May 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm EDT | by Lateefah Williams
Kenyan McDuffie for Ward 5 Council

Kenyan McDuffie is the type of leader that Ward 5 needs. He is intelligent, he has key experience in diverse matters from public safety to public policy, and he is a staunch supporter of the LGBT community. These are some of the reasons that Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, D.C.’s largest LGBT political organization, endorsed Kenyan McDuffie for Ward 5 Council.  These traits are also why I personally support Kenyan McDuffie, as well.

This special election is important to the direction of Ward 5 and the District as a whole. It is important to get someone who can hit the ground running. Kenyan is that person. He has worked as a policy adviser to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and as a civil rights attorney for the Department of Justice. His experience makes him the ideal person to ensure the safety of the LGBT community and to ensure that our community’s civil and human rights are respected.

As president of the Stein Club, I have had numerous opportunities to see Kenyan interact with our community. He is a Stein Club member, a Human Rights Campaign member and he interacts with ease when engaging with the LGBT community. He unequivocally supported marriage equality when he ran for Council in 2010. His key opponent, Delano Hunter, opposed marriage equality in 2010, supported a voter referendum, and did not object to the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage producing ads on his behalf. While Hunter says he has changed his views, our rights are too important to entrust to someone who has not always been supportive of those rights.

It is very important to have someone who we know, without a shadow of a doubt, will protect our rights. Kenyan McDuffie is that person. Kenyan has committed to support key LGBT initiatives. In his questionnaire for the Stein Club, Kenyan expressed support for a comprehensive strategy to address hate crimes, providing critical funding support to LGBT social service organizations, and programs that help LGBT youth find “safe housing, healthcare, and meaningful paths out of homelessness.”

Ward 5 needs an effective Council member who they trust now more than ever. Kenyan McDuffie is the best person to fulfill that task. His endorsements by the Stein Club, the overwhelming majority of the labor community, DC for Democracy and the Sierra Club, among other organizations, demonstrate his viability as a candidate and his ability to rally support. Now we must all help to rally support and ensure that Kenyan McDuffie is elected as the Ward 5 Council member on May 15.

Lateefah Williams is president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.

  • Do we really want someone that will simply go along with the mayor? Also, as a former prosecutor, I feel he will not take things so lightly on our community. We are harassed enough by mpd, I’m not convinced that his deep prosecutorial background will not add to this.

  • ***
    Also, as a former prosecutor, I feel he will not take things so lightly on our community. We are harassed enough by mpd, I’m not convinced that his deep prosecutorial background will not add to this.
    Please note, hta, Kenyan was a CIVIL RIGHTS prosecutor for USDOJ. His entire experience since college bespeaks an individual passionately committed to civil rights.

    Also, your assertion that “we” are harassed by MPD is just flatly false. MPD can be faulted for not properly categorizing suspected BIAS-RELATED (HATE) CRIMES on their incident reports. However, that can not reasonably be termed, “harassment” by any stretch of the imagination. MPD may also be covering for USAO-DC’s inability to robustly prosecute hate crimes cases. So we may have a federal bureaucratic/ budget problem, as well.

    Fact is Kenyan McDuffie, given his experience with USDOJ, may be able to pursue that LGBT issue, on behalf of all DC residents, with greater credibility and insight than anyone else on the Council at this point.

    In any event, I join Lateefa Williams, Stein Dems and all those looking for a new LGBT champion in Ward 5 to get out and vote for Kenyan McDuffie…

    Early voting opportunity ends Saturday, May 12th (8:30 to 7 pm) at Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Avenue, NE –OR– at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St., NW, Suite 250 north (also 8:30 to 7). Ward 5 residents, please get out to vote in this very important Council special election.

    • ***
      Fact is Kenyan McDuffie, given his experience with USDOJ,…
      It is also a fact that given McDuffie’s experience with the USDOJ, he should be well aware of the rules and regulations that are required of a candidate. Kenyan McDuffie, an attorney with the USDOJ has failed to file his financial disclosure statement for his campaign. Sounds like you are supporting the status quo at the Wilson Building.

  • ***
    … Sounds like you are supporting the status quo at the Wilson Building.

    Nah, far from it. But it does look to me like some folks may be engaging in last-minute Republican dirty tricks against Kenyan McDuffie. You should not let them fool you, Robert.

    Fact is, I read in the CityPaper/ LooseLips on May 8th all about the Ward 5 candidates’ campaign finance reports, including Tim Day’s and Kenyan McDuffie’s. Voters so inclined, can find it here…

    Hey, but it is always good to hear from DC’s Log Cabin Republicans president, Robert … no matter how mistaken you may be.

    P.S. — I ask again, is it true that Tim Day ran as a DC GOP delegate pledged to Newt Gingrich? Seriously?

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