May 21, 2018 at 2:15 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Bonds, Cheh, Allen receive highest GLAA rating of +10
March For Our Lives, Muriel Bowser, Lesbians Who Tech, gay news, Washington Blade, GLAA Rating

Mayor Bowser lost points on GLAA’s ratings on non-LGBT issues. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance last week awarded a rating of +10, its highest possible rating, to D.C. Council members Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), and Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) who are running for re-election in the city’s June 19 Democratic primary.

A nonpartisan D.C.-based LGBT advocacy group founded in 1971, GLAA rates D.C. Council and mayoral candidates on a scale of -10, the lowest possible score, to +10 the highest possible rating, on both LGBT and non-LGBT issues that the group deems important for the LGBT community.

It says it bases its ratings on the candidates’ record on LGBT and the other issues it weighs in each election cycle as well as the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire, including the degree of understanding and “substance” the candidates display in their responses.

The group assigned its next highest rating, +9.5, to Council Chair Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) and Council member Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1). It assigned a +9 rating to gay Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kent Boese (D), who’s running against Nadeau in the June 19 primary for the Ward 1 Council seat.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), who’s running for re-election and received the unanimous endorsement last week from the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the city’s largest local LGBT political group, received a GLAA rating of +7.

In a statement accompanying its ratings, GLAA said Bowser agreed with its positions “on most issues and had good substance in her questionnaire but in some areas lacked concrete plans for improving employment for underrepresented populations and combating pay-to-play practices.”

GLAA added, “Her administration has a record of demonstrated success as an ally in working with LGBTQ constituents, particularly in enforcing transgender healthcare regulations and supporting bodies such as the Office of Human Rights and the LGBT Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department.”

Although it didn’t say so directly, the GLAA statement suggests Bowser lost a few points on non-LGBT issues such as city contracting practices. Some LGBT activists have said non-LGBT issues should not be used as rating criteria by an LGBT organization because LGBT people often have differing views on those issues.

GLAA issued ratings of +6 to Democratic mayoral contender James Butler and a +5 rating to Democrat Earnest Johnson, a political newcomer who is also running against Bowser in the Democratic primary.  Bowser is considered the odds on favorite to win the primary.

The group gave gay Libertarian Party activist Martin Moulton, who’s running unopposed in his party’s mayoral primary, a 2.5 rating, saying Moulton “provided some positive substance in his questionnaire and has a fair record supporting LGBTQ individuals.” But it says Moulton “did not support GLAA positions” on a number of LGBT-related issues in which GLAA has called for government intervention and funding.

Ann Wilcox, who’s running unopposed for the Statehood Green Party nomination for mayor, received a 0.5 GLAA rating. The group noted that Wilcox did not return the questionnaire, a development that prompts GLAA to issue a “0” rating if it is unaware of a candidate’s positions or record on LGBT issues.

“She received a rating based on her limited record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA from past evaluations,” the group said in its statement.

In the race for Council Chair, GLAA gave Democrat Ed Lazere, who is running against Mendelson in the primary, a rating of +7.5, saying Lazere “agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in his questionnaire.” It said he has a “positive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.”

In the at-large Council race, GLAA issued a rating of +7 to Democrat Jeremiah Lowery, who is one of two Democrats challenging Bonds in the primary. The other Democrat, Marcus Goodwin, didn’t return the questionnaire and received a “0” rating, GLAA’s statement says.

The remaining two at-large candidates rated by GLAA, Statehood Green Party contender David Schwartzman, received a +7.5 and Libertarian Party candidate Denis Hicks received a “0” rating for not returning the questionnaire.

In the Ward 1 race, among the two other Democrats challenging Nadeau, former D.C. Superior Court Judge Lori Parker received a +1.5 and community activist Sheika Reid received a “0” for not returning the questionnaire. In its statement, GLAA said Parker did not support GLAA’s positions on a number of issues. “While generally supportive on LGBTQ concerns, her questionnaire lacked substance in some areas and she has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA,” the group said in its statement.

In the Ward 3 Council race, Cheh, who received a +10 rating, is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

In the Ward 5 Council race, GLAA gave incumbent Democrat Kenyan McDuffie a +8 rating, saying he offered “good substance” in his questionnaire responses and “has a demonstrated record of supporting LGBTQ concerns.”

