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District of Columbia

44 known LGBTQ candidates running for D.C. ANC seats

Just 12 of 33 LGBTQ incumbents seeking re-election



Kent Boese withdrew his candidacy for reelection when D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson nominated him to become executive director of the D.C. Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.

At least 44 known LGBTQ candidates are running for seats on the city’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in the Nov. 8 D.C. election, with at least one LGBTQ ANC candidate running in each of the city’s eight wards.

Only 12 of the 44 candidates are incumbents seeking election to another two-year term after 21 of the 33 known current LGBTQ ANC commissioners elected to office in 2020 chose not to run again this year.

Those who decided not to run again, including longtime gay ANC commissioners Mike Silverstein of the Dupont Circle ANC and John Fanning of the Logan Circle ANC, are among a record number of ANC members from across the city who chose not to seek reelection this year.

Gay law librarian Kent Boese, a longtime commissioner representing the city’s Park View neighborhood in Ward 1, withdrew his candidacy for reelection earlier this year when D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson nominated Boese to become executive director of the D.C. Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Boese, whose nomination was expected to be confirmed by the Council on Oct. 31, will assume the important role of overseeing the fiscal and administrative operations of the ANCs across the city.

In 2020, a record number of 47 known LGBTQ candidates ran for ANC seats, as reported by the then-ANC Rainbow Caucus. The caucus, which consisted of LGBTQ commissioners and others listed as allies, has since become inactive, making it more difficult to identify LGBTQ ANC candidates.

Nevertheless, the Washington Blade and the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the national group that provides financial support for openly LGBTQ candidates running for public office, were able to identify at least 44 known LGBTQ ANC candidates running in the Nov. 8 election. Out of that total, 28 are running unopposed.

Four of the LGBTQ contenders are running as write-in candidates in one of the record number 56 ANC single member districts in which no candidate is running on the ballot. Another LGBTQ contender, Zachary Ammerman of Ward 5, is running as a write-in candidate against an incumbent commissioner.

Under the D.C. Home Rule Charter, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners serve as unpaid elected officials charged with making recommendations to the city government on a wide range of neighborhood issues, including the approval of liquor licenses for bars and restaurants and zoning regulations. City officials are required to give “great weight” to the ANC recommendations, but the government officials are not required to accept the recommendations.

There are a total of 40 ANCs located throughout the city with each having between two and 10 single member districts representing the city’s diverse neighborhoods. There are currently a total of 345 single member districts citywide known as SMDs.

Like past election cycles, the largest number of LGBTQ ANC candidates running this year, 13, are running in Ward 2, with most running in the ward’s Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods. Seven of the LGBTQ candidates are running in Ward 1 and Ward 5; five are running in Ward 6; four in Ward 7; two in Ward 3; and one each in Wards 4 and 8.

Twenty-five of the 44 LGBTQ candidates have been endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Following is a list of the LGBTQ ANC candidates and the single member districts and neighborhoods in which they are running. The candidates marked with an asterisk have been endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory fund.

