Amid several attacks, local LGBTQ politicians call for $5 million to protect residents

A group of neighborhood leaders is demanding more funding for programs to protect the local LGBTQ community amid several episodes of violence against LGBTQ individuals.

Members of the Rainbow Caucus, a group of LGBTQ Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, sent a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson Monday requesting $5 million in funding for programs and agencies that support LGBTQ residents. The letter, obtained by Washington City Paper, comes after the council rejected a previous request from 15 LGBTQ organizations for $3.5 million in additional funds for the D.C. Office of Human Rights and Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

“Words of friendship and support no longer ring true,” the letter states. “Both as elected officials and your constituents, we call on you to act now.”

The letter highlights four recent attacks against LGBTQ individuals on P Street NW, on U Street NW and in Prince George’s County and criticizes councilmembers for their “lack of action.” Acts of violence against LGBTQ individuals in the District have tripled from 2015 to 2018 according to police data, Washington City Paper reported Thursday.

“We look forward to your response and are committed to rolling up our sleeves to work together until every last one of us can walk down the street in safety and dignity,” the letter states.

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