Connect with us

Opinions

West Bank, Gaza no haven for LGBT Palestinians

‘Pink washing’ allegation against Israel doesn’t wash

Published

on

Tel Aviv, Israel, gay news, Washington Blade, gay pride

Tel Aviv Pride. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The recent opinion editorial “Seattle mayor’s trip highlights dangers of pink washing” tried to make the point that the gay mayor of Seattle’s address in Israel at the 40th anniversary of Tel Aviv Pride was done to distract attention from Israel’s control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and its impact on Palestinians.

The author contends that the mayor’s visit to Israel and the West Bank was nothing more than “pink washing” a pejorative term for highlighting Israel’s pro-LGBT policies without recognizing the pain and suffering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has caused to both sides. This is nonsense.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray visited the only Democratic state in the Middle East and the only one that protects the rights of all minorities, including gay and lesbian citizens. His visit to Israel as well as time spent in the West Bank, where he experienced firsthand the challenges facing the Israeli and the Palestinian populations is one that is often taken by American elected officials to understand the daily security threats the Israeli people endure. As the Syrian war continues to rage on at Israel’s northern border and the threat of ISIS grows throughout the Middle East, Israel’s strong and vibrant democracy is needed more than ever.

While in Tel Aviv, Mayor Murray spoke at a conference marking the 40th anniversary of Tel Aviv Pride, which reflected the accomplishments and continuing work that Israel needs to do to achieve true equality. This conference was hosted by the U.S.-based NGO A Wider Bridge, which promotes LGBT support for Israel and the Agudah, Israel’s version of the Human Rights Campaign. Israel’s record on LGBT issues has been one of the strong hallmarks of a democratic and civil society and includes being one of the first countries to allow gays to serve openly in the military, allowing equality at workplaces and recognizing same sex marriages performed outside of Israel. Tel Aviv’s vibrant gay community is known for its 150,000 strong Pride march as well as a vibrant LGBT center supported by politicians of all stripes.

Finally the author talks about the treatment of the Palestinian people. While the majority of Israelis recognize the need for a two-state solution, the gay community has been some of the most vocal in their support. While pointing fingers at Israel though, and the Israeli people, the author seems to miss the fact that to be gay in the West Bank or Gaza is a very scary proposition for most Palestinians. Since the Oslo Peace Agreement, Israel has given the Palestinian Authority civil authority over the West Bank, and since 2005’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, Hamas has been the governing authority there. Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas recognizes LGBT rights and has maintained a hostile environment for gay citizens forcing them to flee their homes. Many of these gay Palestinians have found refuge in Europe and North America.

Israel is not perfect, and Israel has much further to go to provide equality for all, but to say that Israel’s acceptance, recognition and freedom of LGBT citizens is somehow “pink washing” is trying to divert attention from the poor record for LGBT Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Christopher Scott McCannell is a member of the advisory board of A Wider Bridge, a group that promotes connections between LGBT Americans and Israelis. In addition he serves on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Kyle

    July 10, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Yes, LGBT people in Tel Aviv have it better than they do in Nablus. But everyone person in Tel Aviv has it better than people in Nablus. Are we really going to accept the tiny token of better acceptance of LGBT people as license to overrun the remainder of Palestine? I’m pretty sure enacting a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people is how NOT to win the Middle East over the progressive thinking on social issues.

    • Imho

      July 13, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      Pretty distorted way of presenting your concerns. You can accept that Israel has done a tremendous job at evolving lbgtq rights and cultures. It is not a tiny token. And…. Accepting that would not diminish your other concerns. Rather, you would sound more credible rather that simply “anti Israel.”

      • Kyle

        July 14, 2015 at 9:10 am

        The thing is, I am pro-Israel. As in I want Israel to continue to exist. But Israel is doing everything in its power to alienate any allies, actual or potential, by its unchecked elimination of the remainder of Palestine. The West Bank settlements need to end and need to be dismantled, and the lands restored to the Palestinian people. Gaza needs to be freed. It is essentially an open air prison, into which Israel rains down destruction at will. How can I celebrate the “freedoms” of gays in Tel Aviv when Palestinian children are mowed down while playing soccer on the beach?

