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Tight Senate race for gay Virginia candidate

Del. Ebbin second in fundraising in expensive campaign

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Adam Ebbin

Adam Ebbin, who is leaving his spot as the only openly gay state delegate in Virginia, faces two strong opponents in his race for Senate. (Photo courtesy Adam Ebbin)

Virginia’s only openly gay delegate is fighting hard to become Virginia’s first openly gay state senator, in what’s shaping up to be a very expensive primary race among three Northern Virginia politicos in the 30th District.

Del. Adam Ebbin has represented the 49th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2004, and has been a progressive voice in state politics during his time in office. He’s looking to turn his eight-year record into a primary win this Aug. 23.

“I’m the only Democratic candidate with the record of standing up to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and his dangerous plans,” Ebbin said. “He’s advocated discrimination against gays, denied climate change [science], and has other radical ideas. I’ve written legislation to prevent him from continuing his civil actions without approval of the General Assembly or the governor.”

In June, when the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond flew the rainbow flag for LGBT Pride month, Ebbin went head-to-head in the media with Republican Del. Bob Marshall, who took to the press denouncing the move, and wrote an open letter to the bank’s president calling the move “inappropriate.”

Ebbin was vocal in his response to Marshall, telling the New York Times, that life was improving for LGBT people in Virginia in spite of people like Marshall, who was sponsor of the bill to ban marriage equality in the Commonwealth, and last year made the claim that ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” would lead to the spread of “venereal diseases” in the armed forces.

“[Adam Ebbin] persuaded two governors to issue executive orders protecting LGBT Virginians from discrimination in state employment,” a campaign release reads. “He led the effort to expand life insurance benefits to domestic partners.”

Ebbin’s modest campaign headquarters on Powhatan Street in North Old Town Alexandria has drawn, what Ebbin called, a “multitude of volunteers.”

“We have a number of students and a number of interns, a good number of democratic activists, seniors, democratic committee members, and GLBT people,” he said.

Ebbin’s supporters will be gathering on Monday night at Freddy’s Beach Bar in Arlington to raise money, show their support and raise awareness of the campaign to make Ebbin Virginia’s first openly gay state senator. Several sponsorship levels are available through the campaign, and tickets to attend the event are $50 in advance.

Ebbin has also received numerous endorsements recently including from Equality Virginia, Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Associations. The three candidates in the race have raised more than $500,000 in donations collectively, according to Mary Ann Barton, writing for Patch.com.

Ebbin, Libby Garvey and Rob Krupicka are vying for the seat being vacated by 16-year incumbent Patsy Ticer.

“It’s an open seat, because of her retirement,” Ebbin said. “It’s a very Democratic seat, strongly Democratic. The winner of the primary is expected to be the next senator”

Despite the stiff competition, Ebbin believes his organization is strong and will prevail.

“We’re getting a great reaction door-to-door,” Ebbin said. “We’re happy to be receiving more endorsements.”

Ebbin is pulling strong fundraising numbers as well. While Krupicka, an Alexandria City Council member, is in front, having raised more than $201,000, Ebbin’s campaign is close behind with more than $186,000.

The other candidate is Libby Garvey, a member of the Arlington School Board. Although trailing in third place in fundraising, Garvey received an important leg-up in the form of $20,000 in donations from Ticer.

Ebbin said he can be more effective in the Senate than in the lower chamber.

“I think that I can do a great job, and be even more effective,” he explained about making the jump to the Senate. “There’s an opportunity to be in an even smaller body — hopefully in the majority — and I think I’ll get more legislation passed, more done.”

Ebbin’s top legislative priorities in the Senate will make his progressive constituents very happy, saying, “renewable energy, transit, and non-discrimination in state hiring would be among the first.”

For information about the Ebbin for Virginia event at Freddy’s, contact [email protected].

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Transgender man murdered in Va.

EJ Boykin was shot outside Lynchburg store on June 14

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EJ Boykin (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

A transgender man was murdered in Lynchburg, Va., on June 14.

The News and Advance, a local newspaper, reported EJ Boykin, who was also known as Novaa Watson, was shot outside a Family Dollar store on the city’s Fort Avenue at around 6 p.m. Boykin passed away at Lynchburg General Hospital a short time later.

A spokesperson for the Lynchburg Police Department told the News and Advance the shooting may have been the result of a domestic dispute. Authorities added there is no evidence to currently suggest the shooting was a hate crime based on Boykin’s gender identity.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reported Boykin was born and raised in Baltimore and was a student at Morgan State University. The blog said Boykin celebrated his 23rd Birthday on June 10, four days before his murder.

Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement notes Boykin is the fifth Black trans person reported killed in 2021. HRC notes at least 29 trans or gender non-conforming people are known to have been murdered so far this year.

