Metro Weekly

Nadeau, Allen, and Silverman Receive Top Ratings from GLAA

Most candidates received positive ratings, although several candidates did not respond to the LGBTQ political group's questionnaire.

GLAA, Brianne Nadeau, Charles Allen, Elissa Silverman
From left to right: D.C. Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau, Charles Allen, and Elissa Silverman – Photos: Council of the District of Columbia.

Three progressive-leaning D.C. Councilmembers seeking re-election earned top scores on GLAA’s general election questionnaire, which surveys candidates about their stances on various issues prioritized by the LGBTQ political group.

Issued every two years, the questionnaire grades mayoral, Council, and attorney general candidates — in both the primary and the general elections — on the depth and thoroughness of their answers, in addition to holding GLAA’s preferred positions on various issues. Candidates are rated on a scale of -10 to +10, with points awarded for answers that align with GLAA’s positions, as well as their record on LGBTQ rights. Points may be docked for any anti-LGBTQ advocacy or actions deemed hostile to the community.

To assist candidates in completing the survey, GLAA mails candidates a brief outlining why it supports particular positions along with the questionnaire, and how those positions are beneficial to the LGBTQ community.

Among the issues emphasized in GLAA’s 2022 brief are: deeply affordable housing for people earning less than 30% of the Area Median Income, strengthening inclusionary zoning, expanded access to housing voucher programs, decriminalizing sex work, repealing the subminimum wage for tipped workers, funding the Office of Human Rights in a way that ensures it can resolve its case backlog, establishing overdose prevention facilities, utilizing oversight to reform the way D.C. jails operate — especially with regard to transgender inmates — and divesting from the Metropolitan Police Department to fund anti-poverty and anti-violence programs.

All candidates who returned questionnaires were graded on their responses. But a number of candidates seeking office received a “zero” rating, in most cases because they declined to answer the questionnaire. 

Incumbent Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (D) earned the highest rating of any candidate, with a +9.5. She was followed by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D), who is running unopposed, earned a +8.5 rating, followed by At-Large incumbent Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I) with a rating of +7.

In the Mayor’s race, Democratic incumbent Mayor Muriel Bowser earned a rating of +6, while independent candidate Rhonda Hamilton — who will not appear on the ballot, per the DC Board of Elections — earned a rating of +4. “Zero” scores were given to independent Rodney “Red” Grant, Republican Stacia Hall, or Libertarian Dennis Sobin, all of whom will appear on the ballot against Bowser. GLAA noted that Sobin submitted a brief letter outlining his plans for office, but earned a zero rating for failing to submit responses to the questionnaire.

In the Council Chairman race, incumbent Democrat Phil Mendelson earned a +6. Scores of zero were given to Republican Nate Derenge or Statehood Green Party candidate Rev. Darryl L.C. Moch.

In the At-Large race, trailing Silverman, were Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and Democratic At-Large incumbent Anita Bonds, who earned ratings of +6.5 and +6, respectively. Statehood Green Party nominee David Schwartzman earned a +6 rating, independent challenger Graham McLaughlin received a rating of +5, and independent candidate Karim Marshall received a +4 rating. Independent candidate Fred Hill and Republican Giuseppe Niosi received “zero” ratings.

In the Ward 1 race, Statehood Green Party candidate Chris Otten, who will appear on the ballot, did not earn any rating. In the Ward 3 race, Democratic nominee Matt Frumin earned a rating of +4, while opponents David Krucoff, a Republican, and Adrian Salsgiver, a Libertarian, received “zero” ratings.

In the Ward 5 race, Democrat Zachary Parker, the only out LGBTQ candidate appearing on the general election ballot, earned a rating of +6.5. Republican challenger Clarence Lee, Jr. received a zero rating. In the Attorney General’s race, Democrat Brian Schwalb, running unopposed, received a rating of +5.5.

While GLAA’s ratings do not constitute endorsements, they do illuminate where candidates stand on issues that activists are likely to bring before the Council in the coming years, and can be influential — especially, in more recent cycles, for voters who embrace more left-leaning public policy positions.

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