The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club is the voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Democrats in the District of Columbia. Established in 1976, Gertrude Stein is one of the oldest Democratic clubs in the District and is a founding chapter of the National Stonewall Democrats. The Gertrude Stein Democratic Club maintains active members in each of the 8 wards of the District of Columbia. Click here for the organization's by laws. And click here for the group's mission.
From left: Membership Chair Sharon Burk, Vice President for Legislative and Political Affairs Paul Austin, President Earl Fowlkes, and Treasurer Justin George.
President Earl Fowlkes
Earl Fowlkes serves as the President/CEO of the Center For Black Equity, Inc. (formerly the International Federation of Black Pride -IFBP). He founded the IFBP in 1999 ago as a coalition of organizers the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa formed to promote a multinational network of Black LGBT Pride and community-based organizations. There are over forty plus Black Pride events around the globe with over 250,000 attendees each year. Prior to working at the Center For Black Equity, Earl previously served fifteen years as the Executive Director of the DC Comprehensive AIDS Resources and Education Consortium (DC CARE Consortium) and Damien Ministries, organizations that provided services to Person Living With HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC. Earl has worked on health, political and LGBTQ issues in many communities for nearly thirty years. Earl currently serves as Chair of the DC Commission on Human Rights, and was former chair of the DC Mayor’s GLBT Advisory Committee. Earl has always been politically active focusing on voter registration and getting out the vote activities particularly among communities of color and LGBT Democrats. In 2009, he was appointed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine as an At-Large member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In August 2013, Earl was reappointed, and elected Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus. In December 2014, he was elected President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club which is the second oldest LGBT Democratic Club in the United States Earl has received numerous honors and awards for his community service, and was named one of three 2013 Grand Marshalls of the Heritage of Pride (NYC Gay Pride) along with Harry Belafonte and Edith Windsor. In September 2014, Earl was given the 2014 Wanda Alston Democratic Service Award by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in Washington, DC. Earl is considered an expert on LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues. He has written numerous articles and op-eds, and has appeared on the Roland Martin and Michael Baisden shows. Earl currently resides in Washington, DC.
Vice President for Legislative and Political Affairs Paul Austin
Paul Austin has been a GSDC member since 2013. He conducts neuroscience research and analysis in the Anatomy Department at the Howard University College of Medicine. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Paul now lives in the District's U Street neighborhood. He has a biology degree from the University of the District of Columbia and a political science degree from The University of Texas at Dallas. As vice president for legislative and political affairs, Paul wants to register more voters, conduct leadership trainings, and stay current on D.C. legislation that affects our community. The longtime activist cares about health care, economic security, civil rights, civil liberties, and immigration.
Vice President for Administration Alex Morash
Alex Morash has been a GSDC member since 2015. He works an economic policy researcher for a non-profit progressive center. Morash is a past president of Young Democrats of Rhode Island. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Northeastern University.
Treasurer Justin K. George
Justin K. George has been a GSDC member since 2005. He works as an IT manager at a multinational firm working with financial services organizations. Originally from Hawaii, Justin now lives in the District’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. He graduated from Howard University with an accounting degree. As treasurer, Justin will institute organizational goals that include fiscally responsibility and developing positive economic relationships. Justin’s political interests include free trade, government size, technocracy, and education.
Secretary Jesse Garcia
Jesse Garcia joined GSDC in 2012. He has spent 20 years working in communications for the federal government, most recently as an Obama appointee. Jesse studied communications in San Antonio, Texas, where he earned a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and a master's degree from St. Mary's University. Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Jesse now lives in the District's Brentwood neighborhood. As secretary, Jesse wants to keep all organization matters transparent and publish a monthly newsletter to keep members’ up to date on all local and national political issues. Jesse is a Democrat because he cares passionately about supporting LGBTQ rights, enacting immigration reform, defending reproductive rights, and fighting poverty.
Membership Chair Sharon Burk
Sharon Burk joined GSDC in 2017. She works for a national nonprofit in the social work field. Sharon recently graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in an interdisciplinary program in communications, law, economics, and goverrnment. She hopes to increase the number of women, minorities and transgender people in the organization.