“The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen,” said Cooper. “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”

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Comings & Goings

Jarvis lands lead consultant role at Meridian

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Ted Jarvis

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 Ted Jarvis on his new position as Lead Consultant with Meridian Compensation Partners, in D.C. He will work on executive compensation, governance research and development. When asked for a response to news of his new role, Jarvis told this story: “I was on the prowl for a new job, I contacted the CEO of Meridian, who worked closely with me during our years at Towers Perrin. After half an hour on the phone, he asked: ‘Send me a list of things you really like to do.’ I followed up with a list of activities that continually engage my interest. Within a few days he mailed me a job description that reiterated my list almost word-for-word. I feel truly blessed to have a job so aligned with what I enjoy doing. This is going to be great.”

Prior to working for Meridian, Jarvis worked as Managing Director with Main Data Group in D.C. and Wilton Manors, Fla. He has also worked as Global Director of Executive Compensation Data, Research & Publications, Mercer, in D.C.; principal with Willis Towers Watson; and as a research consultant with McKinsey & Company. Jarvis is a member of the Lotos Club (New York); a benefactor at Drew University (Morristown, N.J.). He funded two undergraduate prizes (Wettstein Drama Prize; Norton Wettstein and Jane Brown Memorial Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement); a benefactor, Woodmere Art Museum (Philadelphia): funded William Joseph Coverley-Smith Prize, awarded annually at the Juried Art Competition; and a benefactor, St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church (Rochester, N.Y.).

Jarvis earned his MBA from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business; his bachelor’s (cum laude); his Ph.D. (ABD) major in music history, literature and theory from NYU. He earned a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Vienna.

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Nellie’s fires security firm after woman dragged down stairs

Pride weekend incident triggers protests, investigation by liquor agency

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Keisha Young was dragged down the stairs by her hair at Nellie’s. (Screen capture via Instagram)

Nellie’s Sports Bar, a gay bar in the city’s U Street commercial district, announced on Monday that it has dismissed a security company whose employee was captured on video dragging a Black woman down a flight of stairs inside the bar during the city’s Capital Pride celebration last Saturday.

The video of the male security employee dragging Nellie’s customer Keisha Young down the staircase and the brawl that erupted when other customers intervened has triggered expressions of concern by city officials and LGBTQ activists, including the local Black Lives Matter group that organized a protest outside Nellie’s on Sunday.

Young, who said she was injured during the incident, has said the security staffer mistakenly thought she was part of a group of customers who brought into the bar their own alcoholic beverages, which Nellie’s does not allow.

“Nellie’s Sports Bar has terminated, with immediate effect, the independent security vendor hired to protect our guests during Pride Week,” Nellie’s said in a statement released to the media.

“Our investigation into the matter is ongoing, and we will cooperate with any law enforcement investigation, however we do not need to wait for the investigation’s conclusion before we take decisive action,” the statement says. “We offer a heartfelt apology to all who witnessed the horrific events of this past weekend,” it says. “No matter what behavior occurred prior, nothing warrants mistreating and disrespecting one of our guests.”

The statement adds that Nellie’s will be closed this week “as we evaluate this regrettable situation.” It says all non-security staff will continue to be paid their regular wages during the temporary shutdown.

“In the interim, we will use this time to listen and understand what more we can do to create the safe and friendly atmosphere our guests have come to expect from Nellie’s Sports Bar over the past 14 years,” the statement says.

Brandon Burrell, an attorney representing Young, told D.C.’s Fox 5 News that Nellie’s had yet to offer an apology directly to Young. Fox 5 News reported on Monday that Young was considering filing a police report over the incident and a possible lawsuit against Nellie’s depending on how Nellie’s responds to Young’s concerns. 

A D.C. police spokesperson told the Washington Blade that Young had not contacted police to file a report about the incident as of early Monday.

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, which issues liquor licenses to bars and restaurants, has opened an investigation into the Nellie’s incident, the agency confirmed to Fox 5 News.

The Capital Pride Alliance, the local group that organizes D.C.’s LGBTQ Pride events, including Saturday’s Pride Walk and Pridemobile Parade, issued a statement on Monday expressing concern over the Nellie’s incident.

“The Capital Pride Alliance condemns the reprehensible actions taken by Nellie’s staff over the weekend,” the statement says. “The incident resulted in Keisha Young being dragged by the hair down the stairs, which was a violent response to the trivial action of allegedly bringing into the bar a bottle of liquor,” the statement says.

“Capital Pride Alliance is committed to creating safe spaces for all,” says the statement. “We expect Nellie’s to take immediate, remedial action in response to this incident. Their response will impact the future of CPA’s relationship with Nellie’s.”

Nellie’s owner Doug Schantz couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also expressed concern about the Nellie’s incident when asked about it by reporters at an event on Monday.

“Obviously, entrepreneurs enforce rules in their restaurants, but they’re not allowed to assault anybody,” the mayor said. “If that’s a matter for the Metropolitan Police Department, we’ll take it up.”

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