The DC Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance scores some local candidates in some local races using the questionnaire below.
I would ensure that funds budgeted for any area do not exclude or discriminate against any population. I would seek to allow each individual more choice in how they use the funds budgeted. Ideally where possible people eligible for these programs would have something like an EBT card or voucher and be able to choose their own care provider. I think it’s also important for gay activist to recognize that traditionally a major source of discrimination is the state sector, whether it is bullying at the school a child is assigned to with no choice, or in the past teachers being fired for being gay when exposure to homosexuality was thought to be inappropriate for children. Likewise today I think those incarcerated by the state, whether in government schools or in jail or prison, are among those most likely to be denied safe sex information, condoms, and freedom from bullying and sexual aggression. I favor liberating the incarcerated who have not committed a crime or have committed a “victimless crime,” but while incarcerated in a government institution they should not be denied mental health or substance abuse treatment or information about STDs and safe sex.
I do believe these statistics should be collected, and additionally statistics on bullying and types of bullying should be collected, by school and type of school (public, charter, parochial, private).
I would ensure that the Metropolitan Police Department adequately trained its officers in all aspects of DC’s diverse populations and advertised job openings to and hired from all DC population groups. This would include training as needed on LGTB issues.
I would ensure that both the Director and the staff of any DC agency dealing with human rights have a commitment to human rights, individual freedom and civil liberties and a background and expertise to perform the job effectively. Ideally I’d prefer someone with a background of working with the ACLU, NORML, MPP, or other groups critical of law enforcement abuses, over criminalization, the militarization of police departments, the expansion of the surveillance state, and not merely someone who has worked within a law enforcement bureaucracy where they handled EOE complaints.
I would conduct a study of D.C. government agencies, including the Metro system and the public school system, to see if there are patterns of extreme over- or under-representation in hiring, and if so if there are problems with nepotism or discrimination in any particular agencies. As a Libertarian I am not surprised that a government program to help or promote trans persons did not work as intended. When I ran for office in 2012 I was contacted by people using D.C. government employment training programs who would complain of their complete worthlessness and ask me to help or advise them in some way. I would be happy to hire a trans person or persons who would be effective at a job, including a high profile job, and highlight the irrelevance of their sexual identity to their work.
I would eliminate the ABC and liquor licensing. If McDonald’s wants to serve wine as it does abroad, it should be free to sell it and D.C. residents should be free to buy it, just as if they were in Quebec or Paris. Until the ABC is eliminated I would take any step to end harassment of local businesses by competitors and people who want to interfere with private consensual activity of their neighbors.
We have all seen recently the downside of the politicized misuse of government infrastructure in the case of Governor Chris Christie’s office’s snarling traffic on a bridge under its control. This highly publicized case happens daily around the country but simply gets less coverage, in part because no one suggests alternative ways of arranging things. I would transfer title to closed or unused D.C. government properties to non-profit groups like the DC Center and allow them to function independently. I do not favor a government controlled or managed gay community center, where the government or an incumbent administration will attempt to define the gay community. Many other cities have managed to create and sustain gay community centers in the voluntary sector, and many of them have lower average incomes than D.C. and a smaller gay population than D.C. Among other problems, as with all government property, a state-approved gay community center will encourage and politicize conflicts over who gets to use spaces, resources, or programs. I think religious gay groups and anti-religious gay groups, radical feminist lesbians and transgender groups, and other parts of the gay community who have contradictory ideas about social issues should not be pitted against each other as protesters are on public sidewalks or parents are in public schools, but instead should be allowed to each freely associate and disassociate as they choose.
I have been openly gay in DC since 1980. In the early 80s my activism consisted mainly of working on libertarian causes and anti-draft registration causes, and very publicly kissing my then lover at airport terminals, when, in pre-TSA days, you could accompany a loved one right up to the door of the plane. We also had a joint checking account and used a hyphenated last name on it, because again, in those pre-Patriot Act days, you could just do that, free of government restrictions.