"If you have any concerns about the government's impact on our community, or even an individual concern, you will have it transmitted to the mayor," he says. "The citizen summits have been his way of getting direct input from citizens to help mold his plans for the city."
The summit begins Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Greenleaf Recreation Center, First and M streets SW. Parking in the neighborhood is limited and organizers are encouraging participants to take Metro (Waterfront Station). The summit will run until 4 p.m.
Mayor Williams will speak at the beginning of the summit, and afterward participants will work in small groups with facilitators to give their input on five topics of direct relevance to LGBT issues: youth challenges, business development, health, public safety, and making government work. A remembrance of Wanda Alston is planned for midday.
"I think this summit underscores Mayor Williams' commitment to the citizens in the LGBT community on how we can make government more responsive," says Kathy Henderson, special assistant for the Office of Community Affairs, who helped organize and promote the summit.
Participants are asked to register for the summit by visiting www.citizensummit.dc.gov or calling 202-727-3000. Although registration will help organizers plan for the day's lunch, Pannell says those who are unable to register in advance, or who can only attend for part of the day, should feel free to come when they can.
Participants are also invited to a post-summit party at Edge, 56 L Street SE, sponsored by Pannell along with Claire Lucas of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and Bob Siegel. The party will feature dinner, DJs and some dancing.
Laughs Pannell: "After eight hours of summitry, you may want to come back to earth."