On August 4th, representatives from the DC Trans Coalition, Transgender Health Empowerment, and the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance met with Mayor Vince Gray to discuss barriers to employment for trans people in the District. In a follow-up e-mail, Jeffrey Richardson, head of the DC Office of GLBT Affairs, summed up the Mayor’s commitments:
1) The Gray Administration is committed to expand cultural diversity training across District Government with a focus on LGBT and specifically transgender cultural competency.
a. The Mayor has directed DC Department of Human Resources, The Office of Human Rights, and The Office of GLBT Affairs to begin working on the development of a training module that the administration will pilot and make mandatory for all District Government employees upon full implementation. The Mayor has asked for the training module to be in place for implementation planning by October 1, 2011.
2) The Department of Employment Services will run a pilot of their transitional employment program targeting members of the transgender community. The program includes six weeks of training coupled with subsidized paid employment.
a. DOES will have the pilot run of the transitional employment program targeting members of the transgender community ready for implementation by September 5, 2011.
b. The Office of GLBT Affairs will work with DOES to ensure there is community engagement in the development and implementation of the pilot program.
We are excited to see such positive progress, and look forward to holding the Gray Administration accountable to these promises. The groups will reconvene in the future to continue the on-going dialog on how to address barriers to trans employment. We also hope that future discussions will include voices from a broader range of stakeholders.