December 1, 2017 at 10:09 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Stein Club to honor Takano at holiday party
Mark Takano, Democratic Party, California, United States House of Representatives, gay news, Washington Blade

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) is slated to be honored on Dec. 5. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club will present its Justice Award for “promoting and working to advance LGBT rights nationally” to U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) at its Annual Holiday Party on Dec. 5 at the Dupont Italian Kitchen at 1637 17th St., N.W.

Takano won election in 2012 as the first openly gay person of color to the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents California’s 41st congressional district, which includes the city of Riverside.

Takano, whose grandparents emigrated to the U.S. from Japan, has emerged as a vocal critic of the Trump administration, especially of the administration’s positions and actions on immigration.

In a statement released this week, the Stein Club said Takano and two local activists who will also be honored by the club were expected to join club members in celebrating the electoral wins by Democrats in the November election.

“Democrats are eager for the 2018 midterm elections after our wins in November,” said Stein Club President Earl Fowlkes. “We want to celebrate this blue wave of victories at our holiday party, recognize local and national leaders who have gone above and beyond for our community, and welcome new and energized Democrats to the party,” he said.

In addition to presenting its Justice Award to Takano, the club will present its annual Michael Bustamonte and James Zais Political Development Award to local activist Cristina Rivera-Calvillo in recognition of her “contributions to political developments and social advocacy in the DMV Latinx communities.”

In its statement, the club said it will present its Heil-Balin Community Service Award to Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Randy Downs “for his outstanding and unique community service in advancing the rights of the local LGBT community.”

The holiday party is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., the statement says. Non-members are welcome to attend, club officials said. Among those expected to attend are candidates running in the city’s 2018 elections for various positions, including D.C. City Council seats.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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