A Mayor for all neighborhoods
Response to the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club
1. If elected Mayor of the District, what steps will you take to restore the
credibility and effectiveness of the District government's delivery of services ? In the
last year, what steps have you taken in this regard ?
I will ensure that all public services are delivered from the point of view of the
customer DC residents. We will streamline all operations, particularly where our
employees interact directly with the public. Licensing and permitting processes will be
designed to enable citizens to get in and out quickly. Lines will be minimized and mail,
email and the internet will be emphasized so that customers need not actually visit DC
I believe strongly in training employees well for specific jobs and then evaluating
their performance based on clearly defined criteria. Accountability evaluations will be
scheduled regularly for every employee including managers and agency heads.
Much of our equipment, particularly in Public Works, is obsolete and unreliable. All
agencies need better communication technologies new phones, better networking of
computers and better organization of information. Service is in the details. My
administration will take care of the details.
2. Recent events involving the Police Department have eroded the trust of many
members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender community in the Police Department.
Currently, the Police Chief does not report to an elected official.
Do you support the creation of a reconstituted civilian complaint review system whose
decisions will carry authority and not be overturned by internal police grievance
What action will you take to return the Police Department to the control of elected
As Mayor, I will establish a civilian complaint review system that will provide a
mechanism for citizen oversight and review of police actions. This board should not be
modeled on the former review board; rather, it will be designed to represent the diverse
communities and interest groups of the District. Minimally, I would expect the committee
to design a review process that could be completed in a reasonable time period and which
includes the possibility of an independent investigation by the Inspector General or other
independent bodies. Such a board must have paid full-time professional staff and
In addition to the board, I believe the police force needs to improve its training
throughout the department with a view to totally eliminate personal abuse of all District
residents and visitors, including members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender
It is critical that our police department report once again to elected officials of the
District. I will work with Chief Ramsey, the MOU partners and Congress to move the reform
as quickly as possible.
3. What is your position in the matter of support for Domestic Partnerships for
unmarried couples ? Do you have a record in this matter? Do you oppose efforts by members
of Congress and other political forces to restrict adoptions by unmarried couples in the
District of Columbia ? What steps will you take to provide a legal basis to same-sex
Same sex marriages are contrary to my religious beliefs and training. However, I voted
for the District's Domestic Partnership Bill and feel strongly that many of our
nontraditional relationships deserve and need access to insurance coverage and inheritance
District children awaiting adoption or placement with foster parents need immediate
access to loving, committed couples and individuals. The District must ensure that racial
and gender barriers don't block adoptions by committed couples and singles.
4. In recent court proceedings, the DC Corporation Counsel claimed that some
agencies of the government of the District of Columbia are not covered by the DC Human
Rights Law of 1977 and are therefore legally free to discriminate against lesbians and gay
men. The Corporation Counsel later abandoned the position. What is your position on this
matter? Do you support improved mechanisms for redress of Human Rights violations?
The action of the Corporation Counsel was an embarrassment to the District. No DC
agency should discriminate based on characteristics of race, sex, sexual preference,
national origin, disabilities, etc. All agencies should focus on one thing: job
performance. In my administration, all agencies heads and managers will be evaluated on
their ability to supervise a productive multi-cultural, multiracial staff
composed of men and women whose non-work-hours relationships are not a part of their
5. The locally funded budget for AIDS prevention and treatment programs has remained
stagnant for many years now. Where does increased spending for AIDS prevention and
treatment fall in your priorities for the city? What will you do to expand the local
programs for preventing AIDS? What will you do to expand the programs for treating and
caring for patients with AIDS?
The prevention and treatment of AIDS will be a top priority of my administration. I
will work for Medicaid expansion to permit new classifications of individuals in order to
increase the number of people who have access to money for medication and other treatment.
Education is critical. I will work with the Department of Health to ensure that under-
served areas where there is a high incidence of AIDS are targeted for education programs
in the schools, hospitals and clinics.