Connect with us

Local

Gray names new GLBT Affairs head

Stein Club’s Richardson lands job

Published

on

Mayor Vincent Gray and new Office of GLBT Affairs director Jeffrey Richardson (Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today named the president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, Jeffrey Richardson, as his new director of the mayor’s Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs.

At a news conference at the mayor’s office Friday morning, Gray called Richardson “a respected and credible voice for the GLBT community,” and noted that he played a key role in efforts, which Gray supported, to help pass the city’s same-sex marriage law.

“The District of Columbia has one of the largest and most diverse GLBT communities in the nation,” Gray said. “And in the spirit of one city, Mr. Richardson will lead collaborative efforts with these constituents, the community at-large, and the government.”

The City Council created the Office of GLBT Affairs through legislation signed by former Mayor Anthony Williams. The legislation established the office’s director as a cabinet-level position.

Richardson replaces Christopher Dyer, who served as director of the GLBT Affairs Office under Mayor Adrian Fenty.

The Stein Club is the city’s largest LGBT political organization. It endorsed Gray for mayor over Fenty last August following a club candidates’ forum in which Gray and Fenty talked about their plans for addressing LGBT issues.

Gray was asked at Friday’s news conference if he plans to meet from time to time with Richardson in light of the disclosure by Dyer in an interview with the Blade earlier this month that he never had a face-to-face, sit-down meeting with Fenty. Dyer said he communicated often with Fenty through a “chain of command” comprised of high-level mayoral assistants.

“I have spent a lot of time with the GLBT community in the city and have lots of folks I work closely with, lots of friends,” Gray said. “And Jeff is one of those people…So I don’t think there’s any question that I will spend a lot of time with Jeff. We know each other. We have a great relationship. And I want to be a part of helping to support his efforts.”

At the same news conference, Gray announced the appointment of two other high-level city officials – Victor Hoskins as Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Phillip Lattimore III as director of the Office of Risk Management.

Richardson currently serves as director of national programs for the Center for Progressive Leadership, where he manages programs aimed at developing progressive leaders to work in national politics, policy-making, and advocacy roles, according to information released by the mayor’s office.

Richardson previously served as a program officer with the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, where he managed the awarding of grants to help fund anti-truancy, drop-out prevention, and family related initiatives.

He received a master’s degree in social work from Howard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“The District is gaining a true public servant and the Stein Club is excited about Jeffrey’s ability to ensure that LGBT residents have a voice at the highest levels of city government,” said a statement released by the club.

“As a social worker, non-profit professional, and community activist, Jeffrey has experience working with all segments of the District’s population,” the club statement says. “His experience will enable him to bring diverse groups together and to effectively advocate for all constituencies within the LGBT community.”

“Jeff Richardson will make a great director of the mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs,” said gay Democratic activist and Stein Club member Peter Rosenstein. “His knowledge of D.C. and our issues, and the trust that Mayor Gray has in him, will allow him to work with the diverse segments of the LGBT community and make progress on the issues we care about.”

Rick Rosendall, vice president of the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance, characterized as “good news” Richardson’s appointment to the GLBT Affairs post.

“He has been a pleasure to work with in his capacity as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic club, during which he was an excellent coalition partner in our community’s final push for civil marriage equality,” Rosendall said. “He continued a commendable trend among recent Stein Club presidents of amicable cooperation with GLAA on a range of LGBT issues.”

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Local

HME Consulting and Advocacy stands on frontline of LGBTQ policy

Heidi Ellis is a consultant who doesn’t take clients ‘not aligned with my mission’

Published

on

‘Even though I am a private consultant … my work is very much mission driven,’ says Heidi Ellis. (Photo courtesy of Ellis)

September is here, which means Congress and the D.C. Council return from their August recess and life for consultant Heidi Ellis quickly gets busy. 

Her days are filled with negotiating with Council members, phone calls with clients, and policy planning for advocacy groups. The organizations she represents are looking to her to help them push policy and she hopes to guide them to victory. 

Ellis’s company, HME Consulting and Advocacy, came after years of working in the public and private sectors as a consultant. In 2019, Ellis decided to shift her focus to work that stood at the center of the intersections in which she lives. She sought to figure out how she could better serve her community as a Black queer Latino woman. Ellis recognized that there was a niche for mission-driven consulting in the District. 

“I was sought out and recruited by a lot of organizations that wanted me and I took a beat, because I was like ‘Do I want to go back into a machine where even if I do effect change, I have to answer to someone?’”she said, in reference to consulting agencies that were in pursuit of her talent. Ultimately, she decided against continuing her work under another company. “By doing what I do, I have much more flexibility for one to say ‘Yes’ but also to say ‘No’.”

Although Ellis has considered going back to working in the corporate space, she still loves the flexibility of being able to be nimble as a private consultant. 

Although Ellis doesn’t work entirely in the advocacy space, her consulting clients still align with her personal values. She joked that she differs strongly from the stereotypical money-driven D.C. consultant who sports Brooks Brothers suits on K Street. 

