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Bowser names new members of LGBTQ Advisory Committee

All members of body replaced

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LGBTQ Advisory Group, gay news, Washington Blade
LGBTQ Advisory Group, gay news, Washington Blade

The mayor’s new LGBTQ Advisory Committee: (left to right) Thomas Sanchez, David M. Pérez, Terrance L. Laney, Julius Agers, Nicole Armstead, Andrea Sharrin, Sheila Alexander-Reid, Glen Ackerman, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Jim Slattery, Victoria Kirby York, Consuella Lopez, Ruth Eisenberg, Dionne Reeder, AJ King, Sheldon Scott and Dr. Imani Woody. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Mayor)

In keeping with her policy of appointing new faces to the numerous city boards, commissions and advisory committees, Mayor Muriel Bowser since taking office in January has replaced nearly all members of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, according to sources familiar with the committee.

Among the mayor’s changes was the replacement of gay Democratic activists Earl Fowlkes and Barbara Helmick, who were appointed to the panel by Mayor Vincent Gray and served as chair and vice chair. Bowser named David Perez, former president of D.C.’s GLBT Latino History Project, as the new chair and National LGBTQ Task Force official Victoria Kirby York as vice chair.

Others named by Bowser include D.C. attorneys Glen Ackerman and Ruth Eisenberg, transgender activist Julius Agers, lesbian activist Letitia Gomez, LGBT seniors advocate Imani Woody and mayoral staffer and Brother Help Thyself President Jim Slattery.

Helmick said she and Fowlkes understand that the new mayor has the authority to appoint her own people to committees and other government bodies that were created to advise a sitting mayor.

“Earl and I were invited to step down and we did,” she said, noting that that message was delivered to them by Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs who oversees the advisory committee.

Shortly after replacing Fowlkes on the LGBTQ Advisory Committee, Bowser appointed him to the D.C. Commission on Human Rights, which required confirmation from the City Council. The Council quickly approved his nomination in July at which time he was sworn in as the Commission’s third openly LGBT member.

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Baltimore

Police say they didn’t spray a chemical agent at Baltimore Pride. Why don’t those who attended believe it?

Attendees allege city failed to adequately respond to emergency

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A parade participant is photographed clutching on to a rainbow flag at Baltimore’s Pride Parade held on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ronica Edwards/Baltimore Banner)

BY BRENNA SMITH and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | A chemical agent that disrupted Pride Parade festivities last weekend continues to cause confusion and raise suspicion among many in the Baltimore LGBTQIA+ community, who question the police account of what happened.

The Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday that they had determined the released substance was Mace, but did not say how they came to that conclusion. A BPD spokesperson said that the chemical was released after two groups of people got into an altercation. Three people were treated and released from a nearby hospital because of injuries from the spray.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Baltimore

Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep

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Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

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

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Maryland

Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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