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A new administration taking shape

Gray’s picks inspire confidence in mayor-elect

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As a political junkie, I am always fascinated at how new administrations take shape. Whether it is a president, governor or mayor, the process is similar. Some chief executives are more public and float names around to get a response, or just to make people who were never under consideration for a position think they were. Others work less publicly.

But whatever the process the pundits who predicted a return to the old days of Marion Barry in D.C. are now eating their words. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray is remaining true to his word to appoint only competent people to his administration who will help move the District forward.

First, it was Allen Lew as city administrator. Lew is respected across the District as a can-do administrator open to input from the community. Since then Gray has added to his administration Cathy Lanier, who will continue as chief of police; Irvin Nathan the current general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, as the next attorney general; and Paul A. Quander, Jr., the well respected head of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, as deputy mayor for public safety. Gray will keep Kaya Henderson as interim schools chancellor and as the administration is filled out we will continue to see qualified new people named. In addition, he is keeping the current leadership at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Works and Planning Office. By the time you read this we should know most of the rest of his administration.

Being a qualified person doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will approve the appointment. There are those in the LGBT community who have had issues with Chief Lanier. But it is important to recognize that above all Chief Lanier is dedicated to all the people of the District and the LGBT community has a commitment from Mayor-elect Gray to work with the Chief on issues of concern to us.

Also of note is that in the midst of preparing the budget and appointing his administration, Gray took the time to have his transition spokesperson issue the following statement on the charges against a police officer accused of attacking a member of the transgender community: “We’ve made inquiries about the incident, in light of the serious issues raised. Mayor-elect Gray is sensitive to the concerns of the LGBT community and is fully committed to ending sexual identity bias…”

In addition, Stephen Glaude, the newly appointed director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs in which the Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs is located, was on top of this issue within hours and has said that this administration will be sensitive to and committed to working with all the diverse communities in the District.

Ronald Collins, a gay seasoned administrator, will head the Office of Boards and Commissions. This is an office he ran successfully during the Anthony Williams administration when he helped to ensure that qualified members of the LGBT community were well represented on boards and commissions in every area.

The District of Columbia is facing tough economic times as are all state and local governments. We must deal with the reality that not every wish will be granted — that when there is an economic impact to the things we ask for they will have to be weighed against other needs. But much of what our community needs doesn’t have a cost associated with it. As the Gray administration begins on Jan. 2, I am confident our community will be heard and our unique needs will be addressed.

As I write this column I have one eye on the TV where the United States Senate is debating repeal of DADT. As the vote tally is announced my eyes are welling with tears and I give silent thanks to so many who have fought for this over the years. I take a moment to remember my friends in the military today and those brave gay and lesbian men and women who have died for our country without the right to be open about who they really are.

I know that Congress would not vote in favor of another issue that is important to our community: marriage equality. We and our allies will have to be vigilant over the next few years to protect marriage equality in the District of Columbia. I am heartened that our next mayor is a committed ally. He and his administration will be standing with us, on the battle lines if necessary, to protect our rights and to fight for the rights of all the people of the District of Columbia for self-determination.

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1 Comment

  1. Saul Rosenstein

    December 26, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    “The pundits who predicted a return to the old days of Marion Barry in D.C. are now eating their words. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray is remaining true to his word to appoint only competent people to his administration who will help move the District forward.”

    No, we’re not eating our words just yet — especially since most of the people named by the author are Fenty holdovers. Gray and his cronies haven’t even taken office, so let’s give it a few months before declaring “mission accomplished.”

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National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Certifies Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc

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Washington, D.C. — Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc, the parent company of the Washington Blade and Azer Creative, announced today it has been certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) as an LGBT Business Enterprise. The NGLCC supports and advocates for diversity and inclusion for LGBT-owned businesses. With this certification the Blade’s parent company joins more than 510 business and 134 corporate partners of the NGLCC.

Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. owns and operates the Washington Blade, the oldest and most acclaimed LGBT newspaper in the country. In 2012, the company launched Azer Creative, a full-service design firm. The company employs more than a dozen full-time LGBT staff.

“We are excited to become one of the 500 LGBT businesses across the country certified by NGLCC,” said Lynne Brown, the Blade’s publisher and a co-owner of the company. “The LGBT community has been part of our company from the beginning and we look forward to continue that for many years to come.”

The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 and is known as the “newspaper of record” for the LGBT community both locally and nationally. Visit washingtonblade.com for more information. Azer Creative is a full-service graphic design firm based in Washington, D.C. Visit azercreative.com for more information. 

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Vote now for the 2013 Best of Gay DC!

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Nominate the ‘Best of Gay D.C.’ now!

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