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Comings & Goings

Amaro joins Resource Media; Kendall to Fulcrum



Jorge Amaro, Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, an internship if you are in college, new clients for your business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at [email protected].

Jorge Amaro, gay news, Washington Blade

Jorge Amaro (Photo courtesy of Amaro)

Congratulations to Jorge Amaro who recently joined Resource Media, a non-profit communications firm as Senior Program Director. As a non-profit, Resource Media sees its clients dealing in what they call “a noisy world out there, and being heard is only half the battle; the other half is changing hearts and minds.” Resource Media offers communications services to do both.

Most recently, Amaro worked as the Media and Public Relations Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, where he spearheaded media outreach around the organization’s rebranding and on issues such as marriage equality, transgender rights, gun violence, racial justice, reproductive rights, Census data collection and more.

A seasoned communications professional, he has worked with numerous advocacy organizations on raising awareness on issues affecting the environment, women, low-income communities, Latinos and LGBTQ people. Jorge has appeared on CNN, Univision, and Telemundo. He has written editorial pieces for the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, among others. He has also served on the boards of xQsí (Porque Sí) Magazine and the Latino Equality Alliance.

In 2012, he was named as one of the “Top Gay Latino Activists Who Have Broken Boundaries” by Huffington Post. In 2016, he made the Honor 41 list, an annual award that recognizes community leaders for their significant contributions to the LGBTQ Latino community. He graduated from Georgetown University in D.C.

Congratulations also to Ray Bracken who was recently promoted to Director of Events at LRG Inc. Bracken is now responsible for managing the logistics for all meetings and conferences ranging from 50-700 attendees. He is currently working on getting his CMP certification. In addition in his spare time he runs his own company called Planner of Things, which specializes in weddings and other social engagements. He uses his experience in catering to bring any event to fruition focusing on alleviating as much stress from the client as possible.

Bracken’s background includes being an Assistant Account Executive for Occasions caterers and working for the Shakespeare Theater Company where his titles included Special Events Manager where he managed the theater’s annual gala and executive assistant to the Artistic and Managing Director where he worked with the inimitable Michael Kahn. Ray graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in communication studies from James Madison University.

Ray Bracken (Photo courtesy of Bracken)

Finally, congratulations also to Richard Kendall who recently joined Fulcrum Properties Group as a Transaction Manager for the team’s offices in D.C., Arlington, and Tysons in Virginia. Fulcrum is a nationally awarded team associated with Keller Williams Capital Properties and Keller Williams Realty.

Kendall is responsible for the coordination and successful execution of client contracts, from ratification through settlement. Prior to joining Fulcrum, Richard spent 20 years as the administrator for other top-producing teams and brokers in D.C., where he managed both transactions and listings. Prior to that he sold real estate and is licensed in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

Kendall and his partner Robert designed and custom-built their Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired dream home on the Potomac River near Shepherdstown, W.Va. When in town they live in Takoma Park.

Richard Kendall (Photo courtesy Kendall)



District of Columbia

Bowser’s highest-level adviser resigns after sexual harassment allegation

Female staffer accuses John Falcicchio of longstanding abuse



John Falcicchio (Screen capture via WUSA9)

Lawyers representing a D.C. government employee shook up the city’s political establishment on Monday when they announced that the employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against John Falcicchio, the now former D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s longtime chief of staff.

The attorneys, Debra Katz and Kayla Morin, did not identify the city employee. 

The announcement by Katz and Morin in a press release came shortly after Mayor Bowser issued her own announcement at a news conference on the same day. The mayor confirmed that Falcicchio’s sudden resignation last Friday, March 17, followed her decision to launch an investigation into allegations against Falcicchio.    

But Bowser said issues surrounding her longtime adviser’s departure amounted to “a sensitive matter that includes privacy concerns” that prevented her from disclosing why she initiated the investigation and why Falcicchio abruptly resigned. 

She said the investigation was being conducted by the city’s Office of Legal Counsel, which is “following established policies and procedures” and that all relevant D.C. government staff members were fully cooperating with the investigation.

“I can also tell you that this investigation does not involve any allegations of improprieties related to business transactions,” Bowser told reporters attending the news conference, which was initially called to celebrate the completion of the city’s 9th Street, N.W. protected bike lane project and to discuss updates on the Capital Bikeshare program.

“I have every confidence in my new chief of staff, Lindsey Parker, and in our new Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Keith Anderson,” Bowser said at the news conference. “And I have immense confidence in the 37,000 employees of the D.C. government who will keep us moving forward,” she said.

Parker has served as the city’s chief technology officer since 2019 and as assistant city administrator since 2022. Anderson has served as director of the D.C. Department of General Services, which oversees the city’s buildings and properties.  

“We represent an employee of the District of Columbia who came forward to report serious allegations of sexual harassment by former Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio,” the statement released by attorneys Katz and Morin says.

“It is our understanding that this behavior is longstanding, and our client is cooperating fully with the investigation, which Mayor Bowser initiated immediately,” the statement continues. “Our client is courageous. She came forward to ensure accountability and protect other women,” it says. “Given the gravity of our client’s allegations – which involve unwelcome advances and sexual contact – we ask the media to respect her privacy,” the statement says.

It concludes by encouraging “everyone affected” to contact Maia Ellis, the Associate Director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel, who’s leading the investigation, at [email protected].

Katz is a founding partner and Morin is an associate of the D.C. law firm Katz Banks Kumin, which specializes in sexual harassment law, whistleblower law, and employment law, according to a write-up on its website.

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Md. Senate approves transgender rights bill

Maryland House of Delegates passed similar measure on Saturday



Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland Senate on Monday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

Senate Bill 460 or the Trans Health Equity Act passed by a 31-15 vote margin. 

“Requiring, beginning on Jan. 1, 2023, the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to provide gender-affirming treatment in a nondiscriminatory manner; requiring that the gender-affirming treatment be assessed according to nondiscriminatory criteria that are consistent with current clinical standards; prohibiting the issuance of an adverse benefit determination related to gender-affirming treatment unless a certain experienced health care provider has reviewed and confirmed the appropriateness of the determination; etc,” reads a summary of the bill.

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday passed a similar measure.

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Md. House of Delegates approves transgender rights bill

State Medicaid program would be required to cover gender-affirming treatment



Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act in Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

“Proud that the MD House of Delegates passed the Trans Health Equity Act with such a strong majority,” tweeted state Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), who introduced HB 283.

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