“Even though I am a private consultant … my work is very much mission driven,” she said. “I don’t take any clients that are not aligned with my mission.”

Her mission is simple, Ellis is “committed to elevating issues that sit at the nexus of education, mental health, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of color.”

“The more marginalized you are, the more you suffer from the failures of policy and the gaps of service,” she said. 

As a consultant in the advocacy space, Ellis does the behind-the-scenes work for organizations to help correct these policy failures and close the gaps. Whether she is facilitating training for companies to better understand how to serve their LGBTQ communities, or she is on the frontline of education policy changes –– Ellis aims to only do work that she is passionate about.

She said that the balance of her combined passion and level-headedness help her to build trusting relationships with her clients and in the end, “Get stuff  done.”

Since starting her organization, some of her proudest work has been done with the DC LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition. The coalition is made up of more than 30 organizations that aim to advocate for investments and policy changes that affect LGBTQ lives. As a leader of this coalition, her services include policy support, facilitation, training, initiative development and organizational redesign. Since she began leading the coalition, they have raised more than $5 million of investments in LGBTQ programs.

Later this fall, she will work with the DC LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition along with the ANC Rainbow Caucus to convene the first LGBTQ+ Housing Summit from Nov. 29-30.

“The one thing we all recognize is that housing is the common denominator of every other social affliction facing LGBTQ communities,” she said.  

At the summit they will focus on the barriers within the current housing system and explore revitalized approaches to dealing with the current housing market. To pre-register for the event, visit the LGBTQ+ Housing Summit website.

Continue Reading

Local

Comings & Goings

Former D.C. resident opens art gallery in San Francisco

Published

on

Jonathan Carver Moore

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: [email protected].

The Comings & Goings column also invites LGBTQ+ college students to share their successes with us. If you have been elected to a student government position, gotten an exciting internship, or are graduating and beginning your career with a great job, let us know so we can share your success.

Congratulations to Jonathan Carver Moore on opening his contemporary art gallery in San Francisco. The gallery specializes in working with emerging and established artists who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women. As the only openly gay Black male-owned gallery in San Francisco, Moore is committed to amplifying the voices of the often-underrepresented artists through a Black queer lens. He said, “I want the gallery to be a place where the LGBTQ+ community and people of color walk inside and see themselves knowing that they belong. I want us to be able to collect work from and support underrepresented artists who are often overlooked, but add some much value to our culture.”

Moore is also the founder of ARTUCATED, a digital journal that helps share, spotlight, and educate people about marginalized artists. Previously he was director of Donor Relations, Partnerships & Programming Director with the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco. He was Communications Manager, Rosenberg Foundation; and Associate Director of Public Relations, Out & Equal, San Francisco Bay Area. 

Moore earned his bachelor’s in Sociology, Women’s Studies, from George Washington University in D.C.; and his master’s in Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communications, also from George Washington University.

Congratulations also to Jim Bobick on having his paintings included in a permanent collection by Saks Fifth Avenue. He said, “I am thrilled Saks Fifth Avenue chose my art for its permanent collection. I have long been a customer of the store and an admirer of the fashion designers represented there. I am especially pleased to know my work is on public view in the Chevy Chase, Maryland store. Not only did I grow up in the area, for part of my education I attended art school nearby, where I had the good fortune of studying under the notable painter Allen Dester Carter of Washington, D.C., whose work is in the Smithsonian collection. My ties to the Washington area art scene and my love of Saks makes this professional moment especially important to me. I am grateful and honored the store chose my paintings for their collection.” 

He has had numerous exhibitions of his work, including: Gallery 101 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (solo); Coral Springs Museum of Art, Coral Springs, Fla. (group); Studio B “Delicacies” Washington, D.C. (group); Columbia Art Center “Abstract Paintings” (solo); and Gallery 50 “Freestyle” (solo) Rehoboth Beach, Del. He has been written about in several publications including Michael Mills, Jim Bobick Creates Landscapes of the Mind at Gallery 101, New Times; Arterpillar South Florida Arts Blog; Stefan Braham, Eclectic Expressions, Coastal Style Magazine; Artist Looks Beyond the Temporal Beauty, Coast Press.

He earned his bachelor’s in Visual Arts, University of Maryland, College Park, Fine Art; and attended the Maryland College of Art and Design. 

Jim Bobick
Continue Reading

Arts & Entertainment

2023 Best of LGBTQ DC Readers’ Choice Award Finalist Voting

Vote for your favorite finalists through October 2nd!

Published

on

It is time to celebrate the best of LGBTQ+ DC! You nominated and now we have our finalists. Vote for your favorites in our 2023 Best of LGBTQ DC categories through October 2nd. Our 2023 Best of LGBTQ DC will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ DC Awards Party on October 19th and our special issue will come out on Friday, October 20th.

Thank you to our sponsors: ABSOLUT, Heineken, PEPCO, Shakers, Infinite Legacy.

VOTE BELOW OR BY CLICKING HERE!

ARE YOU A BEST OF FINALIST? DOWNLOAD ASSETS HERE!

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular