So a little update on the Political Q&A series on my blog. I sent out several Q&A’s since my last update.
We are willing to interview progressive candidates across the Commonwealth who 1) support fully LGBTQIA+ equality 2) are pro-choice, and 3) acknowledge that Joe Biden did win the Presidential Election in 2020. Candidates in Philly or the Poconos or the Wilds or anywhere can participate. I reach out to everyone I can find. Often my email gets sent to spam because of the word ‘lesbian’ – so I urge you to contact your candidates and share this post so they can participate, too.
To be fair, some candidates may not want to be associated with my blog due to some recent posts I’ve made.
And every season, I am inundated with rationalizations and detailed explanations of why someone couldn’t respond in time. Rarely do they acknowledge that they’ve wasted my time and failed to fulfill a commitment to the LGBTQ community. Responding to Q&As comes with campaigning. Saying “yes” and then not following through is different than saying “not at this time” – no one has ever said “not at the time”, just yes or silence. I’d respect someone more who declines due to time constraints rather than someone who lets it linger for weeks or months even.
I’m not at all surprised by how many people say nothing. They don’t want to address LGBTQ issues in writing for whatever reason. That’s a subtle, perhaps implicit, form of homophobia or anti-LGBTQ bias. At best, it says “I don’t need LGBTQ votes to win.” Unfortunately, it seems counterintuitive for any Democrat and progressive to not seize any opportunity to turn out votes for the midterm primaries.
I’m disappointed and even a little shocked by the silence of the campaigns of Josh Shapiro (Governor) and Sara Innamorato (State House.) In case you are thinking that Austin Davis agreeing to complete a Q&A is on behalf of Josh Shapiro by proxy, you are incorrect. As for the out LGBTQ candidates not responding, I have no words.
We’ve published these so far (7 candidates)
- Q&A With NaTisha Washington, Candidate for PA House District 24
- Q&A With Jerry Dickinson, Candidate for U.S. Congress PA-12
- Q&A with Emily Kinkead, Candidate for PA House District 20
- Q&A with John Fetterman, Candidate for US Senate
- Q&A with La’Tasha Mayes, Candidate for PA House District 24
- Q&A with Jessica Benham, Candidate for PA House District 36
- Q&A with Deja Alvarez, Candidate for State House District 182
We have sent Q&A’s to these folks who have agreed to participate. Waiting for them to be returned. (13 candidates)
- Summer Lee
- Malcolm Kenyatta
- Conor Lamb
- Sean Meloy
- Aerion Andrews
- Abigail Salisbury
- Alexandra Hunt
- Zarah Livingston
- Austin Davis
- Lindsey Williams
- Mandy Steele
- Brian Sims
- Robert Vigue
- Arvind Venkat as of 4/28/22
I’ve reached out to these folx with no response (14 candidates)
- Josh Shapiro
Austin DavisQ&A sent as above Brian SimsQ&A sent as above Lindsey WilliamsQ&A sent as above
- Sara Innamorato
- Steve Irwin
- Will Parker
- Jeff Woodard
- Chris Deluzio
- Glen Grayson
- Nick Mastros
- Martell Covington
- Randall Taylor
- Brandon Markosek
Arvind VenkatQ&A sent as of 4/28/22 Mandy SteeleQ&A sent as above
- Tristan McClelland
- Stephanie Fox
To be fair, the word lesbian in the email address or body of the email message often triggers spam filters. Some of them may not even know they were invited. That’s why I post updates often – to reach the campaign volunteers. I hope you will carry this to the people who can make it happen. LGBTQIA+ folx and neighbors deserve for it to happen.
None of these people should overlook this request. The Steel City Stonewall Democrats and the Liberty City Stonewall Democrats endorse LGBTQ competent candidates as does The Gertrude Stein Political Club of Pittsburgh. The Philly Gay News covers campaigns from a LGBTQ perspective. And there are plenty of progressive resources that are queer adjacent.
But what about Pittsburgh and Southwestern PA? There’s no queer media. The City Paper doesn’t endorse or do extensive vetting of every candidate. The Post-Gazette endorsed Donald Trump. The ACDC is beyond comprehensible. Endorsements are not the same as questions. Both are necessary.
Democrats and Independents and Green Party candidates should not take LGBTQ voters for granted. If you want to turn us out for your race or other races, you need to invest your campaign resources in answering a few questions.
It isn’t too late. Campaigns can reach out to me pghlesbian @ gmail. You can reach out to them. And we can hold each other accountable.
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