    • zionist&proud

      July 14, 2015 at 3:01 am

      As a gay man living in Tel Aviv, I cherish the rights that I have that no gay man living in Nablus could dream about, like openly criticizing my government while holding my boyfriend’s hand at a pro-marriage equality rally.

  2. Brooks Austin

    July 11, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I find it hypocritical that this author decries pink washing as nonsense, then engages in pink washing themselves. This article is a textbook example of the hypocrisy of pink washers. And the notion that the people of Israel face daily threats to their security is such a load of rubbish, I find it hard to think anyone takes it seriously.

    • Imho

      July 13, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Seems like you’re just hurling the term without questioning. The reality is that Israel is a relatively welcoming place for queers. The Arab world, anywhere, is unwelcoming and often dangerous. This is not “pinkwashing,” it’s the reality for lbgtq people in these very different cultures.

      • uhhuhh

        July 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm

        I don’t call it welcoming for Netanyahu to use our electronic eavesdropping to identify gay Palestinians and out them if they don’t become Israeli snitches.

        • Imho

          July 13, 2015 at 4:26 pm

          Perhaps true, though I doubt it. More importantly, queers in Palestinian territories and Arab countries in general are hounded, harassed, threatened and sometimes killed by their own families, and thrown off buildings by extremists in the name of Islam. In Israel, sodomy laws were overturned even before in the U.S., there are anti discrimination laws in employment, right to serve openly in the military and the legislature. Yes, there’s a ways to go in this area and others. But painting a black and white picture and demonizing Israel is dishonest, distorts credibility and doesn’t help anyone.

          • uhhuhh

            July 13, 2015 at 6:07 pm

            First, I’m not sure why you think I need “educating” about any of that. I also know that there is no such thing as civil marriage because marriage has been handed to the ultra-orthodox to control, and they don’t permit same-sex marriages. I also know that gay Israelis thus have to scour the planet for another country that will allow them to marry if they wish to get married. I also know that a bill to allow civil marriage was just rejected in the Knesset.

            Second, I don’t know what it is that you supposedly doubt. The campaign to identify and out gay Palestinians was widely reported, including in the Guardian and New York Times.

            You and this article author are the one painting black and white picture. I notice you didn’t mention the ultra-orthodox throwing their own feces at Jerusalem pride either.

          • Imho

            July 13, 2015 at 6:31 pm

            Right…. Worst country in the world. Probably best you don’t visit after all. Cheers.

          • uhhuhh

            July 13, 2015 at 7:54 pm

            “Worst country in the world”? LOL! Omg listen to yourself. “Watch me set up a straw man and play victim!” I posted one negative comment to provide a hint of balance to this ridiculous article, and you launch into a massive propaganda crusade. Please don’t kid yourself and imagine that you have any semblance of balance.

            P.S. I like how you couldn’t refute anything I said.

          • Imho

            July 13, 2015 at 8:02 pm

            “Negative” is your operative word. Cheers! Bye.

          • uhhuhh

            July 13, 2015 at 8:57 pm

            “Propagandize” is yours. I didn’t re-elect the warmongering racist.

  3. uhhuhh

    July 11, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I’m soooooo over the sniveling sycophants for that racist warmonger Netanyahu demanding that American LGBTs hate Palestinians as much as they do and fawn over that Likud bigot. The Israelis re-elected the bigot. The only remaining alternative is divestment and boycotting.

    • Imho

      July 13, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      This is not about demanding that we should hate Palestinians. It’s about recognizing that the situation there is not black and white. You can sympathize with both “sides”, recognize wrongs committed by both, and still recognize that Israel has a pretty wonderful queer scene that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else in the region.

      • uhhuhh

        July 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm

        I disagree. It is all about propagandizing the gays and goading us into praising Netanyahu. This clumsy campaign to exploit our sexual orientation has been going on for several years now. In its most toxic form, it smugly attacks us as bad gays and accuses us of not caring about gay rights. I find the entire marketing strategy crass and insulting.

        • Imho

          July 13, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          I disagree. It’s really not “all about propagandizing”. It really is a different culture and different mindset around queer issues. Perhaps you’ll find yourself visiting there sometime. I think both “sides” would appreciate people visiting with an open mind.

