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LGBT Candidate Questionnaire 2017 Election

Candidate name: Rick Callahan Council district: 5

Since my election in 2013, I have voted in favor of all LGBTQ issues that have come
before the Dallas City Council with the exception of the same-sex marriage resolution. I
did not object to the application of legal recognition of same-sex partnerships and
affording all of the rights and benefits of marriage to those unions, but only to the use of
the word marriage. I proposed instead that the language be civil unions.

Dallas currently has a Municipal Equality Index score of 100. I have supported most of
the recommendations of the LGBT Task Force chaired by Councilman Adam Medrano.

When making appointments to boards and commissions, I look for good, qualified
people with diverse backgrounds who will bring their talents and passions to work for
the city.

I wholeheartedly support a statewide ban on LGBT employment discrimination.

In my opinion, the City should offer the same policies and benefits for LGBT employees as
it does for all other employees.

Do you support comprehensive transgender inclusive health benefits and as a Council Member work the the City
Manager to implement such benefits?

If an insurance plan that includes these benefits could be substituted at no additional

cost to the city I would not oppose it.
I would not support efforts at the state level to change the scope of governance in
home rule cities.

This policy was re-examined a couple of years ago and the Council voted to limit
campaign expenditures from office holder accounts to a maximum of $100. I support
that change.

I believe that the state has far bigger issues and problems to worry about than a
bathroom bill. I will neither defend nor oppose the citys existing ordinance on this issue.

There are no easy solutions to the homelessness issue in Dallas, for members of the
LGBTQ community, or anyone else. There are really 2 types of homeless: those who are
temporarily homeless and those who are chronically homeless. I dont know that there
are any real solutions to chronic homelessness; studies have found that those who fall
into this category have consistently refused to take advantage of available services.
As far as the temporarily homeless, efforts to provide housing, counseling, job
placement services, etc. should continue. The Housing First initiative, (which includes
wrap-around services) represents an exorbitant cost to the city. As with every issue,
funding is the problem. Where do we find money to expand social services when our
streets are in serious disrepair? When we are losing police officers at a concerning rate
to the suburbs because we cant compete in terms of salary? When code enforcement
and animal control are so understaffed that they cant respond to all the calls they
get? The city doesnt have any money-the money used for all of these services comes
from us, the taxpayers. How much more are we willing to pay in property and sales
taxes to support all of the needs?
Keeping in mind the budget limitations, I think some regulated homeless camps with
basic shelter and sanitation services might be a good stop-gap measure to address the
problem. We still need a coordinated homeless commission with county, schools, and
city to address this serious issue.
I was a key player in implementing the current City of Dallas living wage rule. It is
now a rule that all companies who are awarded contracts must pay their employees
a minimum of $10.37 per hour (the MIT living wage index for Dallas). All city
employees make a minimum of $10.75 per hour. We need to attract businesses with
higher paying jobs and to provide the education and training for people to get those
jobs. DISD is on a good path in terms of addressing that need.
Regarding subsidies and abatements: I supporter the City of Dallas being an active
participant of pursuing and deploying HUD and CDBG funds (housing, MAP
(mortgage assistance plan, etc.) and a member of the United Ways Financial
Inclusion Roundtable, which works with non-profits, FDIC, and Federal Reserve bank
of Dallas-to fight payday and title loans, promote earned income tax credit, VIDA
(voluntary income tax assistance) program, etc.

Local law enforcement should only be used to deal with the criminal element-not for
raids. Its very important that we build trust with the immigrant community to assist
law enforcement and to provide a safe and secure environment for all citizens.


I support the concept of a Welcoming City. The Council is currently considering

several resolutions to that effect.

The $15 million bailout is part of a 3-legged stool approach to address the issues of
the ATTPAC. Contingent on the citys contribution, the banks are willing to forgive in
the range of $20-$25 million in debt, and the philanthropic community has agreed to
raise a similar amount. Under these circumstances, I would not consider revising this
bailout, and hope that once this issue is resolved we can focus more attention on
small to mid-size arts groups.

Rick Callahan