News Briefing: June15-21, 2018

Delaware LGBT group invites congresswoman, senator to summer fundraiser

The Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall PAC, an advocacy group for the LGBT community of Delaware, will feature Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and Senator Tom Carper at its annual summer fundraiser June, 16 1-4 p.m. in Rehoboth Beach at Rigby’s Bar and Grill.

The Delaware Stonewall PAC, founded in 2003, is the country’s only grassroots Democratic LGBT organization. Peter Schott, the PAC’s founder and president, said the event’s proceeds will go towards the continuing fight for equality, as the political-action committee will educate the public and state legislators on important issues to the community.

“The ability of our group to get national figures and state leaders to attend the event has made the group one which elected officials pay attention to,” Schott said.

Activist groups lead protest in City Council chambers

The HIV/AIDS activists of ACT UP and Disabled in Action of Pennsylvania led a “die-in” protest at last week’s City Council meeting.

The activists occupied the Council Chamber for 30 minutes June 7 to protest provisions to an affordable-housing package proposed by Council President Darrell Clarke. A handful of protesters got out of their wheelchairs and lay on the floor, chanting, “Stop Clarke, stop greed, money for housing is what we need!”

A 1-percent tax on new-construction developments was introduced to Council in April to fund affordable housing units in the city. Clarke’s proposed provisions included a new sub-fund that would be spent on housing for those who earn up to 120 percent of median income, or more than $100,000 for a family of four. 

The Housing Trust Fund, which currently gets $11 million a year, provides affordable housing throughout the city. Half the revenue in the trust fund must be spent on housing for those who make less than 30 percent of the area median income — roughly $26,000 for a family of four.

“[The] City Council president got our message that creating a fund twice the size of the Housing Trust Fund and not giving anything to people [in poverty] is an outrage,” said Nancy Salandra, a member of Disabled in Action.

LGBTQ sports team hosts Father’s Day block party

The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club will host a block-party fundraiser on Father’s Day, June 17, 1-6 p.m. at UBar.

The fundraiser will be in conjunction with UBar’s “Who’s U’r Daddy” party with drinks, music and a raffle fundraiser for the upcoming Gay Games — the world LGBT community’s largest sporting and cultural event — hosted in Paris. Special guest DJ Robert Drake of the Sex Dwarf Dance Party will spin. The event is free and participants are encouraged to buy a Falcons T-shirt. A total of $5 from every shirt sale will go to the team.

“We represent a vast array of gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities and backgrounds. This event is to celebrate who we are and what we do, but it’s also to raise money for this year’s Gay Games, where we hope to represent the city proudly,” said Caitlin Daley, president of the Falcons.

Galaei hosts Alternative Prom

Galaei will host its 23rd annual Alternative Prom June 22 from 6-9 p.m. at the William Way LGBT Community Center.

The Alternative Prom is the longest-running event of its kind specifically for LGBTQ individuals ages 13-24. All participants are encouraged to buy a ticket for $10, but the fee is optional. The prom was created by humanitarian and activist David Acosta as a way to ensure that all LGBTQ youth who could not or did not attend their own proms would have an opportunity to do so “freely,” said Geraldo Oyola, HIV testing coordinator at Galaei. This year’s theme is Purple Rain, inspired by the late musician Prince.

“Our youth board decided the theme this year and we couldn’t be more excited,” Oyola said. “This is our biggest event of the year. It showcases the spirit of the young people in our community. We’re encouraging all young people to come out, LGBTQ-identified or not.” 

— compiled by Adriana Fraser

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