Check out where the Ward 7 D.C. Council candidates stand on the issues affecting justice and freedom in the District. All candidates running for D.C. Council seats were asked to fill out this questionnaire. 

Note: The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. We do not support or oppose candidates for elected office. 

D.C. is considered the protest capital of the United States of America. Would you protect the First Amendment rights of protestors who live and visit the District?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. The right to peacefully protest is one of the pillars of our democracy.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Protecting the First Amendment Rights of protesters in D.C. is crucial, despite challenges. Our approach recognizes the complexity of ensuring public safety without compromising the rights to peaceful protest. The events of January 6, 2021, underscore the need for balanced measures that protect both residents and the democratic process. Ensuring local public safety is paramount, with a focus on using resources efficiently to benefit Ward 7 and the wider D.C. community.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. Protesting is a form of freedom of speech which is explicitly protected by the United States Constitution. It is important for all views to be heard in a free society to prevent silencing or oppression of dissenting opinions.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. Civil demonstrations that express a position on an issue in a manner that does not harm non participants and stays within the boundaries of the law are a part of DC's heritage. Furthermore, DC residents has served as the anchor to all protest. I support protest and see civil disobedience is a part of American Democracy. American citizen must resist when tyranny appears.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. However, protesters and the public should be safe, as well as law enforcement. There should never be another January 6th incident or any other type that promotes violence. If a group promotes violence or causes harm to persons or property, they should be banned from sponsoring future First Amendment activities. The safety of residents, law enforcement and all others gathered is paramount.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. The right to peacefully assemble and petition the government are a hallmark of our democracy, enshrined in the Constitution. I am committed to protecting the First Amendment rights for DC residents and visitors. As a DC native, I was taught from an early age that I lived in both our city and the Capital of the United States and have been a part of peaceful assemblies in the past. And as a Black woman, I have a personal connection to the freedom of people to protest. Throughout history, Black Americans and women have often relied on petitioning the government for needed and meaningful change.

Do you support changing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) policy prohibiting advertising “intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying public opinions.”?

Ebbon Allen: No. It is important that riders are not discouraged from using public transportation in DC. Many of today's issues are sensitive and can evoke deep reactions in individuals. I think the priority should be ensuring all riders feel safe no matter their perspectives or beliefs.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. I support open dialogue and believe advertising can play a role in fostering community discourse, provided it aligns with legal standards and promotes a healthy exchange of ideas.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. I also believe that advertising should not be reserved for those that can afford expensive ads. All viewpoints should be allowed on metro, including those not sponsored by big advertising dollars.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. WMATA has a primary purpose of efficiently and effectively moving people through the system. I am concerned when the advertising of positions hampers the ability of local riders and visitors to effectively navigate the rail and buses as when advertising supplants maps.WMATA needs not to covertly hamper democratic protest when it uses its assets earn revenue from advertising which influences the sell and purchase of products and services.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. As long as such advertising is not vulgar, racist or incites violence, it’s should be allowed. Members of the public are free-thinking and can discern for themselves from the information provided.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. I agree with the spirit of the policy, especially in this age of misinformation, that we must all work together to protect the public from discriminatory or otherwise hateful speech. However, the implementation of this policy has left me unsatisfied with the results. As a council member, I would address the issues behind the policy in a way that limits unintended consequences.

If a bill you opposed were to be passed by the D.C. Council, would you advocate for Congress to overturn it?

Ebbon Allen: No. The DC Council works hard to represent the interests of their constituents. Advocating for Congress to overturn those decisions could cause constituents to lose trust in the elected officials they put in office. Trust and transparency are vital in any healthy democracy.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. If a bill were passed by DC Council that diminishes the quality of life experienced by residents or poses an undue burden or threat I would advocate for Congress to overturn it. Ward 7 residents are my priority, I work for this community and have a responsibility to consider their needs foremost.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: No. I am a firm believer in DC Statehood and autonomy to make its own laws without Congressional interference. I served as the DC Shadow Representative to Congress from 2013 to 2015. In that role, I advocated for DC Statehood on the Hill. The lack of autonomy the District is facing is largely a result of historical racism that led Congress to deny voting rights to a primarily black area of the country.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: No. The District of Columbia does not have the same autonomy of Congressional preemption granted to the states by the Constitution. To lobby Congress against legislation passed by the Council before the Mayor has signed it is premature. The steps of Legislative action under DC Home Rule are to be respected. Written communication with the Mayor and Attorney General regarding Legislative action by Council is an acceptable option that respects the elected office holders chosen by the residents of the District of Columbia.

Ebony Payne: No. Without statehood, DC is vulnerable to interference from Congressmembers who are not elected to represent us. It is important for DC to be able to govern ourselves and make our own laws which is what the Home Rule Act intended for. A DC Councilmember working with Congress to overturn a law passed in our legislature is a violation of the District's autonomy and disenfranchises DC residents.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: No. Absolutely, not. Congress should not have a say on District affairs under any circumstances. Additionally, I would not go against the colleagues with whom I serve.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: No. As a politically engaged DC native, the Control Board and the struggles we have had for autonomy as a city are formative to my political lens. Coordinating with Congress to undermine the elected DC Council is an affront to home rule and democracy. I believe, self-determination of District residents must come before politics.

