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Brady Bill extended to cover apps, gay sex, smartphones

6 May
Police: Philadelphia man, 25, killed after using social app | 6abc.com

A sad story.  But it shows we can’t allow people to own private cell phones.

Here’s something potentially annoying for Libertarians….

6 Feb
Answering candidate questionnaires and surveys from conventional groups with state-centric blinders and assumptions, whether it be the Chamber of Commerce, Tenants’ rights groups, or gay organizations.  Here is my answer set for one such group.  (Email me your suggested changes to: majors.bruce@gmail.com)

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The DC Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance scores some local candidates in some local races using the questionnaire below.

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Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor
PUBLIC HEALTH 
1. Will you act to ensure that the District provides transgender-inclusive health insurance to all 
D.C. Government employees, to include coverage for sex affirmation surgery (also known as sex 
reassignment surgery)? 
As Mayor I will seek to increase all options for how District government employees can choose to use their own healthcare dollars, including increasing insurance options and reducing barriers to entry for insurance companies.  I would oppose attempts by any level of government to tell D.C. government employees (or anyone else) what treatments or procedures they can pursue.  I would not allow the government to define which reconstructive or cosmetic options are approved and which not, but would instead respect consumer sovereignty.  I would oppose a precedent of having the D.C. government design a one size fits all health care plan or insurance policy for all D.C. employees.
2. Will you submit budgets that target funds to address health disparities in the LGBT 
population, including in mental health and substance abuse treatment? 

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.
3. Describe steps you will take to improve performance at the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and 
TB Administration (HAHSTA), including in HIV prevention, HIV/AIDS surveillance, and 
mental health services. 
I would seek to end the “War on Drugs” and incarceration of those using drugs, so that more people could come out into the open and seek treatment for addiction as needed, in part to reduce HIV transmission from needle sharing and in part to reduce HIV transmission from risky behavior undertaken while using drugs.  I think it’s also important for gay activists 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 also believe the Mayor and his or her surrogates and staff should regularly address affected populations, including students, about HIV and other STD transmission and prevention.
JUDICIARY AND PUBLIC SAFETY 
4. Will you require the Metropolitan Police Department’s gathering and analysis of crime 
statistics to ensure greater comprehensiveness and objectivity, including on LGBT-related hate 
crimes and intimate partner violence? 

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 also favor ending exclusive dependence on the MPD for protection — I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership, and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
5. What will you do to provide alternatives to incarceration for marginalized and at-risk 
populations like homeless youth and transgender people who resort to sex work for survival? 
I would legalize all drug use, decriminalize all drug production and exchange, free all those incarcerated for selling or using drugs, and expunge all criminal records related to these activities.  I would similarly decriminalize all “sex work,” free those incarcerated for being “sex workers,” and expunge criminal records related to these activities.
I would not create or fund special government programs targeted at these people, whose activities I would make no concern of the State.  I would also ensure that they were treated like everyone else when accessing any government program available to others.
6. Will you budget funds to hire qualified trainers to provide LGBT-inclusive cultural 
competency training to all police officers, including in the handling of intimate partner violence? 

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.
Beyond that I favor removing barriers to legal gun ownership for LGBT people who do not have criminal records or other issues, especially those who have reasonable concerns about gay bashing in areas where they live or work.  I think an LGBT group in D.C. should teach them responsible firearms storage, ownership and use and how to obtain a license and choose a firearm.  Barriers to non-governmental groups establishing shooting ranges and clubs inside D.C. for training should be removed.
HUMAN RIGHTS 
7. Will you require that anyone you appoint as Director of the Office of Human Rights have 
professional training and experience in civil rights law enforcement? 

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.
8. Will you renew, enforce and update as necessary the Mayoral Order mandating explicit 
inclusion of every class protected under the D.C. Human Rights Act in all D.C. government 
agency nondiscrimination statements?
I would ensure that the DC government obey its own laws and treat all people equally without discrimination.  In some sense the expanding list of “protected classes” under DC law, which under DC fair housing law is now over 20 classes, including such things as “matriculation” and “political affiliation,” may tend to dilute and make light of serious violence and discrimination against women, LGTB people, racial minorities and other groups.  But the DC government should be required to obey its own laws, and Mayoral Orders mandating this should be issued.  If the DC government finds a law it has issued to difficult to obey, then it should consider its impact on citizens in general.
9. Given the limited results from trans-inclusive Project Empowerment training, will you 
establish a project at the Department of Employment Services to increase government hiring 
from under-represented populations, and will you hire trans persons in your own office?

