Our friends Andy Bowen and Nico Quintana with the DC Trans Economic Justice Campaign are asking for your support advancing two key DC budget proposals that will benefit trans people.
DC Council Members are voting on the annual Budget Request Act on Wednesday, May 22. There are two items in the budget that need your support TODAY to help fight for trans justice.
DC’s Health Care Exchange
Tell your council member to support the DC Health Care Exchange funding in the Budget Request Act. Why- the DC Health Exchange has trans inclusive care language in it. Powerful forces have gathered to defeat DC’s health care exchange. If those folks are successful, we’ll lose local control over our health exchange, which means we could lose our battle to make sure Health Exchange-provided plans do not have trans exclusions.
One City Fund
Tell your council member to support the proposed One City Fund. Why? The fund will provide grant opportunities for direct service and anti-poverty organizations, some of which have trans clients. The fund would start with an initial $15 million.
Today! Call or email Council members and say: “I am a DC resident, and I want you to continue funding the DC Health Care Exchange and the One City Fund in the Budget Request Act as is. Local control over the Health Care Exchange is vital to making sure the Exchange meets community needs, such as those of the transgender community, who need to ensure that the Exchange plans do not exclude transgender people from treatment. The One City Fund will support and expand vital services for transgender DC residents. Thank you for your time.”
DC Council members’ contact info:
The Honorable Phil Mendelson, email@example.com (202) 724-8032
The Honorable David Catania, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-7772
The Honorable Vincent Orange, email@example.com (202) 724-8174
The Honorable David Grosso, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-8105
The Honorable Anita Bonds, email@example.com (202) 724-8064
The Honorable Jim Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-8181
The Honorable Jack Evans, email@example.com (202) 724-8058
The Honorable Mary Cheh, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-8062
The Honorable Muriel Bowser, email@example.com (202) 724-8052
The Honorable Kenyan McDuffie, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-8028
The Honorable Tommy Wells, email@example.com (202) 724-8072
The Honorable Yvette Alexander, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 724-8068
The Honorable Marion Barry, email@example.com (202) 724-8045
Last week, newly-elected Mayor Gray’s Director of the Office of GLBT Affairs, Jeffrey Richardson, attended a DC Trans Coalition meeting. Members of DCTC educated the Director about the needs of trans communities in the District, and we were assured that trans people (along with youth and aging LGBT people) would be among the administration’s top concerns.
For the occasion, DCTC prepared a list of priorities for the Gray Administration, and shared this with the Director. We broke it down by agency and listed the most pressing and achievable goals for each. Among our list were:
- End the Prostitution Free Zones and move toward decriminalizing sex work;
- Nominate one or more trans people to serve on the Commission on Human Rights;
- Enforce the gender-neutral bathroom provisions of the DC Human Rights Act;
- Restore funding to vital trans-sensitive social services like HIPS and T.H.E.;
- Develop plans to address unemployment in the trans community;
- Expand the Dept. of Corrections and MPD trans policies to include other criminal justice agencies in the District;
- Fund the DC Trans Needs Assessment
..and much more. You can read the comprehensive list here.
We scored another victory in the struggle to acknowledge, understand and validate the experiences of trans youth!
The DC Trans Coalition, and dozens of other community organizations, signed on in support of a letter requesting the addition of a question looking at gender identity and trans youth on the next round of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) chiefly administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
We recently received the following e-mail:
On behalf of the organizations that coordinated this effort (Advocates for Youth, GLSEN, GSA Network, The National Coalition for LGBT Health, The Network for LGBT Health Equity and The Trevor Project), I am pleased to let you know that the letter sparked a promising dialogue with the CDC. Following a recent conversation with the CDC, they have agreed to add an optional question on gender identity to the pool of questions in the next round of the YRBS in 2013.
I and my colleagues hope you share our excitement in this commitment from the CDC that benefits transgender youth. Moving forward, the next step will be for all of us to advocate within our districts, states, and at the national level to ensure this question is used as widely as possible when the YRBS is administered next in 2013.
It’s nice to have something positive to report every once in awhile.
On October 2, 2010, thousands of progressive people will converge on our hometown of Washington, DC for the “One Nation Working Together” march. This march strives to counter the reactionary tone of other recent marches on Washington with a call for “a future of justice at home and peace abroad, where we create good jobs for all of us and take on the great challenges we face as a nation: rebuilding our economy; respecting all families; educating all our children in safe environments; transforming how we use energy; ensuring safe, vibrant, diverse communities; and providing for an economic future built on the principles that America has always aspired to achieve.”
The organizers of this march have reached out to LGBTQ organizations in an effort to show solidarity and build a movement that includes everyone. In return, dozens of LGBTQ groups — including Whitman Walker Clinic, Queers for Economic Justice, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, the DC Trans Coalition (that’s us!) and more — have endorsed the march. We’re excited to be part of this effort to look beyond identity and bring people together around our shared values and collective needs.
We hope that you’ll join us on October 2nd as we stand with our social justice allies. After Whitman Walker’s AIDS Walk, the LGBTQ and Youth contingents for One Nation Working Together are meeting up at Freedom Plaza at 10:00AM (on Pennsylvania Ave between 13th & 14th, NW). We hope you will join us there to support the AIDS Walk Washington closing ceremonies. Then, we’ll march as one delegation to the rally.
If you need more convincing, check out this great letter put together by the LGBTQ Table for One Nation Working Together.
First, come out NEXT TUESDAY (July 13th, 7:30pm) and join us for a meeting to discuss our plans for creating the second-ever DC Trans Needs Assessment Survey! This exciting project will take a lot of time and effort, so from now on we will be meeting every other Tuesday, on the off-week of our normal planning meetings, at “the DCTC house” (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for location details). All are invited, even first-timers!
Second, NEXT WEDNESDAY (July 14th, 2pm), the DC City Council Committee on Aging and Community Affairs is hosting a public oversight round-table in Hearing Room 123 at the Wilson Building (1350 Penn. Ave NW). Councilmember Yvette Alexander has called this meeting in order to ascertain why trans communities were left out of the recent Report on “GLBT” Health released by the Mayor’s Office on GLBT Affairs. So let’s make our voices heard and demand that the City commit to including us in the future! If you wish to testify at the hearing, or provide written testimony if you can’t come in person, contact us at email@example.com.
We recently discovered that the Mayor’s office released a report claiming to be about the health of the “GLBT community”, while failing to include trans people at all. Despite recognizing other differences such as race, age, ward and income, there is no data that breaks down the statistics by gender identity. Like the Mayor’s hate crimes report earlier this year, the report claims to include trans people but entirely ignores gay, lesbian and bisexual-identified trans folks, as well as trans people who are straight.
The continued invisiblization of our communities contributes to the widespread ignorance about trans people. Additionally, the lack of knowledge fuels existing health disparities revealed in other studies. If the city government is actually concerned about public health, it must prioritize the health needs of underserved trans communities in the District. In our letter to the Mayor (and copied to the Dept. of Health and the City Council), we state our belief that the government should firmly commit to including trans communities and allocate grant funding to help make a new trans needs assessment possible.
UPDATE: Check out this article over on MetroWeekly: “Missing Persons Report: Mayor’s Office of GLBT Affairs release first health report on gay residents, omits trans people.” We have been in touch with the Mayor’s office and the City Council. We will be submitting recommendations to improve data collection, but we have yet to hear a solid promise from the Mayor’s office that this will included in future surveys. See below for our full press release.
MORE UPDATES: Also follow the story at DCist and the CityPaper or click here to listen to the local NPR radio broadcast about the report.