Martin Garcia, president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the District's largest LGBT political group, and Angela Peoples, the group's vice president for political and legislative affairs, announced Monday that they plan to run for each other's positions as a slate in next month's elections for the club's executive committee.
Under the arrangement, Peoples will run for president and Garcia will run for Peoples's vice president seat. Garcia credited his passion for political involvement as his motivation for attempting the switch, noting that his experience working for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, on Democratic campaigns for the Ohio House of Representatives, and with the Denver and Charlotte city councils would be an asset to the club. He also said his current job at The Campaign Workshop, a campaign-consulting firm, would require more of his time as the 2014 midterm election cycle approaches.
''I've been working with Angela on the executive committee, and I think we make a great team,'' Garcia told the club Monday night. ''Angela is a fantastic leader, and she'll be a fantastic force for the organization.''
Garcia told Metro Weekly that he and Peoples would be seeking out other members to run as part of their slate, for the positions of treasurer, secretary and vice president for administration.
The group's current vice president for administration, Vincent Villano, and treasurer, Barrie Daneker, will not be running for re-election. Secretary Jimmie Luthuli has not announced whether she intends to stand for election to her current position or another open position.
In an email to Metro Weekly, Villano announced he would not be standing for re-election and threw his endorsement to Peoples and Garcia for their respective campaigns.
Villano, Peoples and Garcia were part of an insurgent slate who last year mobilized tens of newer members to replace sitting President Lateefah Williams and two members of her slate. Daneker and Luthuli, who were allied with Williams, were elected without opposition for their current positions.
When asked if he foresaw a similar challenge lodged against him and Peoples, Garcia said he had not heard of anybody planning to run, but had his ''fingers crossed.'' He also said that during his time on the executive committee, the newer committee members had made efforts to reach out to longtime members, form relationships with them and seek their advice on how to make the club more successful.
''We want to build on our success over the last year,'' Peoples said in an interview with Metro Weekly. ''There's been growth in our membership. We had a successful endorsement forum. And we've allowed our members opportunities to get to know local councilmembers and candidates and make informed choices.''
Peoples said she wants Stein to be more forceful in the coming year in advocating for causes the LGBT community shares with other progressive-leaning D.C. communities, such as affordable housing, a living wage and immigration.
''This advocacy is often intersectional,'' Peoples said of forming coalitions with other groups. ''We want to make sure we provide opportunities to engage our members in those related issues.''