As president of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, the District’s leading gay and lesbian political organization, I have to say that Jonetta Rose Barras’ opinions on the gay political community run contrary to my experience. She claims that “capturing a part of Ward 4 [as a part of redistricting] could spell disaster for Graham” (Loose Lips, “Watching Out for Numero Uno,” 3/23) as Ward 4 is not likely to elect a gay person to represent it.
In fact, Ward 4 has been a source of great support for the Stein Democrats and the gay community. Our members were eagerly solicited by both candidates in the recent council race, and leading Ward 4 activists have served as officers of our organization. Ward 4 has a tradition of tolerance that goes back at least to Neighbors Inc. in the ’50s and continues to this day. While seemingly no one but Ms. Barras thinks the demographic shifts will allow Ward 1 to slice into Ward 4, if it did I know Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham would find the same high level of acceptance he has found throughout this city.
On that issue, let me clue Ms. Barras in on another fact: Graham does not need to worry about redistricting to get re-elected. Graham is one of the stars of our council. Whatever boundaries Ward 1 ends up with, he will be re-elected by a better than 2-to-1 margin. She can bet her reporter’s notebook on that.
Gertrude Stein Democratic Club