          • uhhuhh

            July 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

            Sorry, but I have no intention of visiting and subjecting myself to the barrage of intelligence-insulting propaganda that visitors are subjected to.

            And, yes, exploiting gay rights is a propaganda tactic that’s been around for several years. Netanyahu cares about gay rights only to the extent they can be used as a political wedge. Then he suddenly forgets about gay rights when interfering with the US presidential election in an effort to show an anti-gay bigot down our throats as president. Spare us the propagandizing.

          • Imho

            July 14, 2015 at 3:35 am

            It’s not about “propagandizing.” And yes, activists across the spectrum in both communities would love for people to visit and have expressed that.

            Interesting that you have “no intention of visiting” but are so sure of the “propaganda that visitors are subjected to.” Sounds like you have NO first hand knowledge. Perhaps you’ll find an opening in your heart some day.

          • uhhuhh

            July 14, 2015 at 12:23 pm

            “Perhaps you’ll find an opening in your heart some day.”

            LOL! Yeah, it’s so heartless of me to oppose the construction of illegal settlements and the endless warmongering, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-Arab racism of Netanyahu and the Israeli right.

            OMG, OMG, OMG, I posted non-flattering observations to give mild balance to a ridiculously one-side glorification of Israel. I must be stopped! That must be shut down! It’s undermining the aggressive propaganda mission!

            Save your condescension for someone who is vulnerable to your pathetic effort at manipulation.

          • Imho

            July 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm

            Have a nice day.

  4. zionist&proud

    July 14, 2015 at 2:57 am

    As a gay man living in Tel Aviv, I can openly kiss my boyfriend in the streets while wearing a t shirt critical of my government and not get harassed by the police or the public. I would not be allowed to do that in any of my neighboring Arab countries or in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

    That’s not ‘pink-washing’. That’s just stating the obvious about the homophobic, anti-free speech region I live in.

    • Kyle

      July 14, 2015 at 10:22 am

      The facts of your life in Tel Aviv are not pinkwashing. You have a good life and I’m happy for you.

      Pinkwashing is when governments and other entities take the facts of lives like yours and use those to try to propagandize the public and insure US complicity in whatever policies the Israeli government pursues, up to and including the elimination of the Palestinian territories. That doesn’t change the fact that the facts of your life are good. It just means that there has been the selective choosing of those facts, to the exclusion of other facts, for propagandizing purposes. That’s what pinkwashing is.

      • zionist&proud

        July 15, 2015 at 2:08 am

        Pinkwashing is a term developed by critics of Israel who wanted to portray Israel in the worst way so they go after every positive element of Israeli society accusing it of ulterior motives.

        Pinkwashing denies the tens of thousands of Israelis who bravely came out to their parents and friends before ‘coming out’ was a socially-accepted form of expression.

        Pinkwashing was a term coined by a college professor at a university in NYC who had a history of anti-Israel rhetoric.

        You call it pinkwashing. I call it for what it is: Good old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

        • Kyle

          July 15, 2015 at 9:13 am

          Criticizing Israel is not the same as anti-Semitism because Israel is not the same as the Jews. The Jews are an ethnic group who are found all over the world. Israel is a nation state in the Middle East which has a population consisting of Jews, Muslim and Christian Palestinians, etc. When people conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, they are not offering anything substantive to the argument. They just want to shut the whole discussion down. Well, guess what? You’ve succeeded. The discussion is shut down. It’s clear we cannot even agree to disagree.

          • Imho

            July 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm

            That’s not entirely true. Sometimes, there is obsessive criticism of Israel to the point of demonizing or holding her to standards not applied to other countries. And sometimes, yes, criticism of Israel does indeed serve to mask anti-Semitism. When there are more resolutions at the UNHRC against Israel than all other countries combined (China, Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia included) something is askew. When there are calls to boycott Israel, while ignoring abuses elsewhere, it indeed smacks of more than meets the eye.

