DC Voting Begins, But You Can Do More
This mid-term election is about the future of democracy and protecting individual rights.
On October 3rd every DC registered voter began receiving their ballot in the mail. We are fortunate voting in DC is both easy and safe. Not everyone in the nation has that opportunity. I urge everyone to look in your mail for your ballot and VOTE! If you are not yet registered, you can still do so by contacting the DC Board of Elections. As a gay man I feel fortunate in DC to live in a place where the rights of members of the LGBTQ+ community are protected by law, and our legislators support us. As a community we have worked hard to ensure that. But there is still more to do. As there is for every minority community.
I moved to DC in October 1978 and Marion Barry was about to be elected Mayor. He had the support of the LGBTQ community and once elected thanked the Stein Democratic Club for all their support. Back then my community had yet to achieve all we were looking for. While today we are protected by law there are many cultural issues we have to deal with. There are still those, even in our community, who are not willing to see us live our lives openly, fully, and in safety. As a community we must join together to make sure all of us are safe, because if one of us isn’t, none of us are.
So we begin that work by voting. My recommendation for voters everywhere is to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. In DC I will vote for Kenyan McDuffie (Ind.) for the council seat that must be filled by someone from another Party. I urge people across the District to vote for: Eleanor Holmes Norton for Delegate, Muriel Bowser for Mayor, Brian Schwalb for Attorney General, Phil Mendelson for Council Chair, Kenyan McDuffie and Anita Bonds for Council-at-large. Then in individual Wards; Brianne Nadeau for Ward 1 Council, Matt Frumin for Ward 3 Council, Zachery Parker for Ward 5 Council, and Charles Allen in Ward 6. These are people committed to standing up for us and have proven this over many years. If Ward 5 elects Zachery Parker once again there will be an open member of the LGBTQ community on the Council.
Again, while we are lucky in many ways, let us remember our status as a federal district is not the same as a state. Under home rule our budget and legislation are both subject to Congressional oversight. Congress gets the chance to review both. Over the years they have added amendments to bills preventing us from spending money on things from needle exchange to abortion. So, once we do our duty and vote here, we must work to ensure the election of members of Congress from every state who will be protective of our rights.
If you are able, please consider working for candidates across the nation who stand up for the LGBTQ community and other issues you may be passionate about. I will work to elect candidates who will stand up, speak out, and vote for human rights, civil rights, immigration reform, climate change, election reform, women’s rights including the right to control their own bodies, and LGTBQ+ rights including the right of transgender persons to live their own true self and do so in safety.
There are many ways to get involved. Again, first submit your own ballot, and make sure all your friends and family do the same. Then you can get more involved by contributing money or going out and working for other candidates. Knocking on doors helping them get their message out is one way. Making phone calls is another. There are candidates in Virginia who need our help and you can find them by contacting the Virginia Democratic Party. Or contact groups like the Human Rights Campaign, NARAL pro-choice America , Victory Fund, Democratic National Committee , or other groups you may be involved with, if you are willing to go farther afield to help candidates who will be supportive of the issues you care about.
This mid-term election is about the future of democracy and protecting individual rights. It is about standing up and saying we will not allow Trumpism to take over our nation. We will not let the seditionists and insurrectionists, who charged our Capitol on January 6th and those who support them, win.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade none of us should be confident that our rights won’t be next. So VOTE and then go out and work to ensure we keep Democrats in control of Congress. Our lives may truly depend on that.