GLAA gave a “0” rating to four Democrats challenging McDuffie in the primary, noting that each failed to return the questionnaire and has no known record on LGBT related issues. They are Gayle Hall Carley, Nestor Djonkam, LaMonica Jeffrey, and Bradley Thomas. Statehood Green Party candidate Joyce Robinson-Paul, who’s also running for the Ward 5 seat, received a “0” rating for not returning the questionnaire and who’s record on LGBT issues is unknown to GLAA.

In the Ward 6 Council race, Democrat Lisa Hunter, who’s running against Allen in the primary, received a +6.5 rating. GLAA said she agreed with the group on all issues, showed good substance in her questionnaire responses, and has “some record demonstrating support for LGBTQ concerns.”

GLAA said that Allen, who it gave a +10 rating, “agreed with GLAA on all issues and offered impressive substance in his questionnaire.” It said Allen “has an extensive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.”

The full list of GLAA’s ratings, a breakdown of its rating points, and links to the questionnaire responses for all of the candidates that returned them can be accessed through the following statement and links released by GLAA:

Go to Candidate Ratings

At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen earned top ratings of +10 from GLAA for the June 19, 2018 D.C. Council primaries. Strong ratings were also earned by Council Chairperson Phil Mendelson and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, both with +9.5, and by Ward 1 candidate Kent Boese with +9.

GLAA held its ratings meeting on May 14, 2018. A key to the rating scale and a detailed enumeration of each candidate’s rating is provided below.

Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return GLAA’s questionnaire and was therefore rated solely on the candidate’s known record on GLAA’s issues.

The following are explanations of the individual ratings for D.C. Council primary candidates.

Mayor

Democratic incumbent Muriel Bowser (+7) agreed with GLAA on most issues and had good substance in her questionnaire but in some areas lacked concrete plans for improving employment for underrepresented populations and combating pay-to-play practices. Her administration has a record of demonstrated success as an ally in working with LGBTQ constituents, particularly in enforcing transgender healthcare regulations and supporting bodies such as the Office of Human Rights and the LGBT Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department.

Democratic candidate James Butler (+6) agreed with GLAA on most issues and offered very good substance in his questionnaire. He would benefit from a deeper understanding of issues affecting transgender people, and the harms in conflating sex work and sex trafficking. He has some record supporting LGBTQ issues as a lawyer through human rights cases.

Democratic candidate Ernest E. Johnson (+5) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in his questionnaire, but has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Libertarian candidate Martin Moulton (+2.5) did not support GLAA positions on the need to support legislative initiatives promoting public health resources such as PrEP, ensuring accessible and affirming housing for LGBTQ seniors, and sealing court documents related to legal sex, gender, and name changes, among others. He provided some positive substance in his questionnaire and has a fair record supporting LGBTQ individuals.

Statehood-Green candidate Ann C. Wilcox (+0.5*) did not submit a questionnaire. She received a rating based on her limited record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA from past evaluations.

Chair

Democratic incumbent Phil Mendelson (+9.5) agreed with GLAA on all issues with the exception of the most appropriate approach to reforming regulations surrounding commercial sex. He offered excellent substance in his questionnaire and has a strong record supporting LGBTQ issues.

Democratic candidate Ed Lazere (+7.5) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in his questionnaire. He has a positive record supporting LGBTQ issues.

At-Large

Democratic incumbent Anita Bonds (+10) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed outstanding substance in her questionnaire. She has a strong record record supporting LGBTQ issues.

Statehood-Green candidate David Schwartzman (+7.5) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in his questionnaire. He has a positive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.

Democratic candidate Jeremiah Lowery (+7) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed some good substance in his questionnaire while neglecting to demonstrate fully conceptualized policy initiatives in some areas. He has a positive record on LGBTQ issues, particularly in the areas of housing and employment, transgender rights, and commercial sex reform.

Democratic candidate Marcus Goodwin (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Libertarian candidate Denise Hicks (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Ward 1

Democratic incumbent Brianne K. Nadeau (+9.5) agreed with GLAA on all issues and offered excellent substance in her questionnaire. She has a strong positive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.

Democratic candidate Kent Boese (+9) agreed with GLAA on all issues and offered strong substance in his questionnaire. He has a demonstrated record supporting LGBTQ issues.