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.
YOUTH AND SENIORS 
10. Will you act to ensure improved services and treatment for LGBT homeless youth and 
seniors, including expanding transitional housing and emergency shelter space?  
I would  transfer title to unused D.C. properties (e.g. closed schools) to non-profits, including those working in this area, and allow them to sell off some of the assets to refurbish as needed or help run the programs.  I would prefer that both youth and seniors had choices among a variety of non-profit and for profit care providers, and not become wards or incarcerated in a state monopoly poor house.  One suspects among other issues, and given DC’s failure to police its own at the highest levels in the past few years, that DC regulatory agencies might be lax with a government shelter or government housing, and more pro-active in investigating a non-governmental one, for health and safety issues.
CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES 
11. Will you support strengthening Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) reforms by eliminating 
license protests filed by citizens associations and ad hoc groups, requiring stakeholders to 
participate in the community process provided by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission?

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.
12. Do you pledge to find a suitably located space for The DC Center when the Reeves Center 
closes? 

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.
Your record is part of your rating. Please list any actions that you have taken that may 
help illustrate your record on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. 

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.
In the late 80s, when I was both a staff and a graduate student at Georgetown University, and it was fighting over whether to legitimize its undergraduate gay student group, I conceived and started, with two other graduate students I recruited, a Gay and Lesbian Lunch Group for Staff, Faculty and Graduate Students.  It was a time when there were many news stories about self-segregated lunch tables in American high schools.  We produced clever flyers, usually depicting some famous person the average person did not realize was gay (Greta Garbo, Jodie Foster, etc.) announcing that there would be a gay lunch table in the Leavey Center and put them up all over campus.  Then we’d all pick a table and have lunch together bi-weekly.
In the early and mid 90s I attended a variety of DC gay group meetings, including GLAA, GLOV, Asians and Friends, the Lesbian Power Breakfast, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, and the Potomac Executive Network.  I also did some gay community outreach for the initial campaign of Jack Evans for city council, recruited by his old staffer John Ralls, and I did gay community outreach for Nancy Lord, JD, MD, a (heterosexual) woman who ran for Mayor as a Libertarian candidate in the early 1990s.  I also supported both Carol Schwartz, and then Patrick Mara, in earlier elections, first for supporting civil unions (Schwartz) and then for supporting gay marriage (Mara) instead of civil unions.
In the mid and late 90s I became a regular attendee and eventually for a number of years a fairly major sponsor of Reel Affirmations, D.C.’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. (if you check any program from the years 1999-2007 you can see my listing as a sponsor, for anyone not old enough to remember.)
In the late 1990s and early 2000s I became a member of the Human Rights Campaign Fund’s Federal Club and donated to HRC at a silent auction, winning a spot as an extra on “Will and Grace.”  I also donated lesser amounts to other groups like the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.  From 2000 to 2002 I donated mainly through the Gay and Lesbian Interests group and gay and lesbian bundlers, to the Democratic Party, including the campaigns of Howard Dean, Al Gore, and John Kerry.  I also gave smaller amounts to Jim Kolbe and the Log Cabin Republicans.  (You can find most of my donations at OpenSecrets.Org by doing a search at http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=majors&state=DC&zip)
Last year I published an essay in support of gay marriage in the online magazine Doublethink, published by America’s Future Foundation, a group that networks young free market oriented interns and professionals in DC and other cities (http://americasfuture.org/doublethink/2013/06/a-guide-to-the-marriage-debate/)

Women disarmed by DC gun control, bike against government failure, tragedy of the commons

17 Oct





















FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Renee Davidson Communications Director Collective Action for Safe Spaces renee@collectiveactiondc.org

Over 250 DC Women Expected to Participate in Grassroots Anti-Harassment Bike Event This Saturday, 10/19“19th Amendment Alleycat” will benefit local anti-street harassment group, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)
Washington, DC — This Saturday, October 19, over 250 women are expected to participate in “19th Amendment Alleycat,” or what might be the District’s first all-women alleycat. Organized by two women bikers who are active in the city’s cycling community, the grassroots event aims to help women feel comfortable and confident on the DC streets, especially when faced with public sexual harassment. The event offers a unique spin on alleycats, or “urban checkpoint races” which are similar to scavenger hunts and are traditionally dominated by men. Registration is $5 and benefits Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), a local grassroots group that works to empower people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault.

Less about speed and more about strategy, the 19th Amendment Alleycat will include checkpoints throughout the city that center around events and locations related to DC’s role in the women’s rights movement. Participants will also be able to enter a raffle to win prizes from a range of sponsors. Male allies are encouraged to volunteer at check-points and join participants at the finish for a raffle (see raffle sponsors below) and an official after party.

