead Serve DC, the volunteerism administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Jeffrey Richardson, who has served as director of Mayor Vincent Gray’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs since early 2011, will leave that post on Dec. 3 to become director of Serve D.C., which is also known as the Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism, according to a spokesperson for the mayor.

“It’s a significant promotion to go from a smaller office, the GLBT office, to the Serve D.C. office,” said Pedro Ribeiro, director of the Mayor’s Office of Communications.

Ribeiro told the Blade the position of director of Serve D.C. recently became vacant when Gray appointed outgoing director Patricia Evans to another city job.

He said the mayor’s office has yet to officially announce the mayor’s decision to appoint Richardson to the Serve D.C. post.

“We were looking for the most qualified person to run that office and Jeffrey fit that bill very well considering the work he’s done for the city and for the community,” Ribeiro said. “We thought he was a fantastic candidate and well deserving.”

Richardson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

According to Ribeiro, Gray is expected to name Richardson’s replacement at the GLBT Affairs Office within a week or two, adding, “We don’t want to leave that office vacant.”

Richardson, who is gay, is a social worker by trade and has worked for non-profit organizations providing social services programs in the District. At the time Gray named him as director of the GLBT Affairs office, shortly after Gray took office as mayor, Richardson was serving his second one-year term as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group.

The GLBT Affairs Office has a staff of three, including the director. Serve D.C. has a staff of 18, according to Reed Baylin, a grant and finance assistant at the office.

The Serve D.C. website describes itself as “the District of Columbia Government agency dedicated to promoting service as an innovative, sustainable solution to the challenges we face as a community and a nation.”

The site says the agency “engages District communities by building partnerships and organizational capacity, serving as the local lead for national volunteer and service initiatives, and providing and promoting meaningful service opportunities throughout the year.”

In addition, Serve D.C. is charged with coordinating volunteer support for the city’s emergency preparedness program and works with the D.C. Commission on National and Community Service to administer a federally funded community service grants program.

“Jeff Richardson did a great job as director of the Office of GLBT Affairs and I congratulate him on his appointment to head Serve D.C.,” said D.C. gay activist Peter Rosenstein. “The mayor has made a great choice in appointing Jeff to this new position.”

Gray names gays to new physical fitness council

In a separate development, Gray on Tuesday announced at a news conference that he has appointed 17 people to serve on his newly created Mayor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Nutrition.

Among the appointees are D.C. Department of Health director Dr. Saul Levin, who is gay and who will serve as chair of the commission. Also named to the commission were Mike Everts, owner of the D.C.-based FIT Personal Training Gym; and Chuck Haney, owner of the Dupont Circle bicycle store The Bike Rack.  Both men are gay.

Everts and Haney joined Levin and the other members of the commission in discussing their commitment to help D.C. residents improve their health and physical fitness during a commission meeting on Monday following the mayor’s news conference announcing the appointments.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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