Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 75265, Washington, DC 20013
October 10, 2012
Contact: Rick Rosendall, Political Vice President
Mendelson, Grosso, Evans, Brown top GLAA's D.C. Council ratings
DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson topped the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA) ratings in the November 6 special election for DC Council Chair with a perfect +10. At-Large DC Council challenger David Grosso (+9), At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown (+7.5), and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans (+8.5) topped the GLAA ratings for the November 6 general election. GLAA held its ratings meeting for the general and special elections on October 9. A key to available ratings points is provided below. (Note: winners of the primary election were not re-rated; the ratings they earned earlier this year are carried over for the general election.)
The following are explanations of the individual ratings for D.C. Council general and special election candidates. Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return GLAA's questionnaire and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on GLAA's issues.
Council Chair (Special Election)
Democratic incumbent Phil Mendelson (+10) submitted a strong questionnaire and has an extensive record of championing LGBT issues. He earned a positive championship point for his authorship of the Civil Marriage Dissolution Equality Act of 2012 and the Judicial Declaration of Parentage Amendment Act of 2012, in addition to his leadership on marriage equality.
Democratic candidate Calvin H. Gurley (+1) had a weak questionnaire and showed confusion on numerous issues.
Independent candidate David Grosso (+9) submitted a strong questionnaire and has a long record of support for LGBT issues, including in his previous positions working for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and former Councilmember Sharon Ambrose.
Independent incumbent Michael A. Brown (+7.5) agrees with GLAA on the issues, showed a good grasp of the substance, and has been a consistent ally on the Council.
Independent candidate A.J. Cooper (+4) agreed with GLAA on the issues but offered little substance. He earned a record point for his work with LGBT youth to combat HIV/AIDS.
Independent candidate Leon J. Swain, Jr. (+4) agreed with GLAA on the issues and offered some good substance. He talked about having been fairminded as a vice officer, but showed no specific record on LGBT issues.
Democratic incumbent Vincent Orange (+0.5) showed no understanding of the issues in his questionnaire. His answer on the medical marijuana program is disingenuous. Councilmember Orange has led efforts to undermine the program. He introduced restrictions on nude dancing and medical marijuana in Ward 5, which earned him a negative championship point. The permanent Prostitution Free Zone (PFZ) legislation was co-introduced by Orange, although he claims to oppose it.
Statehood-Green candidate Ann C. Wilcox (+0.5*) has provided legal representation to GetEqual and Occupy D.C. protesters. No questionnaire and no other known record.
Republican candidate Mary Brooks Beatty (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no known record.
Democratic incumbent Jack Evans (+8.5) submitted a strong questionnaire and has an extensive record of championing LGBT issues. He earned a positive championship point for his legislation on tax parity for domestic partners and married couples.
Democratic incumbent Muriel Bowser (+6.5) disagreed with GLAA on school vouchers, but was a strong supporter on marriage equality. She showed a strong understanding of the issues and has a record of supporting LGBT issues as a councilmember.
Republican candidate Ron Moten (+1.5*) did not submit a questionnaire. GLAA has re-rated him since the Feb. 21 meeting based on additional information on his record: As founder of the youth anti-crime group Peaceaholics, Moten played a leading role in helping the gay and transgender youth in the Check It gang transform into a business oriented fashion group that is seeking to sell a line of clothing. Moten was a speaker at the candlelight vigil for transgender murder victim Deoni Jones. Moten earned +1.5 points under record.
Democratic incumbent Yvette Alexander (-3.5) submitted a weak questionnaire marked by disagreement with GLAA on basic issues. She was the lead introducer of legislation to make Prostitution Free Zones permanent, which would lead to increased profiling and discrimination against transgender people. She likened the successful HPV vaccination program to a Tuskegee Experiment on young black girls. She introduced a bill to create mandatory HIV testing for people applying for marriage licenses. She voted against the marriage equality bill. And she introduced an amendment to the marriage bill that would have effectively removed protections of the D.C. Human Rights Act on the basis of sexual orientation. She received a negative championship point on the marriage amendment and PFZ legislation.
Independent candidate Jauhar Abraham (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no known record on LGBT issues.
Democratic incumbent Marion Barry (-3.5*) did not return a questionnaire and is rated solely on his record. He co-introduced the legislation for permanent Prostitution Free Zones and the bill to create mandatory HIV tests for people applying for marriage licenses. Councilmember Barry did not just vote against marriage equality, he campaigned against it, leading an anti-gay chant in a rally at Freedom Plaza: http://youtu.be/Vo111P32te0. He received a negative championship point for his campaign against marriage equality and support of permanent PFZs.
GLAA rates candidates on a scale of -10 to +10, based on their answers to our questionnaire and their record on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The questionnaire addresses a variety of issues including marriage and family, public health, public safety, human rights, youth and seniors, and defending LGBT consumers and businesses. The GLAA agenda, questionnaire, and complete candidate responses are available online at www.glaa.org.
All candidates were advised to read "Agenda: 2012," GLAA's comprehensive policy brief on LGBT issues in Washington, D.C.
Ratings should not be interpreted as endorsements. GLAA does not endorse candidates in partisan elections.
GLAA has rated candidates in every D.C. primary and general election since 1971.
Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Nation's Capital. We are the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.
To see the full text of a candidate's questionnaire responses, click on his or her name below.
DC Council Chair (Special Election)
At-Large DC Councilmember
Ward 2 DC Councilmember
Ward 4 DC Councilmember
Ward 7 DC Councilmember
Ward 8 DC Councilmember
Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire
and was therefore rated solely on his or her known record on GLAA's issues.
Key to available ratings points
|Questionnaire: yes/no||+/- 2 points|
|Questionnaire: substantive grasp of issues||+/- 4 points|
|Record:||+/- 3 points|
|Championship: taking the lead on an issue|
of concern to gay men and lesbians
|+/- 1 point
|Total available:||+/- 10 points|