Student takes LGBT issues off of campus and into a mayoral campaign

Media Credit: Corey Zagone | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Senior Alex Davis acts a liaison between mayoral candidate Jack Evans and the District's gay, lesbian and transgender population.

Five candidates are eyeing the D.C. mayorship, but senior Alexander Davis is serving the one he believes will serve the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in return.

Davis was appointed as the Jack Evans for Mayor campaign’s LGBT outreach fellow in June, tasked with collaborating with D.C. gay and transgender organizations and informing related policy.

“Campaigns are challenging and they’re fast-paced, but if you know what you’re working for, if it’s something bigger than yourself, it makes it all worth it,” Davis said.

Davis’s experiences interning in a D.C. government office on LGBT issues led him to pursue a full-time position with the Democratic candidate.

For Davis, addressing homelessness among LGBT youth and violence against the transgender community has been critical in his time as an outreach fellow. Davis frequently coordinates meet-and-greets with area LGBT organizations, and said hearing their direct input informs Evans’ policy-making process.

“Each of these organizations and their leaders bring an important, unique perspective on the LGBTQ community in D.C. and the issues that District government could be addressing better,” Davis said.

Davis isn’t exempt from the grind of small campaigning – in addition to training interns, the political science major helps the campaign make hundreds of daily phone calls and canvasses through D.C.’s eight wards after his half-hour commute to Evans’ 14th Street campaign office.

“When I became aware that he’d be entering the mayoral race, knowing Jack’s record of success for the city, I kind of jumped to that opportunity,” Davis said. “Washington has experienced some tough times … I want to do my part in making sure the candidate with the experience, the know-how and the integrity to keep our city developing is elected our next mayor.”

Jack Evans has been a Ward 2 council member since 1991, and his “close relationship” with D.C. LGBT organizations and non-profits was important to Davis, who has worked with GW’s Allied in Pride.

In 2008, Evans received the highest possible rating from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, GLAA. As a council member, Evans supported using gender expression and identity as a basis for gender identification in the Department of Corrections, and supported the creation of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit within the Metropolitan Police Department.

Evans’ Democratic mayoral opponents, Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser and Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells, both marched in D.C.’s Capital Pride parade this June.

In April, the Washington Blade reported that a member of Bowser’s fundraising committee was hired as a consultant for anti-same-sex marriage group National Organization for Marriage, to place a referendum on D.C.’s same-sex marriage ballot.

“It is easy to say that you are supportive of LGBT rights,” Davis said. “Jack can back it up.”

The Evans’ campaign boasts a number of GW interns, connecting students to work opportunities through the GW College Democrats listserv.

For Allied in Pride president Nicholas Gumas, his peer’s advocacy for LGBTQ issues demonstrates the campus community’s power in the greater D.C. area.

“It just shows what great student leaders GW and Allied in Pride produce,” Gumas said. “It’s great to see an LGBT GW Allied student getting active in the community.”

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