3 candidates for Dallas City Council returned questionnaires distributed by Dallas Voice. Here’s what they had to say
Dallas Voice recently sent questionnaires to candidates for Dallas City Council. Only three candidates — District 2 incumbent Adam Medrano, District 6 incumbent Monica Alonzo and District 6 challenger Linus Spiller — returned completed questionnaires to us. Their responses are printed unedited below, in the order in which they appear on the ballot.
• Office for which you are running: Dallas City Council District 2
• Qualifications for office (education, experience, etc.): I know my community well. I have served it faithfully since well before my days on the DISD Board and the Dallas City Council.
• Why are you running for this office (no more than 4 sentences, please): I am the only candidate in this race with a proven record of building coalitions and working with other elected officials. I am also the only candidate who has truly been involved in the community in District 2, where I was born and raised.
• Most important issue in your district (no more than 4 sentences, please): Our quality of life is key. We need to make sure we are meeting the needs of our growing community. This means ensuring services are delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner, improving and boosting our public safety, fixing our streets, and supporting our neighborhood schools.
• Why should LGBT people vote for you (no more than 4 sentences, please): I am proud to chair the City of Dallas LGBT Taskforce. Through this work, I am committed to making sure our community is welcoming and safe for all Dallas residents, especially our LGBTQ residents. Here is some of my prior work as the Task Force Chair:
*The City hired a diversity officer in May 2014.
*Modified Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Revised the City’s Family Medical Leave Ordinance in May 2014 (Modified the definition of FMLA to include “designated care recipient”); Revisions to the Administrative Directive 3-72 (Revisions to reflect the inclusion of care of a “Designated Care Recipient” to the list of eligible reasons to utilize FML, allows LGBT members who have partners, with whom they reside, to care for their partner – “designed care recipient” — if that individual has a serious health condition and meets all the requirements of the Act).
*Transgender Health Benefits: Humans Resources Updated the Summary Plan Description (SPD) to Pay for Transgender Services (Psychotherapy for gender identity issues, Added Hormone Replacement of the desired gender, Laboratory testing to monitor the safety of the continuous hormone therapy).
*Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipal Equality Index (MEI) Score: The HRC municipal index rates municipalities of varying sizes drawn from every state in the nation. In 2013, on a 100-point scale, the City of Dallas scored 81 points. On the most index, the City of Dallas maxed out at 100 points. This is great evidence of our progress.
*Proposition 4 — Charter Amendment — Nondiscrimination protections for LGBT city employees: The City of Dallas voters supported adding both “sexual orientation” and gender identity and expression” to the City Charter amendment prohibiting discrimination against City employees based on Gender identity and sexual orientation.
*Civil and Police and Fire employees’ Pension Benefits were expanded to cover same sex partners.
• Office for which you are running: Dallas City Council, District 6
• Qualifications for office (education, experience, etc.): I am the incumbent candidate in this 2017 race for Dallas City Council, District 6; I am running for re-election for a 4th term. In the previous 3 elections, the voting constituency in City Council District 6 overwhelmingly publicly recognized my qualifications and my zeal in wishing to offer them someone who would focus on them and with them in addressing City of Dallas issues, our home.
• Why are you running for this office (no more than 4 sentences, please): I seek Re-Election in Council District 6 in order to continue and complete the tasks and goals which have been identified by the constituents of the district. I hope I have shown my ability to listen, reflect and act to make better the quality of life for all District 6 constituents. My experience has taught me the importance of passion, leadership and collaboration in our City. These qualities I will maintain in order to bring each of the constituents of District 6 to a better place for themselves and their families.
• Most important issue in your district (no more than 4 sentences, please): Unfortunately, the most important issue in the district I represent is the abuse of Senior Citizens and their disenfranchisement and right to vote because of the Early Voting by Mail Ballot FRAUD. That is why it is important to continue to support our men and women in uniform, our First Responders, that provide us with Safety and Security. There are critical issues that need to continue to be addressed, especially those concerning Housing, Economic Development and Improvements to Aging Infrastructure.
• Why should LGBT people vote for you?: I am, and have always been, a very strong ally of the LGBTQ community, alongside the rest of my family. Now, more than ever in today’s political climate, the LGBTQ community needs the support and affirmation of allies such as myself to assure that together, we keep moving progressively and positively forward. Our Latino and LGBTQ communities share the same interests, issues, and concerns which affect each of our lives; we have more similarities than we do differences. We come from diverse communities that are united and that work together for improvement of Quality of Life in our city, state, and nation; I shall continue to address the interests, issues and concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens as fairly and openly as I already do.
• Office for which you are running: Dallas City Council, District 6
• Qualifications for office (education, experience, etc.): B.A. Candidate, UT-Arlington, Communications (expected Dec. 2017). Work experience includes: banking/financial services, loan operations, non-profit services, federal and private student loan operations, project management, and educational programming.
• Why are you running for this office (no more than 4 sentences, please): I am a 20-year resident of District 6 with 20+ years of civic/community experience, including city council board/commission appointments. I am the ONLY candidate in this race with successful experience managing public tax dollars, which will prove useful in finding a solution for the beleaguered Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund, the HUD situation, and for other red flag instances regarding misuse of tax dollars, like the ATTPAC bailout. This wealth of experience makes me uniquely qualified to provide leadership to District 6 and the City of Dallas.
• Most important issue in your district (no more than 4 sentences, please): Because our district was gerrymandered rather “creatively”, there are 4 different constituencies contained in District 6 (Midway Hollow, Bachman Lake, West Dallas, Arcadia Park), all with different pressing concerns. With that in mind, my campaign platform focuses on the following priorities each constituency has in common: 1) infrastructure repair (i.e., roads, streets, alleys), 2) public safety (crime is persistent in all areas and we need more police officers, period), and 3) economic development, especially in the West Dallas and Arcadia Park areas of the district, with Bachman Lake needing support as well.
• Why should LGBT people vote for you (no more than 4 sentences, please): I would like to think LGBTQ persons should vote for me because I’m the most qualified of all 6 candidates running, including the incumbent. I would like to think LGBTQ persons should vote for me because of my 23+ years working as an activist for the LGBTQ community, including many groundbreaking moments for the black LGBTQ community which started emerging from the closet back in the 80s and 90s as a result of the passion myself and others had as strong, OUT gay people. However, with this election comes the realization you can be the most qualified and have labored in the LGBTQ community yet your community won’t support you because the they have an ‘idea’ in their minds of who their heroes/sheroes should be and what they should look like, regardless of their shortcomings and flaws. In the end, I let democracy do what it’s going to do and focus on those who will vote for me and hope it includes the LGBTQ community I have consistently given so much to over the past 2+ decades without asking for anything in return.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 5, 2017.