“The 19th Amendment Alleycat aims to help raise awareness and foster dialogue about public sexual harassment, which is a widespread problem that severely limits women’s safety and restricts their mobility,” said CASS’s founder and executive director, Chai Shenoy. A study by CASS conducted this summer found that 90 percent of respondents report experiencing public sexual harassment in DC, including verbal harassment, leering, stalking and groping. “Since CASS was founded in 2009, we’ve received hundreds of stories of street harassment faced by DC residents, including by female bikers,” said Shenoy, pointing to stories of women being forced to change their bike routes to avoid sexual harassment, fearing sexual assaults along local bike trails and being stalked and dangerously harassed by strangers in cars. The event comes exactly one week after a similar all-women’s cycling event was held in Cairo, Egypt, in response to public sexual harassment.

In preparation for the DC alleycat, CASS collected stories of sexual harassment faced by women cyclists, as well as statements on how biking helps women feel empowered. At the same time that women cyclists often face street harassment, biking can be very empowering, and we look forward to women reclaiming the streets of DC this Saturday,” said Shenoy.

Sponsors and those donating items and raffle prizes to the 19th Amendment Alleycat include: Retail: All-City Cycle, Anhaica Bag Works, Ass Savers, Fabric Horse, Fiks:Reflective, Harlot Clothing Co., Knog, Kozie Prery, Oury Grips USA, Po Campo, Pure Fix Cycles, Road Runner Bags, Rockinoggins, Vaya Bags; Local Bike Shops: BicycleSPACE, CycleLife USA, Proteus Bicycles, The Bike Rack, Velocity Bicycle, Cooperative; Food and Bev: Honest Tea, KIND Bars; With support from: The Bike House, WABA Women & Bicycles.
The 19th Amendment Alleycat will begin at 2:00pm Saturday, October 19th, at Meridian Hill Park in NW DC. The event will last approximately two hours and will culminate with an official after party. Interested parties should RSVP on Facebook. More information can be found on CASS’s website: www.collectiveactiondc.org.
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Founded in 2009 as HollaBackDC!, Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) works to empower people in the DC metropolitan area to build a community free from public sexual harassment and assault. It does this through both online and offline activism, including workshops, innovative direct services, policy advocacy, and community outreach. Volunteer-led and -run, CASS utilizes the creativity and energy of the DC community to further its mission and vision. Follow CASS on Facebook and on Twitter.
Renee D. Davidson
Communications Director
Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS)
[e]  
reneeddavidson@gmail.com  

[w] www.collectiveactiondc.org
[t]  @SafeSpacesDC & @reneetheorizes

Take action to help empower people in the DC Metro area to build a community free from sexual harassment & assault.

Toy Gun March

3 Jul
The Toy Gun March is a gathering of liberty loving people and their families to promote responsible gun ownership, private charity and to bring public perception of gun owners into a better light.

In order to best communicate the importance of 2nd Amendment rights to the citizens of the District of Columbia, Freedom Fighters around the globe will descend on Washington D.C. armed with toy guns on July 3rd, 2013.

Activists are encouraged to bring fake pistols with orange tips, water guns, nerf guns, anything peaceful to make a statement about our 2nd amendment rights. Due to the fact that it is currently illegal to carry a loaded firearm into the District of Columbia, we liberty lovers have decided to tweak the nose of big government and show Obama what a clown he is for trying to restrict our natural rights. Join us as we march on DC fully armed with toy guns!

We’re locked and loaded for a great event on July 3rd at 9AM. Participants for the march will be expected to adhere to certain structural guidelines in order to provide for our safety and security during the event. If you have any questions about any of the items below, please feel free to ask. We want everyone involved to have a safe and fun event.

The Plan:

The Toy Gun March begins at 9AM on Wednesday, July 3rd. If you are planning on parking, there is paid parking in the Arlington Memorial Cemetary lot near the bridge. That is where we will meet with the Toys for Tots representative who will take our toy donations so that we don’t have to carry them across the bridge.

We will then assemble on the North side of Memorial Drive by 9:15 where we will meet our escort from the National Park Service. The NPS will inspect all realistic looking guns to ensure that they are in compliance. Remember, AIRSOFT guns are NOT permitted. Realistic looking toy guns with orange tips are permitted. After the inspections are complete, we will then begin our march across the Arlington Memorial Bridge by 9:30AM at the latest. Participants are strongly urged NOT to point guns at officers or squirt them. They are acting as our security and we should treat them with respect. This is also important because it is possible that a lot of anti-gun social democrats are looking for any opportunity to paint us in a bad light. You can squirt me all you want, but please be respectful of the park police who are going out of their way to provide us with adequate security.

There will be camera crews and media at the event. Participants are urged not to talk to the media as the Toy Gun Martials will be designated to handling the press in order to keep us on message. (Pro-gun, Private charity). Toy Gun Martials will be able to be identified by wearing an American flag bandanna on their arms. These are the people you should direct questions to if you need anything.

Please keep an eye on children. The National Park Service officers will be on hand to direct traffic, but we need to be vigilant to make sure that no children end up running into traffic or being harmed as we cross into Washington D.C.

