Connect with us

Local

Stein Club endorses McDuffie in Ward 5 Council race

Published

on

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest LGBT political group, Thursday night endorsed Democrat Kenyan McDuffie for the May 15 special election to fill a vacant Ward 5 seat on the D.C. City Council.

McDuffie received 74 percent of the vote by club members in a second-ballot runoff against second place candidate Drew Hubbard, who received 23.8 percent of the vote.

McDuffie received 54.7 percent on the first ballot, in which seven of the twelve candidates set to appear on the ballot competed for the club’s endorsement. All seven attended and spoke at a Stein Club forum, where the endorsement vote took place, at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters at 17th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.

Under Stein Club rules, candidates must obtain at least 60 percent of the vote from the membership to win an endorsement.

The other candidates appearing before the forum, each of whom expressed support for LGBT equality, received 5 percent of the vote or less in the first-round voting.

“I’m very pleased over receiving the Gertrude Stein endorsement,” McDuffie told the Blade after the vote. “I think it pretty much formalizes what’s always been the case – that I’ve been a staunch supporter of LGBT concerns, marriage equality and everything that matters to folks in this community.”

McDuffie said he hopes to tap what he calls a “sizable” number of LGBT residents in Ward 5, especially in the Bloomingdale and Brookland neighborhoods.

The other candidates who spoke at the endorsement forum, in addition to McDuffie and Hubbard, were Democrats Shelly Gardner, Kathy Henderson, Ron Magnus, Ruth Marshall, and Frank Wilds.

Republican candidate Tim Day, who is gay, has been endorsed in the Ward 5 special election by the D.C. Log Cabin Republicans. The Stein Club’s bylaws prevent it from endorsing non-Democrats.

Under city election rules, candidates of all parties as well as independents are eligible to run in special elections.

Stein Club president Lateefah Williams said she was pleased that McDuffie won the club’s endorsement.

“He’s an excellent candidate and has a chance of winning,” Williams said, in a multi-candidate race where the vote is likely to be split between several candidates.

David Mariner, executive director of the D.C. LGBT Community Center, served as moderator of at the forum, presenting written questions submitted from members of the audience.

One of the questions asked where the candidates stand on a controversial proposal by the city to open on ore more marijuana cultivation centers in warehouse districts in Ward 5 to facilitate a recently implemented D.C. medical marijuana law. Each of the candidates said they support the law’s intent of providing doctor prescribed marijuana for medical purposes but oppose Ward 5 becoming a “dumping ground” for such facilities.

Each of the candidates also said they would work to vigorously enforce the city’s non-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian and transgender residents of the city and would take steps to provide job training for a segment of the transgender residents, especially transgender women, who are believed to have a high rate of unemployment.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

District of Columbia

Nonprofit D.C. groups invited to apply for anti-LGBTQ violence grants

$700,000 available for FY 2025 ‘VPART’ program

Published

on

LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs held a conference on July 18 to inform interested officials with local nonprofit community-based organizations that provide services to the LGBTQ community how best to apply for city grants of between $5,000 and $50,000 as part of the city’s Violence Prevention and Response Team program, known as VPART.

Information released by the program states that its mission is to “address, reduce, and prevent crime within and against the LGBT community” by “creating a strong partnership between the community and the government which enables us to focus on coordinating a community response to violence.” 

Addressing hate-bias crimes targeting the LGBTQ community are among the program’s high priority objectives, information released by the program says.

Presentations on how best to apply for the VPART grants and what the requirements are for obtaining them were given by LGBTQ Affairs Office Director Japer Bowles and the office’s grants administrator, George Garcia. The two said the deadline for submitting grant applications for the program is Aug. 5. Organizations whose applications are approved will receive the grant funds they are approved for on Oct. 30, which is the start of fiscal year 2025.

Garcia said a total of $700,000 has been allocated to fund the VPART grants, the number of which will depend on how many applications are received.  

Garcia said that among the key components of the VPART program are Victim Response Services, Case Management, Legal Services, Trauma Informed Mental Health Services, and Cultural Humility Training that he said are aimed, among other things,  to support LGBTQ victims of violent crime.

One of the organizations that has received VPART grants in past years, and that is expected to apply again this year is the D.C. LGBTQ Community Center.

