December 4, 2018 at 10:01 am EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans woman elected Stein Club president
Stein Club, gay news, Washington Blade

From left, outgoing Stein Club President Earl Fowlkes, secretary-elect Matthew Abbruzzese, president-elect Monika Nemeth, and vice president-elect Alex Morash. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro Jr.)

Ward 3 community activist Monika Nemeth, who became the first out transgender person to win election to a seat on the city’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission in the city’s Nov. 6 election, won election on Monday night as president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.

The Stein Club, founded in 1976, is the city’s largest local LGBT political organization and one of the city’s oldest Democratic clubs.

Nemeth will succeed Earl Fowlkes, a member of the Democratic National Committee who is completing his third one-year term as Stein Club president. At the club’s regularly scheduled meeting Monday night Fowlkes said he decided to step down as president to devote more time to his role as chair of the DNC’s LGBT Caucus.

But Fowlkes nevertheless agreed to a request by club members that he run for the club’s treasurer position. Similar to Nemeth, he ran unopposed for the position and won election by unanimous voice vote.

The club’s current treasurer, Alex Morash, ran unopposed for the position of Stein Club Vice President for Communications. Morash currently works as communications director for the D.C.-based National LGBTQ Task Force.

Sharon Burke, the club’s current vice president for Legislative and Political Affairs, won re-election to that post unopposed. Ward 1 Democratic Party activist Matthew Abbruzzese won election unopposed as Stein Club Secretary.

Abbruzzese, an online sales and marketing director for a national retail company, served as an aide to former D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1).

Nemeth works as a program manager for a company that provides IT services for the U.S. Navy. She said she is looking forward to helping carry out the Stein Club’s plans for supporting Democratic candidates in Virginia and other states in the 2019 election.

Among the candidates the club plans to help, Nemeth said, is Virginia House of Delegates member Danica Roem, who won election last year in a district in the Manassas area, becoming the nation’s first transgender member of a state legislature. Roem is up for re-election in 2019 for a state legislative seat with a two-year term.

“We had a damn good election in 2018,” Nemeth told Stein Club members in discussing the Democratic Party’s election victories throughout the country, including winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In her role as Stein Club president Nemeth becomes an automatic member of the D.C. Democratic State Committee.

Nemeth’s election as Stein Club president comes five months after local transgender activist Bobbi Elaine Strang won election as president of the D.C. Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the nation’s oldest continuously active LGBT civil rights organization. Similar to Nemeth’s role as the Stein Club’s first transgender president, Strang became GLAA’s first transgender president.

Strang is a former Stein Club board member. She works as a Worker’s Compensation Claims Examiner for the D.C. Department of Employment Services.

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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