Also remember, there will not be an option for refills of your water guns during the march until we arrive at the destination. It is a good idea to bring some fun “lights & sounds” guns (with orange tips) as backup should you quickly run out of water ammunition. It also would make sense to have a canteen, camelbak, or water bottle refill on your person in case you get hot, or need to make an emergency ammo refill while on the march.

The Route: We will cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge on the North side and cross around the Lincoln Memorial, proceeding around the Lincoln Memorial and down Constitution blvd. We will arrive at the Washington Monument at the corner of Constitution and 14th Street where the rally will begin at 10:30AM.

The Rally: When we arrive at 10:30AM, people who do not wish to participate in the march can meet up at the rally at this point to enjoy a day of games and fun with friends and family. Elderly or the very young can meet us at the corner of Constitution and 14th at 10:30AM and bring a toy to give to charity. The Toys for Tots representative will be there and the newcomers to the event can then give their donations to the SSgt who will take them for us. It is at this point that we will be able to begin refilling our water guns from a 160 gallon tank that will be standing by. Then after facepainting for anyone who wishes is complete, we will stage a braveheart style gun battle that will be filmed for the cameras. After that is complete, we will then break up into activities for the day including kickball and ultimate frisbee or any random watergun fight that you find yourself falling into. At 2PM the official event ends but people can come and go as they please at anytime of course.

What to bring: Donation of toys, books, art supplies, stuffed animals, board games, anything unopened for Toys for Tots.

For yourself: Water guns, Toy Guns with orange tips, festive attire, sunscreen and a sense of humor!

Thanks everyone! If you haven’t already, please donate to the event atwww.toygunmarch.com and encourage others to do so! Even $5 goes a long way for underprivileged kids. If you have friends in the media, please send them the attached press kit and encourage them to blog or do a story on the event and encourage everyone to bring cameras as well.

As always, if you have questions please ask. Looking forward to seeing you July 3rd!

Permitting Process is complete! We are cleared for launch! 

Guns, Congress and the Press

30 May


Guns, Congress and the Press

June 5, 2013 10:00 AM
 
Speakers NPC 
 
Guns, Congress and the Press
 
Dick Heller,  the litigant in District of Columbia v. Heller – which resulted in the landmark 2008 Supreme Court decision affirming the individual’s right to own firearms – will appear at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on  Wednesday,  June 5,  to make his case that many in the media and Congress have purposely confused the public with proposed and implemented gun legislation. He will also speak about potential new litigation to preserve gun ownership right.
 
Gun ownership rights activist Heller asserts that press bias and congressional actions are aimed at confiscating guns and that more balance is needed in presenting gun control and ownership issues to the public.
 
District of Columbia v. Heller was an historic case in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense, within the home and within federal enclaves. As a result, over 200 lawsuits have been filed nationwide challenging Second Amendment Rights infringements. Long-standing gun control regulations have been amended in many states in order to comply with this landmark decision.
 
This National Press Club Newsmakers news conference is scheduled for 
10:00AM, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in the 
Club’s Lisagor Room on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building, 
529 14th St, NW, Washington, DC, 20045.
 
Contact:     Anthony E. Gallo, Newsmaker Event Host
                    202 -544-6973,   AGallo2368@verizon.net

Dick Heller speaks at National Press Club

29 May

Mr. Heller is the former treasurer of the DC Libertarian Party.


Guns, Congress and the Press

June 5, 2013 10:00 AM
 
Speakers NPC 
 
Guns, Congress and the Press
 
Dick Heller,  the litigant in District of Columbia v. Heller – which 
resulted in the landmark 2008 Supreme Court decision affirming 
the individual’s right to own firearms – will appear at a National 
Press Club Newsmakers news conference on  Wednesday,  June 5,  
to make his case that many in the media and Congress have 
purposely confused the public with proposed and implemented 
gun legislation. He will also speak about potential new litigation 
to preserve gun ownership right.
 
Gun ownership rights activist Heller asserts that press bias and 
congressional actions are aimed at confiscating guns and that 
more balance is needed in presenting gun control and ownership 
issues to the public.
 
District of Columbia v. Heller was an historic case in which the 
Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment to the United 
States Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a 
firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense, 
within the home and within federal enclaves. As a result, over 
200 lawsuits have been filed nationwide challenging Second 
Amendment Rights infringements. Long-standing gun control 
regulations have been amended in many states in order to comply 
with this landmark decision.
 
This National Press Club Newsmakers news conference is 
scheduled for 
10:00AM, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in the 
Club’s Lisagor Room on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building, 
529 14th St, NW, Washington, DC, 20045.
 
Contact:     Anthony E. Gallo, Newsmaker Event Host
                    202 -544-6973,   AGallo2368@verizon.net

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson doubts NY gun law will stand

11 Feb