1A04 Jeremy Sherman* (unopposed) – Columbia Heights

1A05 Stephen Coleman Kenny* (unopposed) – Columbia Heights

1A09 James Turner (unopposed) – Columbia Heights

1B01 Larry Handerhan (incumbent/unopposed) – LeDroit Park

1B02 Sean Holihan (Unopposed) – U Street/Shaw

1B03 Jamie S. Sycamore* (unopposed) – Columbia Heights/U Street

1C01 Howard Bauleke* (incumbent/unopposed) — Adams Morgan

1E01 Bradley Gallagher (write-in) – Park View

1/e03 Michael Wray (incumbent/unopposed) – Park View/Pleasant Plains

1E07 Brian Footer * — Howard University/Pleasant Plains

2A04 Ed Comer * — Foggy Bottom

2B02 Jeffrey Rueckgauer (incumbent/unopposed) – Dupont Circle

2B03 Vincent E. Slatt* (unopposed) – Dupont Circle

2B06 Matt Johnson (unopposed) – Dupont Circle

2B09 Christopher Davis (unopposed) – Dupont Circle/U Street

2C01 Michael D. Shankle (incumbent/unopposed) – Penn Quarter

2C02 Rebecca Strauss* — Downtown

2F04 Brian McCabe* (unopposed) – Logan Circle

2F05 Christopher Dyer (write-in/unopposed) –Logan Circle

2F06 Matt Fouracre* (write-in/unopposed) – Logan Circle

2F07 Brant J. Miller (unopposed) – Logan Circle

2G02 Alexander M. ‘Alex’ Padro (unopposed) — Shaw

2G04 Steven McCarty * — Shaw

3C01 Hayden Gise* (she/her) (unopposed) — Woodley Park

3F01 Ryan Cudemus-Brunoli* (unopposed) — Cleveland Park

3F05 James Tandaris (incumbent) — Van Ness

4B04 Evan Yeats (incumbent/unopposed) — Takoma

5A01 Zachary Ammerman* (write-in) — Lamond Riggs

5A01 Duvalier Malone* (he/him) — Lamond Riggs

5B02 Nandini Sen* (unopposed) — Brookland

5B04 Ra Amin* (incumbent) — Brookland

5D05 Salvador Sauceda-Guzman (incumbent/unopposed) — Trinidad

5F06 Joe Bishop-Henchman* (unopposed) — Eckington

5F07 Michele Keegan (she/her) — Eckington

6A03 Nicole ‘Nikki’ Del Casale* (she/they) — H Street/Capitol Hill

6A06 Robb Dooling (incumbent/unopposed) – H Street/Capitol Hill

6B03 David Sobelsohn* (unopposed) — Capitol Hill

6D02 Ronald Collins (incumbent) –Southwest

6E02 Charles Panfil* (write-in/unopposed) — Mt. Vernon Square

7B02 Jamaal Maurice McCants-Pearsall* (he/him) (unopposed) — Good Hope

7B03 Travis Swanson* (incumbent/unopposed) — Randle Highlands

7D09 Shane Seger* (he/him) — Capitol Hill

7C04 Anthony Lorenzo Green (incumbent/unopposed) — Deanwood

8F03 Andrew McCarthy-Clarke* (write-in) — Navy Yard


District of Columbia

Anacostia group honors LGBTQ advocate Pannell for 30 years of service

Oct. 5 celebration set for Ward 8 Sycamore & Oak retail village



Phillip Pannell (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Anacostia Coordinating Council (ACC), an advocacy organization for D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood and surrounding areas east of the Anacostia River, is holding a celebration honoring LGBTQ rights and Anacostia community activist Phillip Pannell for his 30 years of service with the ACC.

The event was scheduled to take place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5, at the recently opened Sycamore & Oak retail village mall on the St. Elizabeth’s East Campus in Southeast D.C.

Pannell, 73, serves as the ACC executive director, a position he has held since 1995. He has been a member of the Anacostia-based nonprofit organization’s staff since 1993.
A longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, Pannell has been credited with persuading many of D.C.’s LGBTQ organizations to reach out to LGBTQ residents who live in Wards 7 and 8 east of the Anacostia River.

He has also been credited with persuading African-American organizations, including organizers of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. memorial celebrations, to include and welcome LGBTQ people to their events.

“Join us for an evening of food, fun, and surprises,” an announcement of the event released by the ACC says.

ACC spokesperson Lamont Mitchell told the Washington Blade several community leaders and public officials who have known Pannell during his many years of D.C. community involvement were expected to speak at the Oct. 5 celebration. Among the expected speakers, Mitchell said, was former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt.

According to the announcement, the event is free and open to the public, but organizers requested that people register in advance at

The ACC event honoring Pannell was to take place about a month after the D.C. newspaper Washington Informer published a detailed article profiling Pannell’s career as a community activist and advocate for several important local causes and issues, including D.C. statehood.

“D.C. statehood is not just a political issue, it is also a civil and human rights issue because if D.C. were a state, we would be a state with the highest percentage of African Americans, basically a majority, minority state,” the Informer quoted Pannell as saying. “That’s one of the reasons a lot of right-wing Republicans don’t want to see D.C. become a state because we are going to elect progressive, Black Democratic senators,” Pannell told the Informer.

A statement on the ACC’s website says Pannell has received more than 100 awards during his nearly four decades of work in D.C., including the 2011 U.S. President’s Call to Service Award and the 2012 D.C. Federation of Civic Associations award for Outstanding President of a Member Association.

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District of Columbia

Pepco, Exelon announce $2.7 million in funding for four minority-owned businesses

‘It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table’



Pepco and Exelon held a press conference Friday to announce four recipients of $2.7 million in investments. (Photo courtesy Exelon)

Pepco and Exelon announced a $2.7 million investment in four minority-owned businesses on Friday.

“Today’s been a long time coming,” said Pepco Vice President of Governmental and External Affairs Valencia McClure.

Pepco’s parent company, Exelon, launched the Racial Equity Capital Fund (RECF) in 2022 to expand capital access to diverse businesses. This latest $2.7 million investment is just a portion of RECF’s $36 million in funding.

At the announcement, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser spoke about the other ways Pepco and Exelon have “put their money where their mouth is” through their partnership with the D.C. Infrastructure Academy. She reported that all 22 of the residents that graduated from the program last week have a job offer from Pepco.

“We know that is not just a job, but a career,” she said to the crowd’s applause. “We know that working together, we can invest in D.C. residents, provide opportunity, and ensure that our D.C. businesses are a part of D.C.’s growing prosperity.”

The four minority businesses that received funding were Gemini Energy Solutions, Public Sector Solutions Group, CJR Development Partners, and Escalate.

“It’s good business sense to bring more people to the table,” said fund recipient Nicole Cober, CJR Development’s Principle Managing Partner.

Gemini Energy Solutions, which is Black owned, received $1 million, the most of the four companies. Its mission is to equitably scale energy efficiency to marginalized communities. For the founder and CEO Anthony Kinslow II, this investment means that he is able to get paid and advance the work of his organization.

“We are now able to accelerate the work in our software and technology development,” he said. “What we were going to do in two years, we are now going to do in six months.”

For Escalate, a workforce development platform focused on frontline worker retention, the funding means that it will be able to double the pay for frontline workers.

Public Sector Solutions Group CEO Darryl Wiggins emphasized that this investment was not just ‘charity’ work, but mission-driven work.

“The principle and the intent is greater than the money we receive,” he said. Public Sector Solutions is Black owned.

Public Sector Solutions Group received a $600,000 debt investment; CJR Development, a minority and woman-owned small business, received a $600,000 debt investment; and Escalate, a majority Black and woman-owned company, received a $500,000 equity investment.

Exelon launched the RECF in partnership with RockCreek, one of the world’s largest diverse-owned global investment firms, in 2022. The RECF expands capital access to diverse businesses so they can create more jobs, grow their companies and reinvest in their neighborhoods and communities, according to a statement from Exelon.

New RECF applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Interested businesses may apply online or contact RockCreek at [email protected] for more information.

(Photo courtesy Exelon)
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District of Columbia

AIDS Healthcare Foundation celebrates opening of new D.C. healthcare center

Ribbon-cutting marks launch of state-of-the-art facility on Capitol Hill



AHF’s new healthcare center is located at 650 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the world’s largest HIV/AIDS healthcare organization with its headquarters in Los Angeles, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 27 to mark the official opening of its Capitol Hill Healthcare Center.

The new center, which AHF describes as a state-of-the-art facility for the holistic care and treatment of people with HIV as well as a site for HIV prevention and primary care services, is located at 650 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.  a half block away from the Eastern Market Metro station.

A statement released by AHF says the Capitol Hill Healthcare Center will continue AHF’s ongoing delivery of “cutting-edge medical care and services to patients regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.” The statement adds, “The site also features a full-service AHF Pharmacy and will host Wellness Center services on Saturdays to offer STI testing and treatment.”

The statement was referring to the testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The D.C. Department of Health has said the highest number of STIs in the city have been reported for men who have sex with men.

Mike McVicker, AHF’s Regional Director for its D.C., Maryland, and Virginia facilities, said the Capitol Hill center began taking patients in October of 2021 as AHF transferred its operations from its facility on Benning Road, N.E. about two miles from the Capitol Hill site. McVicker said the Benning Road site has now been closed.

AHF’s second D.C. medical center is located downtown at 2141 K St., N.W. AHF operates three other extended D.C.-area health care centers in Falls Church, Va., Temple Hills, Md. and Baltimore.

“Our Capitol Hill Healthcare Center has no waiting room, so patients immediately are escorted to treatment rooms and serviced from a centrally located provider workstation,” McVicker said. “The goal is to maximize efficiency using this patient-centered model to improve health outcomes and increase retention in care.”

McVicker told the Blade the AHF Capitol Hill center is currently serving 585 patients and has a staff of 10, including Dr. Conor Grey, who serves as medical director. He said a separate team of five staffers operates the Saturday walk-in center that provides STI services as well as services related to the HIV prevention medication known as PrEP.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this team,” Dr. Grey said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was held in a courtyard outside the Capitol Hill office building where the AHF center is located. About 50 people, including D.C. government officials, attended the event.

“This is a beautiful thing to celebrate,” Grey said. “So, I’m very happy to enjoy the day with all of you, and looking forward to a bright, productive future working together and fighting a common enemy that has unfortunately been with us.”

Others who spoke at the event included Tom Myers, AHF’s Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel; Toni Flemming, Supervisory Public Health Analyst and Field Operations Manager for the D.C. Department of Health’s HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA), and Dr. Christie Olejeme, Public Health Analyst for HAHSTA’s Care and Treatment Division.

Also speaking at the event was Japer Bowles, director of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

Bowles called the AHF Capitol Hill center “another pivotal resource” for the LGBTQ community as well as for the city.

“We know, as has been previously stated, a low-barrier HIV prevention support is pivotal to the mayor’s mission of eliminating HIV infections in the District of Columbia and the region,” Bowles told the gathering.

“So, I’m very excited to see more services specifically provided to those in the Southeast and Northeast quadrants of our District,” he said, referring to the AHF Capitol Hill center. “This is a great moment for our community, but also for D.C. as a whole.”

In its statement released this week announcing the official opening of the Capitol Hill Center AHF notes that currently, 11,904 D.C. residents, or 1.8 percent of the population, are living with HIV. It points out that HIV disproportionately impacts Black residents, who make up about 44 percent of the population but comprise nearly three-quarters of the city’s HIV cases.

AHF official Myers said the Capitol Hill center will join its other D.C.-area facilities in addressing the issue of racial disparities related to HIV.

“Our treatment model helps eliminate barriers for those already in care, those who may not know their HIV status, and those living with HIV who may not currently be in care,” he said.

AHF says in its statement that it currently operates more than 900 healthcare centers around the world in 45 countries including 17 U.S. states. It has more than 1.7 million people in care, according to the statement. Founded in 1987, the organization has also taken on the role of public advocacy for federal and local government programs in the U.S. to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including efforts to lower the costs of HIV drugs.

During its work in the late 1980s and early 1990s AHF emerged as a strong advocate for addressing the special needs of gay and bisexual men who were hit hardest by HIV/AIDS at the start of the epidemic.

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