Sandy Allen, Ward 8 DC Council Candidate

Sandy Allen

Democrat, Ward 8

Response to GLAA 1996 Questionnaire
for DC Council Candidates

1. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same-sex?

A. Yes! I support legal recognition of marriages between persons of the same sex. There is no rational reason to deny same sex couples their right to live in a legally recognized union.

2. Will you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to stop the District of Columbia from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in Hawaii or other places?

A. It is inappropriate for Congress to prohibit benefits deemed appropriate by local governments.

3. Do you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to outlaw or restrict adoptions by unmarried couples in the District of Columbia?

A. Yes. Any child in need of a home should be put in a safe, clean, loving, and nurturing environment. Adoptions should not be prohibited for sme sex couples, or lesbian and gay men [sic] because they can create the home environments these children so desperately need.

4. If Congress ever repeals the D.C. Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 that established the registration of domestic partnerships, will you vote to reenact the same law?

A. Yes, except I would add incentives to encourage more private corporations participation of similar benefit packages.

5. Do you support the re-establishment of the Office of Human Rights as an independent, Cabinet-level agency whose Director has direct access to the Mayor?

A. Yes. The Office of Human Rights should become independent immediately. The Director should be Cabinet level, with direct access to the Mayor. The new Department should receive the necessary resources to effectively enforce the Human Rights Bill of 1978.

6. Do you agree that the Boy Scouts of America is violating the D.C. Human Rights Law's ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by excluding gays from participating either as scouts or as leaders?

A. Yes. Gay and lesbians should not be excluded as role models for our youth. Discrimination is wrong, particularly when it mistakenly suggests sexual orientation would create inappropriate interaction.

7. Will you vote to repeal the Armstrong Amendment, which allows religiously-affiliated private educational institutions in the District to discriminate against student clubs that promote equal rights for lesbians and gay men?

A. Yes. This is a violation of the 1978 Human Rights Act. It is wrong to discriminate against individuals because of their sexual orientation.

8. Will you oppose efforts by Congress or other parties to abolish or restrict the right of our public school students to form clubs that promote greater understanding between gays and others?

A. Yes. Congress should stop creating voodoo discrimination bills earmarked for lesbians and gays.

9. Do you support the designation of a third party to act as a fiscal agent for the distribution of federal AIDS money, such as the system recently adopted by the Financial Control Board?

A. Yes, but only if it is necessary to stop disruption of HIV support services. Personally, I feel that if we abolish the control authority, and received fair, timely, and appropriate reimbursement from the federal government we would not have to visit third party fiscal agents as a discussion.

10. Do you agree that our own elected officials, past and present, bear much of the responsibility for the District's current financial plight because of their reluctance to make tough budgetary decisions, to establish priorities, and to demand maximum efficiency and productivity (rather than political loyalty) from all District government agencies and workers?

A. Yes, some of the responsibility must be born by the elected officials, past, and present. However, we must place some o the blame on the original fiscal arrangements between those who framed the Home Rule Charter, and the citizens who blindly voted for it.

As your Council representative I would demand immediate oversight of inefficient agency directors, agencies which do not meet their priority and budget bench marks, and eliminate employee positions where there is waste and duplication of services.

11. Do you support the condom availability programs that have been established in the District's public schools and prisons?

A. Yes. Beyond that, condoms should be made available in our schools, shelters, jail, prisons, and all health clinics operated by the government. Safer sex prevention education should also be mandatory in all D.C. Public Schools beyond junior high school.

12. Will you support legislation that will establish an effective civilian complaint review system for our Metropolitan Police Department?

A. Yes. Some form of an independent investigatory agency should be reestablished. It should have the power to provide unbiased investigations of all citizen complaints.

13. Do you support sensitivity and community relations training for all elements of our public safety system (police, fire department, etc.) that includes strong recognition's of gay and lesbian community concerns, so that the District will never again tolerate the kind of insensitivity and incompetence reflected in the Fire Department's handling of the Tyra Hunter case?

A. The Tyra Hunter case was a blight on common decency. The actions of a few ignorant people who worked for our fire department were badly handled, and months after the incident are still left unresolved. I believe all public contact agencies, not just public safety, should receive sensitivity training to include a strong lesbian and gay component. The Mayor should create an independent review board for such incidents.

14. Do you oppose legislation or initiatives that would authorize organized prayers in our public schools, thereby encouraging the harassment of individuals who choose not to participate?

A. I do not support mandatory prayer in schools. However I do believe in and encourage voluntary prayer for any one who wants to.

15. Do you oppose efforts to abolish or drastically curtail the powers of our elected Board of Education?

A. I have grave reservations about abolishing a school board elected by the citizens. I would be in favor of abolishing the Board only if the citizens voted to do so. However, I am in favor of restricting their authority and powers to policy matters. I also think they are grossly overpaid.

I have long been an advocate for fairness in all things. If elected to the Council you can expect an honest and sincere effort on my part in representing, and if necessary, defending your rights as citizens, and as fellow human beings.


Sandy Allen