May 31, 2019
Dear Chairman Mendelson,
We appreciate the Council’s efforts in securing additional funding for the Office of Human Rights for fy2020. Based on our conversations with OHR, this will likely enable them to staff an additional investigation/intake positions and an administrative support position. We are hopeful that this will have an impact on their ability to fulfill their mission in a timely and thorough manner ensuring the rights of all people in the District of Columbia are protected.
Nevertheless, we are deeply disappointed in the lack of additional funding being allocated to the Office of LGBTQ Affairs. This is especially disturbing in that in the oversight and budget hearings, CM Brandon Todd heard directly from LGBTQ constituents and a myriad of LGBTQ organizations regarding the lack of access to needed services and housing experienced by the LGBTQ community in the District of Columbia. Our community made it clear that our needs are not currently being met – whether it is blatant housing discrimination for LGBTQ seniors, employment discrimination, or bullying and harassment in educational settings – and we were ignored. It gives us cause to wonder if the support Council members express for the LGBTQ community is just words that are forgotten once it requires action and a tangible commitment.
We will be asking for funding again – and we will ask for the Council to take actions on other issues. We hope that you will see that we ask because need presses us to ask. We will continue, as we have always done, to help you see the need that presses us. Will you continue to ignore our community’s need? We hope the answer is “No.”
For any questions, please reach out to GLAA President Bobbi Strang at email@example.com.
Brother Help Thyself
Capital Pride Alliance
DC Center for the LGBT Community
Federal City Performing Arts Association
Gertrude Stein Democratic Club
Latino GLBT History Project
Mary’s House for Older Adults, Inc.
Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc.
Wanda Alston Foundation
cc: All D.C. Council members