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For use by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas 2014 Judicial Candidate Questionnaire: (Note: Judicial candidates are asked to ONLY

answer the Judicial Candidate questionnaire, and NOT the County or State Level questionnaire!)

1. Why are you seeking the endorsement from Stonewall Democrats of Dallas? Your endorsement is very important to me for many reasons. The first and most important reason is to know that I have your support. I know and have known your members for years. I have great respect for your organization. Your opinion is important to me. If I fail to get your support, I will need to know why and what I need to do, if anything, to regain your support. Secondly, I have been around long enough in this community to know how powerful your group has become. Any candidate that wants to win an election needs your help. 2. What are your plans to participate in a coordinated campaign in the general election? Regardless of whether I win or lose in the primary, my plan is to spend my time turning Texas blue. I want Wendy Davis to be our next governor. And, I will work for that to happen. 3. Will you use the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas endorsement in or on: a) b) c) d) your website -Yes your campaign literature and mailers - Yes your social media assets (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) - Yes your campaign advertisements Yes

4. When elected, how will you recruit, retain, and create a friendly environment for LGBT and LGBTfriendly staff? I have been the judge of this court since 2007. You will find that I have made it a point to have a friendly environment in the 204th. I try to make the working lives of the prosecutors, probation officers, clerks and bailiffs as stress free as possible. The stress should only come from the seriousness of the cases that we deal with on a daily basis. Whenever issues come up regarding discrimination or negative views of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, I deal with those immediately and professionally. I do not, nor should any judge, tolerate prejudice of any kind. 5. Would you be willing to appoint a liaison to meet with the LGBT community on an ongoing basis? If not, why? Of course. 6. Understanding that administrative matters can take up a significant percentage of your work day, what are some ideas for policies or procedures that you think you can improve court operations for the court which you are seeking office? What are the most important policies or procedures you've identified as needing improvement?

Since becoming judge of the 204th in January, 2006 I have worked to improve every aspect of the criminal justice system. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that a lot of work needed to be doneand still need to be done. The following are the specific areas in which I have worked to improve: 1. The appointment of qualified court appointed-attorneys. We made history in Dallas County when we actually developed a wheel to use in the appointment of attorneys, as required by law. Prior to 2006, there was no formal wheel and thus no accountability on the part of the judges making the appointments. Judge Rick Magnis, with my help, was able to convince the judges that we needed to change the system. It was no easy task. Another goal that I have is for all of the judges to stop appointing lawyers that do not effectively represent their clients. Weve got a few lawyers that hardly ever go to trial making close to $200,000 per year on court appointments. Many judges use these attorneys instead of using the wheel, in order to satisfy the Commissioners demands that they lower the jail population. However, I do not appoint these attorneys. My goal is to see that justice is done. 2. Reasonable pay for court-appointed attorneys. We need good lawyers that want to represent the indigent. Seventy percent of the defendants in Dallas County qualify for indigent representation. If you only get poor quality lawyers, then the quality of justice will suffer. 3. I am the only District Judge that is working on a project to develop a new case-management software system. I think it important to make sure the software developers understand the role of the judges in order for them to tailor the program to our needs. It is very time-consuming, but it very much necessary. 4. Judges must work on reducing the crime rate. Studies have shown that this is possible through hard work. All judges need to improve how each case is handled to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. I have developed my own procedures that have been in use for a few years. 5. I have also worked on projects involving probation, specialty courts, bail bonds, interpreters, document upgrades as well as many other things. I, __Lena Levario_____________________________, am seeking an endorsement from the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.


12/30/13 Date__________________________