Tuesday, August 13, 2013

LEAGUE of WOMEN VOTERS QUESTIONNAIRE -Update

[This information was originally posted on March 27, 2012 when I was running in the DC Statehood Green Party April 2012 primary as candidate for At Large City Council.  Long time DCSGP activist Ann Wilcox won the primary and I subsequently ran in the November 2012 General Election as the DCSGP candidate for "Shadow" Representative to Congress.  I was gratified to receive the support of over 31,000 DC voters, almost 10,000 more than Mitt Romney received.  As of January 2, 2014, I have submitted petitions to run for the At Large City Council primary on April 1, 2014.  Your support and votes will be much appreciated.

I was very disappointed that The League of Women Voters did not allow Ann Wilcox to take part in their At Large City Council voters' forum in 2012.  They completely discounted the many hours she and others have given to worthy causes, and only were interested in dollar and cents signs of voter support.  Thus we as a Party need to get busy making contributions to the Party, holding fund raisers for Party and candidates, and setting aside money to support individual DCSGP candidates in 2014.  In 2012 DCSGP and the national Green Party had a total of 6 candidates on the ballot.  In 2014 we hope to have more.  One of the League's criteria was 20 donations of $5. Alas, some people only understand the almighty dollar; conviction, dedication, and ethics are undervalued by many.

I had not intended to post the material below at this time, but while making a correction, it somehow jumped from March 27, 2012 to this date of Aug.13, 2013, and could not be restored to its former location.  Thus I decided to make lemonade.]

1) Personal information
Occupation: *Entrepreneur and semi-retired
Education: *BA, St. Univ. of Iowa, Major—General Science, Minors—Education and Spanish
*Two summers, Mexico City College, Mexico City, Mexico
*Dept.of Agriculture Graduate School, courses in Psychology
Qualifications for the office you seek:
* Fifty three years living in DC has taught me a great deal about the many kinds of problems that affect people in our city.
*Block club President or Treasurer for several years
*Member old Thirteenth Precinct (now 3rd District) Police Advisory Council
*Nine years Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU #2) member, shop steward for secretaries and clerks, grievance committee, 2 contract negotiations
*Four years member Mayor's Commission on Food, Nutrition and Health
*Three years Administrative Assistant (bilingual Spanish/English) to At Large member Board of Education
*Four years member of Mayor's TaskForce on Street Vending (chaired the regulations rewrite committee)
*Two sons went through DC public schools; husband taught 12 years in DC public schools
*Personal experience with many aspects of dealing with the DC government on small business matters--including DCRA, OTR, DMV. #

Your response to each of the four questions below must be 300 words or less. Please send these responses to our League Voters Guide address, votersguidelwvdc@gmail.com, by February 6.

2) The ethics reform legislation passed by the DC Council at the end of 2011 did not address campaign finance despite evidence of continued and creative evasions of the $2000 per entity cap. What, if any, campaign finance reforms would you champion?
*I think there should be a cap on the total amount that candidates should be allowed to collect. The amounts should vary depending on the complexity of the office, i.e. Mayor's limit would be higher than Ward candidate. Perhaps the city could have a campaign tax checkoff like we have on the federal tax form, currently $3 each for “You” and “Spouse”. The Citizens' United decision by the Supreme Court is a disaster. Efforts are being made to have an Amendment to the Constitution clarifying that humans are people, and money is not speech. New Mexico has passed a measure doing just that. We must urge our councilmembers to follow New Mexico's good example, and I pledge to do so if I am elected. As a member of the Statehood Green Party, we do not accept corporate contributions.

3) Is the District government doing enough to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the city? If not, what would you propose? If yes, why do you think so?
*I think the DC government is doing fairly well now to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Unfortunately, the battle suffered seriously in the1980's when even after testing was available, new prisoners at Lorton were not kept apart from the resident population for at least 6 months when they could be retested. Also, so far as I know, there was no effort to keep prisoners who tested positive permanently separated from the uninfected. At the time most prisoners were housed in 80 man barracks. Eventually, many men returned home and spread the illness to their wives and girlfriends. During the same period about 85% of prostitutes were also testing positive, and little was done to minimize their spreading infection so far as I was aware. Now we must fight to keep conservatives in Congress from tampering with our needle exchange programs and our family planning rights to use/provide condoms. We must test returning prisoners and counsel families if infection is present. We must have a strong program providing medicine to infected pregnant women to minimize babies being born infected. More supportive housing is undoubtedly needed for the seriously ill. Comprehensive reproductive education is needed starting in Junior High including age appropriate STD information. Girls who mature very early might need special counseling on dealing with their sexuality. Boys need a strong emphasis on the responsibility of males in protecting the health of their partners at any age. Girls may need assertiveness training in how to demand respect for celibacy or safe sex.