  5. James Menop

    July 30, 2015 at 12:41 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinions

Opinion | Why LGBTQ people should fear new Texas abortion law

Slippery slope measure turns private citizens into enforcers

Published

on

Texas State Capitol (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

I worry about everything from climate change to violence against transgender people to racism to reproductive freedom for women. But, until recently, I didn’t have to worry that a “$10,000 bounty” could be collected from me if I helped a woman to have an abortion.

Yet, this is now a terrifying concern for abortion providers, advocates of women’s reproductive rights and those who value civil liberties. Especially, for people in Texas.

If you value the right to privacy and are LGBTQ or a queer ally, you should be terrified.

Here’s why everyone with a sense of decency should feel the hair standing up on the back of their necks: It’s no secret, that the Supreme Court, more conservative since the court of the 1930s, is likely eyeing the chance to overthrow or gut Roe V. Wade.

In May, the Supreme Court said that, in its next term (beginning in October 2021), it would consider an abortion case involving a Mississippi law that would prohibit most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy (about two months earlier than permitted by Roe v. Wade).

The Court’s decision to consider this case gives hope to anti-abortion activists seeking the overthrow of Roe v. Wade.   

States with Republican-controlled legislatures, aware of the make-up of the Supreme Court (with its conservative 6 to 3 majority), have acted quickly to severely weaken abortion rights. This has been especially true this year.

“More abortion restrictions — 90 — have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973,” according to a Guttmacher Institute report.

On May 19, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas signed a draconian abortion bill into law. This measure, known as a “heartbeat law,” bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

Many women, at the six-week point, have no idea that they’re pregnant.

This is bad enough. Other states, including Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina have passed “heartbeat” laws banning abortion (when a fetal heartbeat can be detected).

But the legislation signed into law this spring by Gov. Abbott is even more insidious.

The legislation, scheduled to take effect in September 2021, gives private citizens the right to sue doctors and abortion clinic employees.

It doesn’t stop there. The new law permits a private citizen (from a pastor to an Uber driver to a friend, family member or perfect stranger) to sue anyone who performs or helps anyone to get an abortion. Even private citizens not living in Texas could sue people performing or helping someone to get an abortion.

Each private citizen could potentially be awarded $10,000 for every illegal abortion.

The law doesn’t allow for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Though it would permit abortions in rare medical instances. Thankfully, on July 13, a coalition of abortion rights and civil liberties advocates, including abortion clinics, doctors, clergy, filed a federal lawsuit to challenge this new law.

Six-week abortion bans passed by other states have been successfully challenged because abortion rights advocates sued government officials.

But Texas’s new law prohibits state officials from enforcing it. It’s set up to be enforced by private citizens.

“We had to devise a unique strategy to fight this subversive law,” Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “We will pursue every legal avenue we can to block this pernicious law.”

This new law sets up a dangerous slippery slope for LGBTQ folk.

If a private citizen is allowed to sue anyone assisting a woman having an abortion, what, for example, would prevent anyone (from a minister to a friend to a cab driver) who helps a queer couple to adopt a child? Or suing anyone helping a transgender person to get health care.

Let’s do all we can to support the effort to block this dangerous law.

Kathi Wolfe, a writer and a poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

Continue Reading

Opinions

Opinion | LGBTQ victories are largely legal, not legislative

Leading lobbying groups ineffective as we face hostile Supreme Court

Published

on

anti-discrimination laws, gay news, Washington Blade
(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The recent conclusion of last month’s Pride month celebrations marked an annual milestone in both the history and advancements of rights for the LGBTQ community. The progress for LGBTQ rights over the last two decades has been groundbreaking – oftentimes described as an exemplary movement obtaining rights for a marginalized community. It was less than 20 years ago the United States Supreme Court struck down the country’s first real gay rights test in Lawrence v. Texas, decriminalizing “homosexual conduct” among consenting adults. 

Even in the most recent years, we all recognize how major achievements like marriage equality to the protection of gay adoption – to the recent action ensuring a fully inclusive military with transgender service – have benefited the community. But with new attacks arising daily in state capitals around the nation, like transgender sports becoming the new “bathroom bill,” LGBTQ future generations are counting on the leading LGBTQ rights and legal organizations to secure more equality.

