Trans United Fund, a D.C.-based national group that raises money for candidates for public office supportive of transgender rights, launched its 2018 D.C. election effort on Tuesday night at an event in Adams Morgan that raised $2,000 for possible contributions to D.C. Council candidates.
“Trans United Fund is building a unified voice for trans and gender non-conforming people and their allies in Washington, D.C.,” the group said in a statement. “On June 19, D.C. voters will make an important choice around what kind of city we want to live in,” the group said.
“Our campaign will educate voters on where the candidates stand on the issues that most directly impact our communities – issues like racial and economic justice, housing and homelessness, police violence, sex work, immigration, and other urgent issues,” the statement says.
Longtime transgender rights advocate Hayden Mora, co-founder of Trans United Fund, told a gathering of supporters at the Potter’s House restaurant on Columbia Road, N.W., on Tuesday night that the organization hopes to add to some of its successes in last year’s state legislative elections.
Among the successful candidates the group backed last year was Danica Roem, whose election to the Virginia House of Delegates marked the first time a transgender person has been elected and seated in a state legislature.
“Trans United Fund is about building political power,” Hayden said. Among the questions he said the group will ask in its D.C. election effort is “what sort of city do we want to live in?” He said the group would be deliberating soon to decide which, if any, candidates it should endorse in the city’s June 19 primary election.
Others who spoke at the gathering were Ruby Corado, the transgender rights advocate who founded the D.C. LGBT community services center Casa Ruby; Aja Taylor, an official with the local social services group Bread for the City; and Emmelia Talarico of the group No Justice No Pride. Also speaking were three young trans women who told of how they struggled to overcome personal hardship including homelessness and the need to engage in sex work as a means of survival.
Hayden, Corado and others who spoke said among the issues Trans United Fund would be asking candidates to support is decriminalization of sex work as a means of lessening hardships of people in need.
Jeremiah Lowery, a Democratic candidate for one of two at-large City Council seats up for election this year, said he supports decriminalization efforts to ease the burdens faced by sex workers. He was the only candidate to attend the meeting.
“I’m here to listen and to learn,” he said.