January 21, 2020 at 1:19 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. Council member White announces re-election bid
D.C. Council member Trayon White speaks at his re-election announcement ceremony on Monday held at the Check It Enterprises headquarters in Anacostia before he and his supporters joined the Martin Luther King Day Parade at its starting point outside the Check It building. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8) on Monday officially announced his decision to run for a second term in office at a rally at the headquarters of Check It Enterprises, the LGBTQ clothing manufacturing business in Anacostia that provides services to youth.

About 100 people, most wearing White-for-re-election T-shirts packed a basement meeting room at the Check It building at 1920 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., S.E., where White talked about his accomplishments as the Ward 8 Council member. 

“Check It is not endorsing any candidate,” said Ron Moten, one of the Check It founders who serve as its managing member.

“However, we have no problem with Mr. White as he consistently supported Check It,” Moten told the Washington Blade. “Any public official who wants to use our business to showcase what change and opportunity looks like is welcome.”

White told the Blade after his announcement ceremony that representatives of other D.C. LGBTQ groups, including the youth services group SMYAL and Casa Ruby LGBTQ community services center, attended his announcement event. Among those in attendance was SMYAL Executive Director Sultan Shakir.

“I supported Check It,” White said. “I supported SMYAL. I supported Casa Ruby,” he said. “LGBTQ communities are welcome in Ward 8. I think we ought to be inclusive. So we’re happy and excited to have it at Check It, a black-owned business right here in Ward 8 celebrating black excellence in our community.”

Check It was founded by former members of what had been known as the Check It youth gang who, through advice and support from Moten, started a T-shirt manufacturing business. The youth founders have since expanded their role to serve as an educational and resource center for at-risk youth.

Records from the D.C. Board of Elections show that nine candidates running as Democrats have filed papers to run against White in the city’s June 2 primary election.

Trayon White supporters gather outside of Check It Enterprises. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

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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