The first half of the silly season is over tonight with the Democratic Primary and Republican Convention in the District of Columbia. Hillary Clinton is the projected winner with over 78% of the vote. She met tonight with Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Capitol Hilton for a one on one conversation. They left after 90 …
Tag: District of Columbia
Aug 06 2015
The topic of statehood for the District of Columbia became the hot topic of discussion on Monday after John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” brought attention to disenfranchisement of more than 600,000 voters who live in the District.
“They pay federal taxes, and fight in wars,” Oliver said, “and yet have no member of Congress who’s able to vote on their behalf, even though their population is larger than Vermont and Wyoming, and their gross domestic product is higher than that of 16 states.” [..]
“Isn’t this just how countries treat their capital cities? It actually isn’t,” he said. “We’re the only democracy in the world that does this.” [..]
“It seems that Congress just forces riders on DC whenever they disapprove of how they’re spending their own money,” Oliver said. “They are treating more than 600,000 people right now like children.”
German Lopez at “Vox” has an excellent primer the problem of D.C. statehood with answers to 6 questions you were too disenfranchised to ask
Aug 09 2014
On July 30 a 15-year old trans girl boarded a Metro green line train in the District of Columbia with a couple of her friends. One might assume that was a peaceful act.
But when 24-year old Reginald Anthony Klaiber of Greenbelt, MD boarded the same car on that train, he reacted to the trans girl violently. At first he disliked her hair color (the girl was wearing a red wig). Then he questioned her clothing. When the girl asked him to leave her alone, her friends say he asked her, “Are you a boy? Are you a boy? …Why are you looking like a girl?”
He came to my friend and said you have red hair. My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!’
Then he started bothering my friend. My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone. He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.
—Jae-la White, friend of the victim
Apr 13 2013
The John L. Young Women’s Shelter is located three blocks from the US Capitol. The shelter is operated by New Hope Ministries, Inc of Woodbridge, VA. Not surprisingly the shelter is operated under a city-funded contract. And in the District of Columbia that usually means federal money is involved somewhere along the line.
A lawsuit was filed against the shelter on April 5 and a complaint was filed with the DC Office of Human Rights on March 22 by two transgender women who charge that employees of the shelter said they could not be admitted because of their transgender status.
An attorney with the DC Trans Coalition filed the lawsuit on behalf of Lakiesha Washington, a homeless woman who attempted to spend the night in the shelter on April 3. The lawsuit says at that time a discriminatory act took place.
A female employee at the shelter asked Washington, “Are you a woman or a man?” Washington replied, “I am a transgender woman.” The employee asked Washington if she had any documentation (presumably a court ordered legal name change or proof of gender reassignment surgery) and Washington said that she did not. The employee then told Washington,
Aug 11 2012
The District of Columbia has had recent problems vis-a-vis the transgender community, what with a rash of transwomen being shot or otherwise killed, including at least one time by an off-duty police officer. In 2000 a government study of the DC trans community showed a 42% unemployment rate and that 47% of the community did not have health insurance.
The study also indicated that in order to survive, many transpeople resorted to sex work. MPD responded to that news by instituting a policy of using condom possession as evidence of prostitution.
These actions discourage sex workers from using condoms, increasing the risk of HIV-a particularly worrisome possibility for transgender people in the District, where the rate is already so high across the population, says Megan McLemore, a senior researcher in the Health and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.
As you might imagine, this has caused a lot of tension between transpeople and the city government. Imagine our surprise, then when the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights announced that it will launch what it believes is the first government-funded campaign aimed at stopping anti-transgender discrimination. The effort will commence in late summer/early fall.
Jul 25 2011
This past Saturday people a community of people gathered because one of their own had been taken from them too soon.
Lashai Mclean, 23, was shot and killed in Northeast DC during the early morning of July 20. It was in the same neighborhood as the Wanda Alston House and Transgender Health Empowerment. Lashai was a client at THE but not a resident of the Wanda Alston House.
Deputy D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes, who spoke at the vigil, said later that homicide detectives are pursuing information provided by a witness that the fatal shooting took place shortly after two unidentified males “had some words” with Mclean in an alley shortly before she was shot.
“The motive is still not clear to us,” Groomes told the Blade after the vigil. Groomes said police haven’t found evidence of either a robbery or a hate crime in the early stages of the investigation.
Oct 02 2009
Crossposted at Daily Kos
In a startling article at huffingtonpost.com by Andy Worthington, author of “The Guantanamo Files”, puts together an absolute must read in my opinion.
False confessions obtained through torture
The judge also noted the significance of the evidence in the record indicating that al-Rabiah “subsequently confided in interrogators [redacted] that he was being pressured to falsely confess to the allegations discussed above,” and also the significance of the fact that, although “al-Rabiah’s interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him,” they “never believed his confessions based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports.”
After noting — again with a palpable sense of incredulity — that “These are the confessions that the Government now asks the Court to accept as evidence in this case,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly proceeded to demolish them all . . .
Bold added by diarist
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