Touring the LGBTQ Center – plus LGBTQ affairs in the budget 

This afternoon I got to tour the site of the future site of the LGBTQ+ Community Center next to Howard Theater that will provide wraparound services, such as counseling, job opportunities, HIV/STD testing, education, food, support groups, showers, in addition to arts and culture, self-defense classes, and more.  

It was especially exciting to tour the site knowing that earlier this week my colleagues and I on the Council voted to allocate $1 million in the budget, doubling the District government’s commitment to building the center, with additional funds to come from private fundraising. My own Committee on Public Works and Operations, which has oversight of the Mayor’s Office on LGBTQ Affairs, came up with half of the $1 million in additional funds in this year’s budget. 

I am so excited about the clothing boutique, showers, and washer and dryer, which are absolute game changers in ensuring that we are assisting our LGBTQ community not only with critical needs like food, housing services, and health services, but also assisting them prepare mentally and physically for job interviews. Much more than the sum of its parts, the Center will be a space that meets people’s needs comprehensively and gives them the support they need to be independent and healthy. The funds we found also will make available additional housing vouchers for LGBTQ+ residents. 

The Council’s commitment to LGBTQ+ affairs this year includes other important measures, including creation of a more independent office on related issues, the creation of a commission on Black LGBTQ history, and setting up next year’s World Pride Festival for success. 

Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. I’ve also included language in the FY25 Budget Support Act, which complements the already-passed Local Budget Act, to move the office out of the Executive Office of the Mayor, giving it improved budget transparency and ensuring that its $1 million-plus budget reflects the budgeting practices of peer offices of similar size. Future directors of this office will have to be approved by the Council, and the changes also align the director’s salary with other executive branch offices. The BSA passed its first reading and will get a final vote later this month. 

WorldPride. Next year, the District will host WorldPride, with over 3 million people expected, a chance to celebrate our vibrant LGBTQ+ community and showcase the District. As chair of the committee with oversight of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ+ Affairs, I will be working to ensure there’s a clear and transparent plan for spending and distribution of funds, while ensuring there’s no reduction in the vital services members of the community expect throughout the year. 

Taking place May 23 until June 8, WorldPride will include a celebration of Black Pride, a LGBTQ+ sports tournament, a human rights conference, and one of the largest LGBTQ+ rights rallies in U.S. History. WorldPride 2025 will bring global recognition to the diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community in the District, and the Committee and I look forward to supporting these efforts. 

Black LGBTQ History Preservation. Earlier this year the Council passed Councilmember Zachary Parker’s legislation to create a commission to document DC’s Black LGBTQIA+ history. Our beloved Chocolate City was the birthplace of Black Pride and is a microcosm of national movements, local experiences, and international attention. In the budget passed this week, we allocated funds to make it a reality. Such a unique past should be remembered in our local history, learned in our schools, and memorialized in our museums and libraries. 


Today as members of the D.C. Council wear purple for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced the Alimony Justice for Injured Spouses Amendment Act of 2018 or "Elaine's Law" to protect spouses from having to pay alimony, legal fees and other spousal support to their abusers in divorce proceedings. The bill is co-introduced by Councilmembers David Grosso and Anita Bonds.

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