The D.C. City Council has scheduled a hearing on Sept. 20 for a bill calling for the ceremonial naming of a street on Capitol Hill for the late Richard Rausch, a prominent gay Democratic Party activist and advocate for LGBT rights.
Rausch was an Iowa native who first came to D.C. in 1960 after working on President John F. Kennedy’s election campaign. He died in 2007 after a bout with double pneumonia. He was 77.
He was an “early and open advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, and human rights” during his tenure as a staff member for Democratic members of Congress and in leadership positions in the party, according to a resolution approved Monday by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club endorsing the Rausch street-naming bill.
The bill, introduced by Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), calls for designating the 200 block of 2nd Street, S.E., where Rausch lived for many years, as Richard Rausch Way.
Nine members of the 13-member Council, including Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large), have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill. The Sept. 20 hearing will be held by the Council’s Committee of the Whole, which Mendelson chairs.
“We don’t want to forget our community heroes, and Richard is definitely one we count as among those who not only have been activists in the community but have helped others,” Bonds said in discussing her reason for introducing the bill. “So I think it’s perfectly appropriate.”