D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate David Catania (I-At-Large) released a 126-page booklet on Monday outlining his platform on a wide range of issues; including issues related to LGBT youth, transgender employment and surrogacy parenting for lesbian moms.
Catania officially released the document, David Catania’s Vision to Secure Our City’s Future, at a news conference at his campaign headquarters on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle. Many of his supporters, including LGBT supporters, were in attendance.
“What I’m advocating for when I’m mayor is continuing the work that I started 17 years ago,” Catania told the Washington Blade in discussing his record on LGBT rights. “It’s not one that I manufactured in advance of a campaign for mayor,” he said. “It’s one that I’ve lived for 17 plus years on the Council and as a member of the community my whole life.”
In addition to a chapter covering LGBT related issues; Catania’s platform book includes chapters on education, housing and homelessness, jobs and the economy, health and wellness, public safety, seniors, transportation and the environment, democracy for D.C. and accountable government.
The glossy booklet also includes full-page photos of a transgender woman from Ward 5, a lesbian couple from Ward 8 and longtime gay Democratic activists Paul Kuntzler and John Klenert along with more than two dozen other photos of a diverse array of city residents who are supporting Catania for mayor.
“David has worked hard for years to empower transgender individuals through quality healthcare and increased economic opportunity,” said trans resident Renee Bailey in a photo caption in the chapter that includes LGBT issues.
Catania released the platform document three days before he and his two main rivals, City Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) and former Council member Carol Schwartz, who’s running as an independent, are scheduled to participate in the first mayoral candidate debate in the general election campaign on the campus of American University.
Bowser has so far released a less detailed position paper on various issues. Schwartz earlier this month issued a 15-page position paper on education focusing on the city’s public school system. Supporters for Bowser and Schwartz have said the two candidates were expected to release additional platform papers in the coming weeks. Both have been longtime supporters on LGBT issues.
Bowser was also expected to discuss her positions on LGBT issues at an LGBT “meet and greet” reception Tuesday night at the D.C. gay bar Number Nine.
Among other things; the Catania platform calls for fully implementing the policy recommendations of the city’s Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force and strengthening the city’s programs addressing LGBT youth, continuing to push for the Council to pass the Surrogacy Parenting Amendment Act, which he wrote and introduced and which addresses parenting issues for gay male and lesbian couples and ensuring that the Metropolitan Police Department implements the recommendations of an independent task force on hate crimes, which found that improvement was needed in police relations with the LGBT community.