Metro Weekly

Stein Successors

Gay Democrats club elects new officers

Members of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, a gay organization and among the most influential in District politics, elected the club’s 2009 officers at a Nov. 11 meeting.

Mario Acosta-Vélez, the club’s president for the past three years, declined to seek another term. Stein Democrats have elected Jeff D. Richardson to succeed him, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Richardson has extensive experience with the Democratic Party, having served as a member of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Caucus and as a ”super delegate” at this year’s Democratic National Convention, among several other political credits.

Joining Richardson in leading the club will be Tim Mahoney, vice president for political affairs; Sheila Alexander-Reid, 2nd vice president of administration; John Lazar, treasurer; and Jeff Hops, secretary.

”We have a strong tradition of building leadership in our organization,” says Acosta-Vélez, adding that he will remain active with the club and seek other ways in which to contribute. ”We’ve elected a very good group of club members. They all brought very strong talents.”

And his advice for Richardson?

”Once you’re in this position, you have to lead. Not only in doing most of the work, but also in trying to bring the leadership and the members into what it really means to build the organization.”

For more about the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, visit

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.