front page - search - community 

Taking note . . .

Observations about public affairs in the nation's capital by the editor of The Common Denominator

'HOMOPHOBIC' CANDIDATES? District III school board candidate Sunday Abraham recently earned distinction from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington as the lowest-rated candidate on the Nov. 5 ballot. A press release issued by the alliance, which calls itself "the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization," said it gave Abraham a -6.5 rating on its plus-or-minus 10-point scale "in light of her ignorant and homophobic responses" to the group's candidate questionnaire.

The group also gave a negative rating to Benjamin Bonham, another District III school board candidate, who previously served on the D.C. Board of Education as the elected representative from Ward 6. The alliance said it gave Bonham a -2 rating "because of his major administrative leadership role in the notoriously homophobic Boy Scouts organization." Bonham did not respond to the group's questionnaire.

Incumbent Ward 5 Councilman Vincent Orange was the only other candidate on the general election ballot who received a negative rating from the group. Orange, who also did not respond to the group's questionnaire, received a -1.5 rating, which the organization said was based on his record on gay/lesbian issues.

SPAULDING RETIRES: The city's first Clean City coordinator, Vincent Spaulding, retired on Sept. 30. Spaulding, a Ward 7 resident and advisory neighborhood commissioner who was among leaders of the Draft Tony Williams for mayor movement in 1998, was appointed by the mayor in February 1999 to head a new Clean City Office to beef up efforts to enlist residents and business owners in the fight against litter, graffiti and illegal postering. "We have made real progress in cleaning up our city, and most of the credit for that goes to Vince Spaulding," the mayor said in a written statement. Rodney Newman, a senior program manager in the Clean City Office, has stepped in as interim coordinator until Spaulding's successor is appointed.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator