October 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
GLAA awards high scores to Reeder, Silverman
Dionne Bussey-Reeder, gay news, Washington Blade

Dionne Reeder (Photo via Twitter)

Lesbian businesswoman Dionne Reeder, who’s running as an independent for an at-large D.C. Council seat, received a rating of +7 from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the same rating that GLAA gave to Mayor Muriel Bowser.

GLAA, a local nonpartisan LGBT advocacy group, has been rating local D.C. candidates on LGBT and some non-LGBT related issues since the 1970s. It rates candidates on a scale from -10, the worst possible score, to +10, the highest score. It bases its ratings on responses to a questionnaire it sends to all candidates and on the candidates’ record on LGBT issues.

In a statement accompanying its ratings the group said Reeder “agreed with GLAA on all issues except for a waffling response on legislation regarding commercial sex.” The group was referring to a bill introduced last year by Council member David Grosso calling for decriminalizing prostitution, a position that GLAA and other LGBT organizations support.

Other candidates lost points over their response to the sex worker decriminalization bill, which has been stalled in committee with no sign of it coming up for a vote any time soon.

Incumbent Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), Reeder’s main rival for the at-large seat, received a GLAA rating of +7.5. At-Large incumbent Anita Bonds, a Democrat, received a +10 rating.  The other at-large candidates, all of whom will be on the same ballot in the Nov. 6 election, received these ratings: David Schwartzman (Statehood-Green Party), +7.5; Rustin Lewis (I), +4; and Ralph Chittams Sr. (R), -1.

In the mayoral race, in addition to Bowser receiving a +7, her lesser known rivals who, virtually all political observers predict will finish far behind Bowser in the election, gay Libertarian Party candidate Martin Moulton received a +2.5 and Statehood Green Party candidate Ann Wilcox received a +4.5.

Although GLAA said Moulton has a record of support for LGBT people his questionnaire responses were at odds with GLAA’s positions on a number of issues.

In the Ward 1 Council race, incumbent Democrat Brianne Nadeau received a +9.5. Her sole rival, gay independent candidate Jamie Sycamore, received a +6.

In the remaining races, GLAA awarded these ratings:

Ward 3: Incumbent Mary Cheh (D) +10; challenger Petar Dimtchev (I) +3.

Ward 5: Incumbent Kenyan McDuffie (D) +8; challenger Kathy Henderson (I) -1.

Ward 6: Incumbent Charles Allen (D) +10; challenger Michael Bekesha (R) +3.5.

Candidates’ responses to the GLAA questionnaire and the group’s breakdown of its ratings points can be viewed here.

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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