GLAA 2024 Primary Candidate Ratings

GLAA is proud to announce its ratings for the candidates of the 2024 D.C. Council Primary Elections. The ratings are based solely on the issues and may not be interpreted as endorsements. Founded in 1971, GLAA is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit civic organization. GLAA serves as a network of people committed to defending human rights and advocating for the advancement of LGBTQ+ people in the District of Columbia. GLAA is the nation’s oldest continuously active LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.

We invited all candidates running for local office to answer questions based on the 2024 GLAA policy brief. We rank the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire according to whether they (a) responded affirmatively or not, (b) how much depth and clarity they had in their answers, and (c) how their shared track record reflects the stance they are defending. Upon deliberation, candidates are assigned a score that is converted to a number between -10 and 10. A candidate with a score of 10 is someone who is in agreement with all the policies presented in the brief, giving thorough answers that show they understand the issues, while presenting a track record that shows proof of their commitment to the causes.

This year, thirteen council candidates responded to our policy questionnaire; two of which are candidates for an At Large Council seat, eight running for Ward 7, one for Ward 8, and one for Ward 4. Additionally, we received one response without a candidate name or information attached to it, which we have labeled ‘unknown’. Unfortunately, a number of candidates did not respond to the questionnaire, and we did not rate them. Please note that GLAA sent questionnaires to candidates for every party’s primary that are listed on the official D.C. Board of Elections ballot. However, we only received responses from candidates for the Democratic primary.

Highlights include:

  • In the Ward 4 race, Janeese Lewis George earned a score of +9.5, the highest rating of any candidate.
  • In the Council At Large race, Robert White earned a score of +9
  • In the Ward 7 race, Nate Fleming earned a score of +8.5.

GLAA thanks all the candidates who responded to our questionnaire. More information, including the candidate’s responses and a short explanation of our rates are available below.


Questionnaire Files: 

DC Council at large

DC Council Ward 4

DC Council 7

DC Council 8


The ratings are as follows:

At-Large Councilmember

Robert White (+9) agreed with GLAA on all the issues. His answers showed a solid understanding of the topics and some depth, but could have been more detailed. He discussed his record on some issues, but not all, and generally could have provided more specifics and nuance. He has been a champion for LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition priorities and a number of policy brief issues.

Rodney Red Grant (+3.5) agreed with GLAA on all the issues. His answers showed some thoughtfulness and understanding of the issues, but they were generally short and lacked detail and depth. He did not mention his record. His response concerning decriminalization of drug possession for personal use was notable, although it included a factual error.

Ward 4 Councilmember

Janeese Lewis George (+9.5) agreed with GLAA on most issues, except decriminalization of sex work and drug possession for personal use. However, on those two topics she gave a “tentative” yes pending further details, showing an openness to shift her position. Her answers consistently showed a depth of understanding, thoughtfulness, nuance, and additional ideas for action. She has championed several policy brief priorities, and supported others, but she could have described her record more on certain topics. Two of her answers could have benefited from greater detail. GLAA looks forward to her showing more leadership on LGBTQ+ Budget coalition priorities.

Ward 7 Councilmember

Eboni-Rose Thompson (+4.5) agreed with GLAA on a majority of the issues, notable exceptions include opposing removing the requirement for social worker licensing exam and decriminalization of personal use drugs. Even on issues where her answers vacillated, she demonstrated thoughtfulness and care for her community. Thompson was able to point to her record of supporting implementation of the NEAR Act and the Green New Deal as clear demonstrations of her support for community safety and affordable housing.

Ebony Payne (+5) generally agreed with GLAA on the issues, except for decriminalization of sex work and possession of drugs for personal use–however, her answers on those topics showed open-mindedness. Most of her answers showed understanding and thoughtfulness, but she could have provided more clarity and substance. She did not describe her record as an ANC Commissioner, aside from speaking against public money for a stadium at RFK–a stand against a subsidy for millionaire sports owners that aligns with our Fund Our Futures priority. We note her reference to Montgomery County, Maryland, as a potential source of lessons for implementing social housing in DC.

Kelvin Brown (+2.5) agreed with GLAA on some of the issues, especially those related to police oversight, OHR funding, and treating housing as a human right. Many of his responses were brief, but some of Brown’s answers demonstrated nuance and commitment to thoughtful policymaking. Brown could have improved his score by talking in more depth about his record as a public servant during his time as an ANC. 

Nate Fleming (+8.5) agreed with GLAA on all the issues. His answers consistently showed thoughtfulness and a firm understanding of most issues, with some depth and nuance. Notably, he spoke directly to his record on every issue, revealing the breadth of his experience working on staff at the Council, although he could have been more specific about his actions and accomplishments. 

Roscoe Grant Jr. (+3.5) generally agreed with GLAA on the issues, except for decriminalization of sex work and possession of drugs for personal use. On those topics, he gave somewhat thoughtful explanations for his stance and showed openness to rethink current approaches. Most of his answers were one sentence long, showing some understanding of the issues but lacking depth or detail. Except for his mention of being a proponent of equitable economic policies, he did not mention his record.

Veda Rasheed (+5) generally agreed with GLAA on the issues, except for decriminalization of sex work, and she gave a muddled answer on decriminalization of the possession of drugs for personal use. Further, some of her explanations did not show full agreement with the underlying proposal. She answered most questions with some thoughtfulness and demonstrated understanding of the issues, aside from a few responses that seemed mismatched. She could have shown more depth based on the level of understanding shown in responses. She didn’t talk about her record as an ANC Commissioner and could have showcased her record with more specifics. She gave a good answer on social housing and suggested additional ideas for action.

Villareal VJ Johnson II (+4) agreed with GLAA on all the issues, though one response showed ambivalence. He answered some questions with thoughtfulness and demonstrated some understanding of the issues, but other responses revealed a limited familiarity and a lack of depth. His response about sex work noted that other countries have decriminalized and offer a model to follow. He did not discuss his record on any of the issues, despite being a five-term ANC Commissioner.

Wendell Felder (+2) indicated some agreement with GLAA on the issues, but he did not give a clear yes or no answer to most questions. His answers occasionally showed thoughtfulness and an open mind, but they lacked depth or specifics and often punted by suggesting further discussion with GLAA about an issue. He did not discuss his record on any of the issues despite being a four-term ANC Commissioner.

Ward 8 Councilmember

Salim Adolfo (+5.5) agreed with GLAA on the issues, except for the decriminalization of sex work. His answers show some understanding of the topics but generally lacked depth. His record includes organizing a letter in support of legislation to increase pathways to social work jobs and his efforts as chair of ANC 8C to pass a resolution to create a harm reduction center in Ward 8.


Unknown (+2) had some agreement with GLAA on the issues, but mostly the responses were muddled. The depth of their answers was inconsistent, with some being outright confusing. They made no mention of their record. This candidate failed to include their name in the questionnaire response document.


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