Local News Briefs

Councilman Graham's legislation to review safety of youth-oriented nightclubs. DC Rape Crisis Center creates GLBT-focused groups

by Yusef Najafi
Published on February 8, 2007, 12:00am | Comments

New Law Proposed for Youth in Clubs

D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) has proposed legislation that would require all establishments in Washington that serve alcohol after 11 p.m. and admit patrons under 21 to apply for a new liquor license. Establishments would be required to submit security plans for approval by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

Plans would be reviewed for the number and location of security personnel; procedures for checking ID and patron searches; procedures to ensure that alcohol is only served to those over 21; procedures for handling violent incidents and emergencies; procedures for crowd control; maintaining a violent-incident log; and a statement on the training completed by security personnel.

''We're going to schedule hearings,'' Graham says, ''I don't have a date yet, and we're going to consult with a lot of people, but we are going to move forward with the bill.''

Graham announced that he would turn his attention to improving the safety of underage patrons in Washington's nightspots as a result to the killing of Taleshia Ford, a 17-year-old who died after being accidentally shot during an altercation inside a straight club on U Street NW on Jan. 20.

''We could have another Club 1919 incident if we don't move forward,'' Graham says, ''there's nothing preventing it.'' --Yusef Najafi

Rape Crisis Center Launches GLBT Groups

The D.C. Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) launched its first working group for members of the gay community last night.

The center has held support groups for members of the GLBT community in the past, but this is an effort that focuses on discussing and implementing solutions and long-term goals in the battle against sexual violence among the gay community.

''A similar working group, designed to focus on the transgender community, is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Feb. 13 on the seventh floor of 1325 Massachusetts Ave., NW. Joseph Vess, community-organizing assistant at DCRCC says it is vital that members of the transgender community attend the solution group on Tuesday.''

''This is very much a community-based program, and we're going to be depending on involvement by members of these communities to make this program a success,'' he says.

Vess says the center will run the groups through funding from the D.C. Office of Victim Services. The group maintains a Web site at www.dcrcc.org.

Vess says at this time it's unclear how often the meetings will be held because membership is ''fluid,'' anybody can join at anytime. He added that it's primarily up to the group members to decide. Solutions in addressing sexual violence against the GLBT community will be determined by group members, and could include a variety of options including educational campaigns.

''Right now we're just getting it off the ground,'' he says.