Almost unanimously, these groundbreaking rights – while being achieved at almost lightning speed (although not fast enough for the millions of LGBTQ Americans whose lives have been, and still being impacted) – have been won in American courtrooms, not the halls of Congress. 

While the first federal LGBTQ rights bill was introduced in Congress in 1975 by former Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, it was simply referred to the Judiciary Committee and died. Forty-six years later barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, part of today’s Equality Act, has still not been passed into law by the LGBTQ lobbying organizations – and faces a similar fate this year in the U.S. Senate. 

The Equality Act, the chief legislative target for Washington, D.C.’s LGBTQ lobbying organizations is dead in Congress despite the ripest political environment with a Democratic House, Senate and White House. The Senate’s filibuster and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are major structural problems for the legislation, but there is not even serious discussion or demands from the LGBTQ lobbying community to insist on passage through filibuster reform.  

Must we automatically presume the LGBTQ community is so low a priority we are essentially beholden to prejudice of the minority in the Senate? When, therefore, can we ever expect any action? If not now, then when will gay lobbying succeed?

As an LGBTQ researcher at the University of Sydney in preparation for a new academic piece, I wanted to find out how groundbreaking LGBTQ rights could be won in courtrooms while lingering in Congress for half a century. The central question this research tried to answer was, “what factors contribute to LGBTQ lobbyist and advocate perceptions of movement success by LGBTQ organizations?”  The answer became pretty clear when surveying the top LGBTQ lobbying and government affairs professionals, the ones with the most intimate, front-line view of congressional outreach. 

Overwhelmingly, the research concludes the leading mainstream legal organizations have been primarily responsible for the community’s progress – not the LGBTQ organization’s lobbying efforts. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the wealthiest LGBTQ organization with a $48 million a year budget based in Washington, D.C. and founded 41 years ago, was ranked 10th most effective out of 17 organizations ranked. Since 2018, HRC has fallen six additional positions since the original research was published. In contrast, Lambda Legal, the LGBTQ community’s foremost legal rights organization, followed by the legal powerhouse, the ACLU, have moved ahead of them ranking as the most effective LGBTQ organizations.

The research clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the LGBTQ lobby, which has largely focused on gaining access to power structures instead of winning legislative victories.  Fundraising models of these organizations, built largely around monetizing their access to power, has left little evidence of their effectiveness and in turn, has strengthened systems of oppression against an overwhelming number of LGBTQ people of color, transgender individuals and lower-income members of the community. The “access to power” model of LGBTQ lobbying has essentially commercialized gayness (white, cisgender, English-speaking, middle and upper class gayness) as a consumable product that most often benefits those in power. It’s a “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” system of lobbying that shuts the door on the most marginalized LGBTQ people – those most in need of legislative victories to protect their lives.

Today, regardless of all of the progress in LGBTQ legal victories over the last two decades, the community is in the most dangerous place it has been in 25 years. LGBTQ lobbying does not work, and LGBTQ legal avenues have catastrophically changed. The 6-3 Supreme Court is poised to undermine Roe, which some say undermines Lawrence, which undermines Obergefell (the groundbreaking 2015 marriage equality decision). A house of very successful, but delicate legal cards, may begin to fall. The LGBTQ community is holding its collective breath against an anti-LGBTQ Supreme Court majority, and the spotlight is now shining brightly on the LGBTQ lobby and their ability to produce legislative success. 

Unfortunately, the organizations responsible for shaping the community’s relationship with states and the federal government are largely seen as ineffective and oftentimes harmful to progress. This ineffectiveness leaves the LGBTQ community in a dangerous and perilous moment in the movement’s history.  

To be successful, a radical transformation of the movement’s lobbying must happen immediately by shifting to a much more state-based movement, where anti-LGBTQ opponents are already attacking the identity and existence of transgender people with the introduction of more than 100 bills aimed to curb the rights of transgender people nationwide. Secondly, the danger to the lives of LGBTQ people from these legislative harms must be amplified and ready to be fought against. And lastly, a new model of investment is required that prioritizes the lives of transgender individuals and people of color and embraces an intersectional approach to lobbying. 

