Lisa McDonald's Stonewall DFL Questionaire
Lisa is running in Ward 13 (Southwest Minneapolis). The Stonewall Board of Directors overruled a membership vote to find Lisa "acceptable" because she had raised money for Tim Penny for Governor. This had nothing to do with Lisa's positions or history on GLBT issues.
I was at the Stonewall Board meeting, and I heard the deliberations. Megan Thomas was the person who pushed to strip Lisa of the previously given "acceptable rating".
When Lisa ran for Mayor in 2001, I supported her candidacy. She was a moderate candidate who was interested in fiscal accountability. Lisa has an excellent record on GLBT Issues, and it's unfortunate that Stonewall DFL did not rate her acceptable. She is running as a Democrat.
McDonald 2005 Committee
3109 West 50th Street, #212
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Candidate e-mail address:
1)What experience do you have with GLBT issues and the GLBT community?
As an eight-year member of the Minneapolis City Council representing the citizens of Ward 10, I had ample opportunity to work on and vote on GLBT issues that came before the Council and affected the city. The Tenth Ward has a large GLBT population and I believe the GLBT community has been a very positive influence on city livability, tolerance and diversity. Many of our neighborhoods have been turned around by GLBT homeowners.
2)How do you think GLBT people in committed relationships should be granted equal legal protection as heterosexual couples? Why do you prefer that method to others?
Yes, I support either a civil union or marriage for GLBT people in committed relationships. This status is important because of the legal protections offered when there is shared real estate, financial holdings, and, most importantly, when there are children. I think it is ironic that some people pontificate about marriage being for straight people only, considering our divorce rate is over 50 percent.
3)What are your priorities for the office you are running for?
- Public safety. Restoring our police and fire departments to full force.
- Moderate budgets. Making sure our citizens’ tax dollars are spent wisely.
- Basic services. Delivering good quality services to our residents, including trash pickup, street maintenance and snowplowing.
- Responsive customer service. Giving good constituent service and making city government responsive.
- Green city. Protecting our environment, creating more greenspace and restoring our urban forest, and making all city agencies buy and act green.
4)Are there any GLBT issues that you have questions about or need assistance with?
As an elected official I have had and will continue to have an open door policy for any members of the GLBT community. I fully expect that if questions arise about particular issues I will be able to call members of the community to give me more information and background if I need it.
5)If endorsed by Stonewall DFL will you actively list that endorsement in campaign materials? If not, why?
Yes, I will put that endorsement in my campaign materials.
6)Do you plan on abiding by the DFL endorsement if there is one for your race?
I will be running in the 13th Ward regardless of the endorsement results.
7)Would you be willing to work with other elected officials in surrounding communities to establish a metro-wide or multi-city domestic partnership registry?
Yes definitely. I think as a moderate Democrat I would be able to work well with folks from the suburban area to make that happen.
8)Are you in favor of providing domestic partner health care benefits for city employees similar to what has occurred in the private sector in most of the Fortune 500 companies? If your city does not currently offer such benefits, would you introduce/support legislation to bring about such benefits?
Yes I would and I did support those efforts as a Council Member from 1993-2001.
9)How do you propose to address the current drug crisis (PNP or so-called “party and play” drugs) in the GLBT community?
First, we must increase funding on a national, state or county level for continued, constant and aggressive health education of the risks of non-safe sex which generally occurs more often with "party drugs." Recently in New York, a new and particularly virulent strain of AIDS has been identified. Health officials believe that the person with this particular strain has engaged in "party and play" drugs and has infected hundreds of other partners.
Second, efforts must be increased by law enforcement personnel to crack down on the availability of meth and to shut down meth labs.
10)What would you do in your office, if elected, to bring attention back to those people living with HIV or AIDS?
I have in the past and will continue to support the funding the City provides to deal with AIDS. I would also lobby at the county and state levels for greater funding for programs for people with HIV or AIDS. The City should increase its efforts to assist homeless people (in the area of housing) many of whom are living with HIV and AIDS.
11)What would you do to improve community relations and encourage diversity in the Police and Fire Departments with respect to better understanding of the GLBT community?
First I would continue to encourage diversity in hiring. The Minneapolis Fire Department has done a good job of hiring GLBT firefighters, but we still have a long ways to go in the police department. Diversity training should be the norm for both departments but more importantly the message from the chief of police needs to be that the department respects GLBT employees AND GLBT citizens. The new chief has been good on issues in communities of color but I have yet to see that emphasis in the GLBT community.
12)What would you do to combat hate crimes against members of the GLBT community?
First hate crimes need to be taken seriously when they are reported to the police. The department needs to treat them the same as arson or robbery or homicide by taking a full report and forwarding it to both the city attorney and the investigation unit of the police department. Then the council and the mayor need to emphasize to the City Attorney’s office that prosecuting these crimes is a priority for the city.
13)How would you reach out to members of the GLBT business community to encourage their participation in city planning and economic development?
As a council member in Ward 10, I made a point of encouraging all small business owners in the community to participate in planning sessions for development not only at their intersections but also for larger ward issues like the Urban Village, the repaving of Hennepin Avenue, the Uptown Transit Hub, and the parking lots at Lyn-Lake. At the start of my tenure, I walked each business hub with a member of the local business association, meeting the business owners. As new owners moved in, I made a point of visiting their business and encouraging them to stay involved with the local neighborhood and local business association. Plus as new business owners approached the ward office to open a business, we tried to help them get through the city process so they had a favorable opinion of participating in the city process. Plus I visited my businesses at least once a year since it was far easier for me to go to them, than for them to come to city hall. I intend to do the same when I’m elected in the 13th Ward.