Congressional District 33 candidates back ENDA, DOMA repeal at Stonewall Democrats forum

Six of the 11 Democratic candidates for the U.S. Congressional District 33 seat are shown at the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas forum Tuesday, March 27. From left, state Rep. Marc Veasey, former Dallas Councilman Steve Salazar, Dallas activist Jason Roberts, former state Rep. Domingo Garcia, Dallas attorney Chrysta Castaneda and Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Six of the 11 Democratic candidates for the new U.S. Congressional District 33 voiced support for the LGBT community at a forum Tuesday night sponsored by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

The forum attracted an attendance of about 100, with dozens of people coming and going throughout and standing in the back of the Vixin Lounge at Sue Ellen’s to hear the candidates.

The district begins in southeast Fort Worth area that includes the Rainbow Lounge and cuts through Arlington and Irving before ending in North Oak Cliff.

State Rep. Marc Veasey, former state Rep. Domingo Garciaand former Dallas Councilman Steve Salazar were the three frontrunners in attendance at the forum.

Three lesser-known candidates in the race also participated: local business owner and activist Jason Roberts, Dallas attorney Chrysta Castaneda and Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla.

All six candidates said they support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, in addition to passing an LGBT-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act and Student Non-Discrimination Act.

—  Dallasvoice

Dallas City Council votes down proposal to reinstate funding for HIV/AIDS services

I just got off the phone with District 1 Councilwoman Delia Jasso, who was kind enough to step outside and call me during the City Council’s still ongoing budget briefing. Jasso reported that the council has voted down an amendment from Angela Hunt that would have reinstated $250,000 that has been cut from the budget for HIV/AIDS services.

Jasso said the amendment was defeated by a vote of 9-6 in a straw poll, over concerns that the funding source — collection of delinquent multi-tenant inspection fees — doesn’t really exist. Jasso said the amendment was supported by herself, Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop and Steve Salazar. Jasso added that a majority of the council supports the HIV/AIDS programs themselves, just not the proposed funding mechanism for Hunt’s amendment. She said councilmembers have directed City Manager Mary Suhm to identify another, more reliable funding source. Jasso said the city has also applied for two grants, totalling $500,000, to fund HIV/AIDS education and prevention. The council is expected to finalize the 2009-10 budget Sept. 23.

“We’ll find something out next week, but it is an ongoing thing in terms of how she [Suhm] can reprogram some money,” Jasso said. “It may be that we don’t get anything until January and it goes without for a few months.”

There’s no word on how a delay in funding would affect the HIV/AIDS programs at places like AIDS Interfaith Network and Resource Center Dallas, given that a large portion of the money is used to pay staff members’ salaries.

—  John Wright