4) There has been a significant reduction in DC’s investment in affordable and permanent-supportive housing during the recent budget cycles, even though the need for this housing continues to increase.What actions would you favor or sponsor to increase the supply of affordable and permanent-supportive housing for DC residents?
*Mandated set-asides for affordable and low cost housing are being ignored too often. In Ward 2, EastBanc is building only luxury condominiums in replacing the 22nd street library and police station complex. This was allowed because they are including the library in their building. Tonight at a Ward 5 event we were told that their Walmart would have 350 market rate rental apartments. No low-cost or affordable housing seemed to be in the mix. With Walmart determined to put 6 stores here in DC, we really need to hold their feet to the fire on this issue. I would be vigilant and outspoken in efforts to have these set asides met.
*The city makes it very difficult for homeowners to provide rental units. One must obtain a Basic Business License to rent out even the two rooms that are allowed by right. To get the BBL one must sign the “clean hands” certification. This states applicants don't owe the city more than $100 dollars. One couples' house was declared a vacant property although they had lived there throughout the renovation. For over a year they tried to get off the Tax Sale list which said they owed over $20,000. At the September 2010 Tax Amnesty someone tried to clear up several matters. They paid all bills owed and then were shocked to start receiving bills last spring saying they still owed thousands of dollars in taxes which OTR had said were corrected and paid for. They are still trying to get this fixed. Someone fighting a ticket above $100 and awaiting a ruling from Motor Vehicles, would also be unable to get the BBL. I would immediately introduce several measure to correct these issues and enable people, especially the elderly, to rent out space in their homes.  
*The city also makes it very difficult to evict tenants for non-payment of rent.  If you have not included a waiver of the "30-Day Nonpayment Notice to Quit" in your lease you will have to go down to Landlord and Tenant Court before noon to pick up this form and it's instruction for serving in both English and Spanish.  After you have served it properly, you wait 30 days before you go to L&T again with the person who served this paper who signs an "Affidavit of Service".  (You can also pay a service to do all this, for $50 or more.)  You will then get a "Summons to Appear in Court and Notice of Hearing - Form 1S" perhaps 10 days later.  If you and your tenant(s) both appear, the judge may issue a ruling to pay or move.  On the other hand if there is dispute he can order a trial which may be a month or more later.  Meanwhile you can request that rent payments thence forth be deposited with the court, which the judge will probably order. When you appear for trial if those payments have not been made and the tenant does not appear the judge will probably find in your favor and you can proceed with eviction.  However, if you have not been smart enough to determine the military status of your tenant(s) at the time of lease signing and executed a waiver of rights under Section 107 of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (2003), you will have to fill out a Form CA 114.  If the tenant(s) does not tell you his military status, then you have to contact 8 military and governmental entities to determine the status or non-status.  Be sure you have name, birthdate and social security number if possible.  Submission of the CA 114 leads to the step of Eviction with Marshalls which can only occur in above freezing weather with no precipitation.  The whole process can take 6 months at least.  Is it any wonder many prospective landlords decide to sell their rental homes and condos.  This leads to fancy upgrades and fewer lower income rentals.

5) Public hearings are a key to transparency in government operations. Do you pledge to hold public hearings for major legislation coming before any council committee that you chair? Further, will you work for hearings on legislation coming before committees on which you serve? Please explain any possible exceptions to your pledge.
*Holding public hearings is an essential part of the democratic process, and I pledge to hold them. I was very upset last year when one councilmember held a “round table” on an important issue without the required two week notice, in less than a week. It was conducted exactly like a hearing and was no round table. Another councilmember stuck internet gambling into a budget bill on behalf of an outside client, but got caught. I think hearings did end up being held. Perhaps if all interest parties were happy with a proposal a hearing might not be needed.

#Minor changes from information submitted to League of Women Voters

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete