D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week named gay activist Christopher Dyer as special assistant to the director of the Mayor’s Office of Justice Grants Administration, which oversees federal grants related to the city’s juvenile and criminal justice system.
Bowser named Edward “Smitty” Smith, who ran unsuccessfully for the Office of D.C. Attorney General in the November election, as director of the Justice Grants Administration Office.
Dyer was among several of Bowser’s gay or lesbian appointees who joined Bowser in welcoming hundreds of city residents to the John A. Wilson building on Monday for a mayoral open house reception.
Other gay or lesbian appointees greeting well-wishers in their new offices at the reception were Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs; David Do, director of the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; and Jim Slattery, director of the Mayor’s Correspondence Unit.
In welcoming visitors as she stood in the “bullpen” area where her Office of Community Affairs is located, Bowser introduced the office’s representatives for each of the city’s eight wards, including gay activist John Fanning, who she named last month as the Ward 2 representative.
“We’re very privileged to open up the Executive Offices of the Mayor today,” Bowser said.
“We have had the opportunity to really build a fabulous team of Washingtonians who are committed to serving every day the residents of the District of Columbia,” she said.
In a change from her predecessor, Mayor Vincent Gray, Bowser moved her own office from the top floor of the Wilson Building, where Gray worked, to the third floor, where she said she will be closer to key staff members. The Office of LGBT Affairs is located in the bullpen section of the third floor.
Dyer served as director of the then Office of GLBT Affairs under former Mayor Adrian Fenty.
Among the out gay officials from the Gray administration that Bowser has retained in her administration are Eric Richardson, director of the Office of Cable Television; and Patrick Canavan, director of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
The American Psychological Association has credited Canavan with playing a key role in transforming St. Elizabeth’s from a “once notoriously decrepit mental health hospital into a gleaming, state-of-the-art facility.”