For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2016
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105
Grosso Applauds Department of Parks and Recreation for Taking Action on Discrimination
Washington, D.C. - The following is a statement from Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) on the announcement by D.C. Department of Parks and Recreations (DPR) that it will strengthen and expand its staff training on the D.C. Human Rights Act and cultural competency, after an incident involving discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming young people by DPR employees:
“It is critical that all employees of the District of Columbia respect the human rights and dignity of each and every resident of our city. Unfortunately, what occurred last month at Banneker Recreation Center shows that we still have work to do to create welcoming public facilities for all. I want to apologize to the youth who were involved in this incident and thank them for being voices for their community.
“I applaud DPR and Director Anderson for taking steps to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future by immediately implementing training and taking appropriate administrative action for those involved. In fact, all employees of District of Columbia, particularly those working directly with the public, would benefit from trainings like those being conducted by DPR, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.
“Furthermore, I believe our public facilities and agencies should reflect the diversity of our residents. Another effective way to transform culture at agencies and ensure all staff treat everyone with respect is for agencies to hire more transgender employees, for which D.C.'s transgender community has long advocated.”