Democratic candidate Lori Parker (+1.5) did not support GLAA positions on the need to support legislative initiatives promoting public health resources such as PrEP and seeking timely and comprehensive reforms to commercial sex regulations. While generally supportive of LGBTQ concerns, her questionnaire lacked substance in some areas and she has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Democratic candidate Sheika Reid (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Ward 3

Democratic incumbent Mary M. Cheh (+10) is unchallenged and agreed with GLAA on all issues. She showed very strong substance in her questionnaire and has an extensive positive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.

 

Ward 5

Democratic candidate Kenyan McDuffie (+8) agreed with GLAA on most issues but did not demonstrate concrete support for initiatives reforming regulations surrounding commercial sex and sealing court documents related to legal sex, gender, and name changes. He offered good substance in his questionnaire and has a demonstrated record of supporting LGBTQ concerns, particularly in opposing so-called conversion therapy for minors and ensuring access to housing for vulnerable youth.

Democratic candidate Gayle Hall Carley (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Democratic candidate Nestor Djonkam (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Democratic candidate LaMonica Jeffrey (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Statehood-Green candidate Joyce Robinson-Paul (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

Democratic candidate Bradley Thomas (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

 

Ward 6

Democratic incumbent Charles Allen (+10) agreed with GLAA on all issues and offered impressive substance in his questionnaire. He has an extensive record supporting LGBTQ concerns.

Democratic candidate Lisa Hunter (+6.5) agreed with GLAA on all issues and showed good substance in her questionnaire. She has some record demonstrating support for LGBTQ concerns, particulary in the realm of public health.

Republican candidate Michael Bekesha (0*) did not submit a questionnaire and has no record on LGBTQ issues known to GLAA.

 

 

 

 

 

GLAA rates candidates on a scale of -10 to +10, based on their answers to our questionnaire and their record of service on behalf of the LGBTQ community. The questionnaire addresses a variety of issues including public health, public safety, human rights, youth and seniors, non-discrimination, and defending LGBTQ consumers and businesses. The GLAA agenda, questionnaire, and complete candidate responses are available online at www.glaa.org.

Multiple invitations to complete the questionnaire were extended to every registered candidate over a period of several weeks prior to the rating meeting. All candidates were also provided a copy of the 2018 edition of “Building on Victory,” GLAA’s policy brief on LGBTQ 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. Independent council candidates will be rated prior to the general election.

Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of LGBTQ people in the Nation’s Capital. We are the nation’s oldest continuously active civil rights organization serving the LGBTQ community.

GLAA Ratings for June 19, 2018 D.C. Primary Elections

Mayor

Muriel Bowser                                     Democrat                     +7

James Butler                            Democrat                     +6

Ernest E. Johnson                    Democrat                     +5

Martin Moulton                                    Libertarian                   +2.5

Ann C. Wilcox                         Statehood-Green          +0.5*

DC Council Chairperson

Phil Mendelson                                    Democrat                     +9.5

Ed Lazere                                Democrat                     +7.5

At-Large DC Councilmember

Anita Bonds                             Democrat                     +10

David Schwartzman                 Statehood-Green          +7.5

Jeremiah Lowery                     Democrat                     +7

Marcus Goodwin                     Democrat                     0*

Denise Hicks                           Libertarian                   0*

Ward 1 DC Councilmember

Brianne K. Nadeau                  Democrat                     +9.5

Kent Boese                              Democrat                     +9

Lori Parker                               Democrat                     +1.5

Sheika Reid                             Democrat                     0*

Ward 3 Councilmember        

Mary M. Cheh                         Democrat                     +10

Ward 5 Councilmember        

Kenyan McDuffie                   Democrat                     +8

Gayle Hall Carley                    Democrat                     0*

Nestor Djonkam                      Democrat                     0*

LaMonica Jeffrey                    Democrat                     0*

Joyce Robinson-Paul               Statehood-Green          0*

Bradley Thomas                      Democrat                     0*

Ward 6 Councilmember

Charles Allen                           Democrat                     +10

Lisa Hunter                              Democrat                     +6.5

Michael Bekesha                     Republican                  0*

Note: Ratings marked with an asterisk (*) indicate a candidate who did not return a questionnaire

and was therefore rated solely on the candidate’s known record on GLAA’s issues.

Key to available ratings points

Questionnaire: yes/no agreement on issues      +/- 2 points
Questionnaire: substantive grasp of issues       +/- 4 points
Record:                                                                        +/- 4 points
Total available:                                                            +/- 10 points

 

Detailed breakdown of all candidates’ rating points

GLAA election project main page

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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