The LGBTQ movement is about to face darker days ahead. Leaders in Washington’s premier gay rights groups, including their lobbyists, must figure out how to protect our children, protect the poor, and lift up the marginalized or face disastrous consequences in the next few years in legislative bodies from city halls to the U.S. Capitol. Otherwise our hopes to tackle issues like transgender sports and equality will rest solely on the LGBTQ legal apparatus.

Christopher Pepin-Neff, Ph.D., a senior lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, is the author of ‘LGBTQ Lobbying in the United States.’

Continue Reading

Opinions

Opinion | Macha, Byrne for Rehoboth Beach Commission

Aug. 14 election critical after reckless vote on Clear Space permits

Published

on

Double L, Diego's Hideaway, Fourth, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade

On Saturday, Aug. 14, voters in Rehoboth Beach, Del., have an opportunity to make a strong statement on what they want their city to be in the future. During last year’s election for mayor and Commission, I suggested a vote for Stan Mills, Susan Gay and Patrick Gossett would take Rehoboth back to the Sam Cooper years and put anti-business candidates in control of the City Commission. My prediction has sadly proven accurate. The latest fiasco is the vote to turn down the city’s Planning Commission recommendation for the second time and potentially force the iconic Clear Space Theatre out of Rehoboth.

While voters of Rehoboth Beach can’t turn around the Commission with one election their votes can make a huge difference. That is why I urge support for Rachel Macha and Richard Byrne who have both shown an in-depth understanding of what Rehoboth Beach needs to flourish and promise a fair and balanced look at the future of the city. They understand to be successful for years to come Rehoboth must fairly balance the needs of its residents, businesses, and visitors.

Rachel Macha and her husband Rich have owned property in Rehoboth Beach for more than 21 years. They have a great loving family, 23-year-old triplets and 21-year-old twins. Macha is proud of the fact that since her kids were 14, they have held summer jobs in Rehoboth at Funland, Royal Treat, Jungle Jim’s, Bin 66 and Big Fish Restaurant Group.

She understands Rehoboth’s Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) and that within the next year the updated CDP will set forth a strategic vision for Rehoboth Beach. Macha said “It will be the Commissioner’s guide to navigating the way to a sound future to achieve its key strategic objectives, including preserving our sense of place, infrastructure, arts and culture, strategic projects, and safety. As a member of the Planning Commission, I focused intensely to carefully analyze and understand the concerns, desires, and suggestions of residents, businesses, and tourists before, during and after COVID.”

Her professional experience is in the area of improving customer service and customer experience in the technology, software, and service industries. She has spent years serving on various school, church, company, and non-profit boards and committees. For the past three years, she leveraged her experience serving Rehoboth on the Parks, Shade Tree Commission, and Planning Commission.

Macha also understands the future of the city depends on fiscal responsibility and enhancing the sense of community that Rehoboth Beach was developing before the current mayor’s efforts, intentional or not, destroyed it. To foster that sense of community Macha has proposed launching a Customer Experience Committee comprised of residents, organizations such as RBHA and CAMP, and local businesses to generate and openly discuss ways to move Rehoboth forward positively with a unified sense of purpose.

Richard Byrne and his wife Sherri have been coming to Rehoboth for more than 25 years. They bought their home in 2002 and have lived in Rehoboth full-time since 2009. Byrne has more than 30 years of experience in education, running university extension programs in Maryland and Minnesota. Those programs required collaboration among citizens, volunteers, youth, community organizations and working with county and state agencies. He has served in many ways including being a member of the Rehoboth Beach Commission for the past three years and is proud of his many accomplishments during that time.

He authored legislation creating Steve Elkins Way; created the environment committee; and promoted endeavors to take care of the city’s natural environment. He led the review of the city’s wireless communications facilities ordinance; has been involved with bringing back recycling to the boardwalk; brought forward several measures to improve pedestrian safety; and secured a grant to support the beautification of the public triangle on State Road.

He said, “If I am re-elected I will continue to preserve residential neighborhoods, protect the city’s natural environment and promote ethical, open, fair, and transparent government. I will continue listening to concerns of residents and business owners and look for new ideas for improving our city.” So on Aug. 14, vote Rachel Macha and Richard Byrne for a better Rehoboth Beach.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular