November 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Stein Club election heats up
Martin Garcia, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, gay news, Washington Blade, Stein Club

Martin Garcia, Stein Club’s current president, is now running for vice president. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gertrude Stein Democratic Club officials Martin Garcia and Angela Peoples issued a statement on Tuesday announcing the names of three people running with them on a slate for the five officer positions in the club’s Nov. 18 election.

Garcia, the club’s current president, announced last month he’s running for vice president for legislative and political affairs, a post currently held by Peoples. Peoples, in turn, announced she’s running for president.

In the statement released on Tuesday, Garcia and Peoples said Vietnamese-American “queer community organizer, advocate and poet” Diana Bui will run on their slate for the position of vice president for administration; local transgender activist Bobbi Strang, who has worked with the D.C. Trans Coalition and Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), will run for secretary; and local gay activist Terrance Laney, a former special assistant for the LGBT advocacy organization National Black Justice Coalition, will run on the slate for Stein Club treasurer.

Peoples is being challenged in the race for president by veteran D.C. transgender activist and longtime Stein Club member Jeri Hughes. Bui will be running for the vice president for administration post against Jimmie Luthuli, who currently serves as the club’s secretary. Luthuli told the Blade she is backing Hughes for president.

No candidates have surfaced so far to challenge Garcia, Strang or Laney. The club members currently holding the secretary and treasurer’s positions being sought by Strange and Laney are not running for re-election.

“I could not be happier with the talent and experience represented on our slate,” Peoples said in the statement. “The club’s membership is full of diverse backgrounds and perspectives; Diana, Terrance, and Bobbi are a tribute to that diversity.”

Luthuli, a public policy analyst, said she and Hughes would bring years of experience and involvement in the LGBT community to their positions as president and vice president for administration.

“Jeri and I will be asking members of the club to support us,” she said.

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

  • What I find odd is that Martin asked Jimmie Luthulli to run for VP of Admin, stating that he wanted to work with her, and now has a "slate" which contradicts that intent. I like Martin, and intended to support his bid for VP of Political Affairs, but duplicity is difficult to support. I will be seeking an explanation.

  • Bobbi Strang is a strong advocate of our community. I will unconditionally support her bid as Secretary.

  • Jimmie Luthuli worked as a volunteer for Stein Club events for years, and has served two terms as the Stein Club Secretary. Her familiarity with the Club's mission, events, and members makes her a natural choice for VP of Admin. She has earned the support of the entire community, and certainly, she has mine.

  • I appreciate the kind comments from Jeri Hughes on this article. I'm humbled to have her support. As this article notes, Jeri Hughes has my unwavering support as well as a result of her exemplary track record of effective community activism. Also, I'd like to mention that Bobbi Strang has my support to assume the position of Secretary that I am vacating. While candidate slates can sometimes be useful tools, Stein Club members are apt enough to determine which candidate is best suited for each position without relying on a slate to dictate their choices.

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