October 31, 2013 at 8:40 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans activist Hughes to run for Stein Club president
Jeri Hughes, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, gay news, Washington Blade

Jeri Hughes (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Veteran D.C. transgender activist Jeri Hughes this week announced she is a candidate for president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in the group’s annual officers’ election scheduled for Nov. 18.

Hughes is the second candidate so far to enter the race for the president’s position. Stein Club Vice President for Legislative and Political Affairs Angela Peoples announced two weeks ago that she was running for president after incumbent President Martin Garcia said he would step down as president and run for the vice presidential seat held by Peoples.

If successful, Hughes would be the first transgender person to serve as the club’s president. Transgender and Democratic Party activist Julius Agars served as the club’s vice president two years ago.

Meanwhile, Stein Club Secretary Jimmie Luthuli announced this week that she is running for the position of vice president for administration. That post is being vacated by incumbent Vincent Paolo Villano, who isn’t running for re-election. As of this week, no one has announced candidacy for the Stein Club treasurer’s position, which is being vacated by gay Democratic activist Barrie Daneker, who also decided not to seek re-election.

“Everyone who knows me knows I’m a fighter who works hard to help the community,” Hughes said. “Whatever the issues are I will fight for them.”

She added, “This has very little to do with Martin and Angela. I want to give the existing members a choice.”

Garcia, Peoples and Vallano ran as a slate in the club’s election last year in opposition to the slate organized by then-Stein Club President Lateefah Williams. Their victory, which caught some of the club’s longtime members by surprise, resulted in a change in leadership and came about after an effort by the then challengers to sign up more than 50 new members supportive of them just days prior to the election.

At the time, Hughes criticized the new group for “stacking” the election, even though she acknowledged their actions were allowed under the club’s bylaws. The club has since changed its bylaws to require prospective members to join the club at least 30 days prior to a club election in order to be eligible to vote.

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

  • The article should note that there was an overwhelming vote shortly after the election of President Martin Garcia to confirm that the election was held fairly and Garcia won. Only 3-4 people disagreed. Almost everyone, including me, who voted for Lateefah Williams acknowledged the loss; and the legitimacy of the election and it's outcome.

  • Bob come to a meeting! You always have something to complain about but little work behind that voice

  • Technically there wasn’t enough proof to overturn the election, but it still wasn’t right. Most of the new folks falsely claimed they were poor (even though they have fancy jobs with fancy titles) and paid a special price for low-income folks days before the election to take over a club in which they had never been to a meeting. Low income was never defined by the club, so there wasn’t enough proof to overturn the election. Anyway, that has nothing to do with this article except maybe some of the folks with a bad taste in their mouth are happy to have a choice. Others may be open to the new regime, but feel that Jeri Hughes is better qualified.

  • Bob, I believe all concluded that the election was legitimate. I know I did. But I will never be convinced that it was ethical

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