Responses of Yvette M. Alexander to GLAA 2008 Questionnaire
for DC Council Candidates
1. Will you support funding for mandatory gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) sensitivity and diversity training for all members of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department?
Yes, as a member of the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee I have supported funding with the MPD and FEMS Department for sensitivity and diversity training and have co-sponsored and co-introduced legislation to require such initiatives.
2. Will you support a budget for the Office of Police Complaints large enough to continue to avoid developing a backlog of cases?
Yes, I will support adequate funding to address the backlog of cases within the Office of Police Complaints to include more manpower and state of the art technology.
3. Given MPD's controversial Neighborhood Safety Zone initiative (which set up checkpoints and barricades in the Trinidad neighborhood) and Safe Homes initiative (to knock on doors and ask to conduct warrantless gun searches), will you support efforts to rein in police officials who respond to legitimate crime concerns with short-term fixes and public relations gestures that infringe upon Fourth Amendment and other constitutionally protected civil liberties?
Yes, the aforementioned initiatives are very reactionary and may not facilitate long term solutions to our crime problems. We must look at proactive measures to alleviate crime and make our neighborhoods safer without infringing upon our civil liberties. Law abiding citizens should not be penalized for the actions of criminals and our law enforcement professionals must be held accountable.
4. Given that the Department of Corrections continues to violate the D.C. Human Rights Act by using genitalia as a basis for gender identification rather than an individual’s gender identity or expression, will you support the Council directly adopting a rulemaking to make it unmistakably clear that DOC must stop discriminating against transgender inmates and detainees?
I will support a council rulemaking to end gender discrimination at the DOC. Any human rights violation must not be tolerated. Transgendered inmates and detainees should have accommodations and attention which address their special needs.
AIDS AND PUBLIC HEALTH
5. Do you agree that the drive to make HIV testing routine among District residents should include funding for counseling and referrals to treatment facilities for those testing positive?
Most definitely. Testing is important, but funding has to include complete wrap-around services for education, counseling and treatment. I am proud to have attended and supported the Helping Hands program through DOC and supported funding for the Ward 7 HIV/AIDS initiative, The Effie Barry AIDS Initiative for $1.2 million in FY09.
6. Are you committed to continuing and expanding the District’s condom distribution program to include water-based lubricant and improved tracking of their distribution to specified locations?
Yes, I am committed to expanding the Districts condom distribution program to include water-based lubricant and an effective tracking system. I would also like to broaden the areas of distribution to include DC Jail, DCPS and all free clinics.
7. The District has been forced by the federal government to switch from a unique identifier system to a names reporting system for people testing positive for HIV. Will you support legislation to strengthen our medical privacy laws, such as by creating a private right of action for those whose confidentiality is violated by District government employees or contractors?
Yes, as a former healthcare professional and insurance regulator, I will ensure all aspects of HIPAA are in place and any privacy or confidentiality violations will be strictly enforced.
8. Will you support a budget for the Office of Human Rights large enough to allow it to keep the discrimination complaint backlog at or below 70 cases and keep at or below 210 days the average time it takes after the filing of a complaint to issue a finding of probable cause?
Yes, I will support measures to effectively expedite all cases in the Office of Human Rights. The budget of this office is of major importance and it must be sufficient to handle the vast number of discrimination complaints in a specified time frame. A tracking system will also allow officials to address areas of concern.
9. Will you block ceremonial resolutions and otherwise decline to honor individuals or organizations that promote any sort of bigotry?
Yes, I have zero tolerance for bigotry and will never support any resolutions or honors to any such group or individuals. I will also encourage my colleagues to do the same.
10. Are you committed to publicizing and enforcing the provisions of the D.C. Human Rights Act forbidding discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression?
I am committed to publicizing and enforcing the provisions of the DC Human Rights Act on the basis of gender identity or expression. I have been an advocate for years and will use my position as Councilmember to this effort.
11. Do you agree that the Director of the Office of Human Rights should be required to have professional training and experience in civil rights law enforcement?
The ideal Director should be required to have the professional training and experience in civil rights law enforcement. I would support this requirement.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
12. Do you support legal recognition of marriages between partners of the same sex?
I do support the legal recognition between partners of the same sex. All benefits should be given as with same sex marriages.
13. Will you support the legislative and/or regulatory changes necessary to ensure that the District recognizes marriages legally established in other jurisdictions?
I will consider this measure.
14. Do you agree that private contractors doing business with the District should be required to provide domestic partner benefits including health insurance?
I agree that private contractors should offer domestic partnership benefits to include health insurance, if they offer the same benefit to married couples.
PUBLIC EDUCATION AND YOUTH
15. Do you oppose both federal and local voucher programs that fund students in religious schools that are beyond the protections of the D.C. Human Rights Act?
I will not support federal and local funding of voucher programs for students in religious schools that are beyond the protections of the Human Rights Act and before any dollars are allocated I will ensure that all their practices satisfy the DC Human Rights Act.
16. Will you oppose the use of either federal or District taxpayer funds to promote “abstinence only until marriage” sex education that undermines safer-sex programs by discouraging the use of condoms and that effectively tells gay and lesbian students that they must remain celibate forever because they may not legally marry?
I support funding any measure to successfully promote safer sex programs from abstinence to the use of condoms. In some instances, both measures have worked. I am strongly in favor of dealing with the realities of students being sexually active and using the best methods to address this fact.
CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES
17. Do you support the right of adults in the District to choose adult-oriented entertainment for themselves, and the right of appropriately licensed and zoned businesses to provide it?
I do support the rights of adult to choose adult-oriented entertainment and the right to appropriately license and zone the businesses to provide it. If the businesses are properly zoned and the community at-large is in favor of the zoning, I have no problem. In the recent club relocation legislation that impacted one particular Ward, I am inclined to support the view of that Ward representative and in turn, I expect the same deference.
18. Will you support legislation to curb abuses by NIMBYs who are now allowed to file an endless series of baseless complaints to harass or extort bars and restaurants?
As long as bars and restaurants abide by the codes and laws of the District of Columbia, I will support their existence and address any instances of harassment.
19. What are your thoughts regarding GLAA’s proposal, as explained in Agenda: 2008, to mitigate the problems associated with prostitution by legalizing, regulating, zoning and taxing it?
I am open to listening to the discussion around the issue of legalizing prostitution, but as this practice has been illegal in DC, it will be a vast challenge to regulate it.
Please provide the URL for your campaign website, if you have one. We will include it on our candidate links page.
My campaign website is www.yvettealexanderforward7.org
Your record is part of your rating. Please list any actions that you have taken that may help illustrate your record on behalf of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders.
My record includes many actions taken on behalf of the GLBT community. I supported the Wanda Alston House in Ward 7, the first group home for GLBTQ young people.
- Member of Gertrude Stein Democratic Club
- Co-Sponsor of Domestic Partnership Legislation
- Co-Sponsor of Anti-Hate Crime Legislation
- Advocate and supporter of Us Helping Us
- Promoted health insurance benefits for domestic partners in DC Government through CareFirst BCBS, while employed at DISB
- Attend and participate in annual Gay Pride Parade.
- Supported funding for the Ward 7 HIV/AIDS initiative, The Effie Barry AIDS Initiative for $1.2 million in FY09
- Supported continued funding for the Mayor’s Office on GLBT Affairs