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Afternoon Read: MLK Parade Invites LGBT Community

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Organizers of D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade have invited the LGBT community to participate, the Washington Blade reported.

Activist Phil Pannell suggested their inclusion. Organizer Denise Rolark Barnes said the parade committee has been reaching out to all communities to boost participation in the Jan. 16 parade.

The Blade reports:

“Pannell said he is encouraging LGBT organizations to march in contingents in the parade. He said he had hoped the city’s LGBT marching band, the Different Drummers, would participate. But Barnes told the Blade on Monday that a representative of the band said the band doesn’t perform in January and February.”

*Gov. Martin O'Malley said he will weigh public comments to a proposed legislative redistricting map for the Maryland General Assembly, but he doesn't expect to make many changes, the Associated Press reported. The Democrat said good points were made at Thursday’s hearing, but he didn’t get into specifics. The final map is due for the General Assembly in January. Legislators can approve it or pass an alternative.

*In other redistricting news, The Washington Post reported that the only citizen on O’Malley’s redistricting commission has pleaded guilty to tax evasion. Prince George’s County businessman Richard Stewart agreed to pay more than $5.4 million and faces up to five years in prison. He was under investigation while serving on O’Malley’s commission.

*The Washington City Paper has compiled a list of the top political arguments of 2011. Sulaimon Brown, D.C. voting rights and Mayor Vincent Gray’s first year in office made the list, of course. But don’t miss the discussions on “Councilmartyr” Tommy Wells, not missing Michelle Rhee and “the most powerful man in D.C. government” – Ron Machen.

*In Sen. Tom Coburn’s list of what he perceives as wasteful spending, the Columbia Heights IHOP ranked sixth, City Paper reported. Coburn, R-Okla., said the subsidy that helped build the franchise was intended for an underserved community. He disputes that Columbia Heights is such a community, noting that the neighborhood has become a shopping hot spot.

*The Washington Examiner reported a budget increase for the Smithsonian. Congress approved $811.5 million in federal funding for 2012.
 

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