 “Along with offering trauma-informed therapy and casework, the DC LGBTQ+ Community Center directly supports LGBTQ+ survivors with our mental health services, shelter assistance, and other resources victims of violence may need,” the LGBTQ Center says in a statement. “If you are LGBTQ+ and are a victim of violence, or know someone who is, you can refer them to the DC LGBTQ+ Community Center and we will make sure they are supported and connected to the resources they need,” the statement says.

The conference was held at the Reeves Center municipal building where the LGBTQ Affairs office and other city agencies as well as the LGBTQ Community Center are located at 2000 14th St., N.W. About a dozen people attended the conference in person and another 14 attended virtually through Zoom, according to Bowles.

Continue Reading

Virginia

J.D. Vance lives in LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood in Alexandria

VP nominee’s home in Del Ray is near newly opened gay bar

Published

on

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) speaks at the Republican National Convention on July 18 in Milwaukee. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

In a development that may come as a surprise to some, U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance, who Donald Trump has chosen as his vice-presidential running mate and who has voted against LGBTQ rights legislation, has lived for a little over a year on a quiet street in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Va., that has a sizable number of LGBTQ residents.

Public property records show that Vance and his family live on a side street two blocks off a section of Mt. Vernon Avenue, which is Del Ray’s main commercial street, where the gay pop-up bar Pride On The Avenue opened in June.

Vance’s house in Del Ray, which the Washington Post reports was purchased for $1.6 million, is also located in the district of gay Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), which includes all of Alexandria and parts of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

“Being a resident of a district as diverse as mine gives J.D. Vance an opportunity to experience what truly makes America great,” Ebbin told the Washington Blade. “With a bilingual elementary school and LGBTQ gathering space nearby, I’d encourage Mr. Vance to visit with some of my constituents so he can hear from them on how they will be negatively impacted by anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT policies put forward in the GOP Party Platform and Project 2025,” Ebbin said in an email.

Ebbin was referring to the 900-page far-right policy document prepared by the conservative Heritage Foundation as a plan of action for a new Trump administration if Trump wins the presidential election in November. The Project 2025 document, among other things, opposes LGBTQ rights initiatives and calls for repealing existing LGBTQ rights legislation.

Bill Blackburn, a co-owner of Pride On The Avenue, recalls that people referred to then as members of the gay community moved to Del Ray in the early 1990s and possibly earlier in large numbers and played a lead role in buying old, often rundown houses and renovating them.

“It’s interesting that Del Ray was kind of gentrified by a lot of the gay community in the ‘90s,” Blackburn said. “And there’s still a lot of residents in Del Ray from that early period who kind of reinvigorated Del Ray,” he said. “So, it’s interesting how this neighborhood evolved and how it’s become such a sought-after neighborhood that we even get right-wing Republicans who see the value of living here.”

According to Blackburn, Vance “lives like a hundred yards away” from Pride On The Avenue.

People familiar with Del Ray point out that during Pride month in June many of the stores and shops along Mt. Vernon Avenue display Pride flags. Blackburn said Pride On The Avenue, which is currently the only gay bar in Alexandria, “has been very well received” by nearby residents and visitors to the neighborhood.

Voting records from past elections show Del Ray, even more than Alexandria as a whole, has elected Democrats over Republicans and has supported Democrats in statewide elections. In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden won against Donald Trump in Del Ray by a greater than 80 percent margin, according to the Washington Post.

Washingtonian magazine has reported that after news surfaced last year that Vance and his family had moved into their house in Del Ray, a local artist staged a one-person protest by placing rainbow colored striped cloth and Pride flags in the area, including on a tree across the street from Vance’s house.

Continue Reading

Maryland

Moore joins Democratic chorus endorsing Harris

Announcement comes day after Joe Biden ended 2024 campaign

Published

on

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, left, applauds as Vice President Kamala Harris, right, endorses U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks last month. Moore is now endorsing Harris for president. (Photo by Ulysses Muñoz/Baltimore Banner)

BY PAMELA WOOD | Maryland Gov. Wes Moore joined the chorus of prominent Democrats backing Vice President Kamala Harris to be the party’s nominee on Monday.

In a statement, Moore said the vice president is the best choice for Democrats and the nation.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner website.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular