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Delaware

Rehoboth chef wins ‘Holiday Baking Championship’

Dru Tevis works for SoDel Concepts

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Dru Tevis won the Food Network’s $25,000 prize. (Photo courtesy SoDel Concepts)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — Well-known local pastry chef Dru Tevis won the Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship” on Monday, taking home the competition show’s $25,000 prize.

Tevis, who lives in Lewes, Del., with his husband, works as corporate pastry chef for SoDel Concepts, a group of local restaurants that includes Thompson Island. 

Each episode of the hit Food Network show included two rounds of baking challenges judged by Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes; Nancy Fuller, owner of Ginsberg’s Foods; and Carla Hall from “Top Chef.”  

Tevis was the first pastry chef to win the title of Best Chef in the Delaware Today Best Of Awards, and was also named a Rising Star Chef by the Delaware Restaurant Association, according to his bio.

“I did this for myself, but I did it for SoDel and I did it for Delaware,” Tevis recently told Delaware Today. “I really hope that I’m helping to make people all around the country think, ‘Oh, maybe I should go to Delaware. Looks like there’s some stuff going on there.’” 

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Delaware

Sarah McBride re-elected in Del.

Democrat is first openly trans woman elected to a state senate

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Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride on Tuesday won re-election.

McBride, who represents District 2 in the Delaware Senate, in 2020 became the first openly transgender woman elected to a state senate.

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Delaware

Delaware ACLU creates guide for LGBTQ students

‘Youth are coming out younger and younger and they need support’

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The ACLU held a panel discussion in Lewes, Del., to review the new LGBTQ student rights guide. (Photo courtesy of ACLU)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware released an updated guide to First Amendment rights for LGBTQ students in public schools Nov. 1. 

The “Know Your Rights!: A Guide to the First Amendment for LGBTQ+ Youth in Delaware” outlines federal and state laws with the goal of helping students and their families advocate for themselves, Delaware ACLU executive director Mike Brickner told the Washington Blade.

“We really want to make sure that the young person is informed about their rights, that their families are informed as well,” Brickner said. “But also, that educators are informed and that’s for those educators who want to be allies and advocates, but also for educators who may just not know the rules and not know what they’re required to do.”

The ACLU national office released a similar guide in 2021, though Brickner said the new guide localizes the information by including Delaware laws and resources. The guide is available as a hard copy and online as an interactive learning experience. 

The organization held a kickoff event for the guide Nov. 1 at the Lewes Public Library. A panel of local LGBTQ community advocates and historians spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people virtually and in-person, according to Brickner.

“We can give a lot of information about what legal rights are, but we also want to provide the basic tools for people to become their own best advocate, and to really win over some of the hearts and minds in their local community,” Brickner said. 

Amber Lee, health and wellness coordinator for LGBTQ youth resource center CAMP Rehoboth, spoke on the panel at the event.

“I was very pleased to be a part of it. It was a great thing,” Lee said. “The whole world needs to bring more recognition to youth, and that youth are coming out younger and younger and they need support, and we need to give them that support.”

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Delaware

Sarah McBride seeks reelection to Delaware Senate

Incumbent renews commitment to reforming healthcare, education

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Sarah McBride is the first openly transgender state senator in the nation’s history. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Sarah McBride, who currently represents Delaware’s 1st State Senate District, is seeking reelection this fall as her first term comes to a close. McBride made headlines in 2020 when she became the first openly transgender state senator in the nation’s history, and for the past two years has worked to reform social services and on healthcare legislation in the Delaware Senate.

When seeking election for the first time in 2020, McBride campaigned on a platform of paid family and medical leave for working Delawareans. Two years later, McBride told the Blade that developing these policies – and, more specifically, passing the Healthy Delaware Families Act earlier this year – has been the highlight of her time in the General Assembly.

As a sponsor of the bill, McBride wanted to “help lead the effort to pass paid family and medical leave” in Delaware, and spearheaded the creation of a statewide program that enabled employees to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave for various personal, medical, and family events.

“A lot of observers laughed at the possibility of Delaware passing paid leave,” McBride recalled, “but we were able to work together to build a coalition … [and pass] the largest expansion of the social safety net in modern Delaware history.”

McBride also pointed to the General Assembly’s passage of a $15 minimum wage, protection over statewide reproductive healthcare, and creation of “the most significant gun safety package in state history” as successes of her first term. “There’s still so much more that we need to do,” she emphasized.

More recently, The Digital Citizenship Education Act – a youth media literacy campaign McBride sponsored – was signed into law by Gov. John Carney on Aug. 29. McBride noted that her work on the bill was linked to her experiences being sworn into the Delaware Senate on the heels of the Jan. 6 insurrection in the U.S. Capitol.

“In the days and weeks after the insurrection, some of my colleagues and I began having conversations about what more Delaware needed to do to heal our nation,” McBride said. “One of the ideas that my colleagues and I had was to introduce The Digital Citizenship Act to provide young people with the tools necessary to identify fact from fiction, hard reporting from opinion, and news from advertisements online.”

The bill will require the Department of Education to uphold standards of evidence-based media literacy in public and charter school classrooms across the state.

“We think of young people as digital natives who are able to seamlessly navigate the internet with an effortlessness that eludes many adults, but the reality is that young people, like all people, struggle with this increasingly complicated world and identifying what is true,” she added.

McBride is seated in a firmly blue district, but this year’s election still comes with intrigue: the state has recently redrawn its legislative districts, meaning this year McBride will be campaigning to roughly a third of her voters for the very first time.

“I’m talking and reaching those new-to-the-first-Senate-district voters to make sure that they understand that this change is occurring, and that to ensure that they have information,” she noted. “Making sure that we’re reaching those newer voters in this district is going to be critical over the next few months.”

On Aug. 23, LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that advocates for the election of LGBTQ leaders in public offices across the country, endorsed McBride for the 2022 election. The District 1 general election is slated to be held Nov. 8, and McBride currently does not face opposition from a Republican nominee.

Reflecting on her time serving Delaware and her plans yet to come, McBride emphasized her responsibility to work against efforts from “far right-wing politicians and judges to roll back the clock on our progress and rescind critical rights for many, many people in this country.”

Further, McBride noted that, through reelection, she hopes to continue developing and expanding protections that promote the wellbeing of residents throughout the First State.

“I think more than anything else, seeing what people deem to be impossible not just become possible, but a reality here in Delaware has only motivated me to seek reelection and fight even harder for the remaining issues that Delaware needs to address,” McBride said. “I am ending my first term even more hopeful than when I began it.

Voter registration for the general election is open now through Election Day. To find out how to register, visit the state’s Department of Elections website.

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