Because of our unique status and the impacts of the Home Rule and Revitalization Acts that give the federal government control over many different parts of our criminal legal system, including the prosecutors, courts, and supervision agencies, members of the D.C. Council do not have legal or budgetary authority over those entities. Would you use your role on the Council to ensure that these entities serve our residents fairly and effectively?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. This is an especially sensitive issue for Ward 7 residents, as our community continues to seek solutions regarding public safety concerns. Though it is pivotal that residents believe they are being fairly and effectively served, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to establish stronger relationships between residents and prosecutors, courts, and supervision agencies. Because of this, I will ensure that these entities serve our residents justly by advocating for stronger oversight, transparency, communication, and collaboration.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. DC has been in a public safety crisis that unfortunately the lack of responsible oversight from the federal government. Despite the recent passing of the DC Secure ACT, the DC government must take larger accountability in the criminal legal system to further deter crime. Without legal or budgetary authority, the DC Council must intentionally collaborate to ensure the safety of residents and assess the contribution the Home Rule and Revitalization Acts have on current public safety.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. I would continue to advocate for more autonomy for DC as Councilmember. I would work to hold these entities accountable though transparency. I support efforts to make the proceedings of the criminal legal system more accessible to the public so that citizens of DC and of the remainder of the US are keenly aware of what is going on with the systems, including any an all injustices and transgressions.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: No. D.C. Council does have the pulpit of oversight and raising awareness about the boundaries between local authority and federal authority. As the history of receiverships has demonstrated, the District can successfully collaborate with federally appointed actors to improve service delivery for the benefit of District residents. It may be time to re-examine concepts such as the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, to improve the ability of the government to reduce offender recidivism, redirect into harm reduction and behavioral health those with substance abuse behavior and develop patience, impulse self-control and hope in our youth.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. Absolutely, I would advocate for returning citizens and demand that all citizens be afforded fair and due process. Additionally, I would strongly urge District agencies to provide targeted access to services for returning citizens in housing, training, employment, behavioral health and healthcare services to ensure successful reentry, reduce recidivism and welcome them back to our community.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. The lack of local control over vital parts of our legal system is a major public safety concern for me. Being a Ward 7 resident, where we both have a disproportionate share of poverty, crime and returning citizens, the challenges of our system are laid bare. Whether it is opaque decision-making around charging criminal activity from the USAO, or the lack of a locally controlled parole board, the reality is we lack local oversight over important parts of our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact Ward 7 residents. A key part of my role would be making sure these entities served residents in a fair and effective way.

What is your definition of safety?

Ebbon Allen: My definition of safety entails the ability to leave your home, enjoy recreation, travel to work and attend school without fear of harm. Another aspect of safety includes faith and trust in local law enforcement entities and public officials.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Safety means living in a community where residents feel secure and supported, where public spaces are welcoming, and where children can grow in a nurturing environment. Being able to comfortably enjoy your community, the amenities, and your neighbors is safety. Knowing that when you leave your home and children they are protected and free from harm is safety. Every Ward 7 family deserves to live, work, and explore their communities without running the risk of feeling unsafe. This will require proactive measures to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life for all Ward 7 residents.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: My definition of safety is a community in which individuals can move about without fearing they will fall victim to violent crime. This necessarily is a community that lacks inequality and provides equal opportunity for everyone. Stratified societies that leave large swaths of the population stranded in poverty while allowing others to enjoy the riches of life are ripe locations for violence to arise. A safe society is also free of police harassment and misconduct.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: I think a simple answer is protected from harm and or the threat of harm, wether mental, emotional, physical, social, financial etc.

Ebony Payne: Safety is the sense of security and peace when one is free from acts that lead to physical and psychological harm for individuals and society at large.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: The ability to feel confident in home, school, work and leisure activities, that no harm will come to self, family or property.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Safety is being free from harm.

Do you support the implementation of the 24/7 real-time crime center?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. I support the implementation of the 24/7 Real Time Crime Center because it is another tool that can help MPD keep our communities safe. Responsible surveillance is a key component of crime prevention.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Addressing crime effectively requires constant vigilance. A 24/7 crime center would provide critical support in maintaining public safety and responsiveness.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: No. It is an invasion of DC residents' privacy for policy to effectively monitor and survey the community 24 hours a day watching everyone's every move.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. My support of it is only for the sake of protecting citizens from harm not for spying or infringing on civilians privacy.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. This cross-jurisdiction collaboration is necessary to combat crime, as many of those committing crimes in the District easily cross boundaries and such a partnership will assist in identifying and preventing as well as protecting communities.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. Due to the regional nature of the District, and the many agencies working in it, the crime center can help operate across jurisdictions. I am concerned about where the data is housed, how it is used, and who has oversight. My continued support of this project will be based on how the data is stored implemented, and the oversight that the DC Council must have.

Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department and other District agencies have sole authority over law enforcement surveillance in the District. Do you think the D.C. Council should oversee this government surveillance?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. DC Council could serve as an additional arm of accountability for law enforcement. Law enforcement is a layered issue - from crime and punishment to policy implementation. The more input you have from stakeholders, the more effectively that agency can protect the community.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Addressing crime effectively requires constant vigilance. A 24/7 crime center would provide critical support in maintaining public safety and responsiveness.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. I support increased accountability for MPD in many respects including this one. I have previously supported banning MPD from hiring officers from other jurisdictions with records of misconduct. I also believe that the DC Council should oversee law enforcement surveillance to ensure that the individual rights of District residents are protected.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. 

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: No. This responsibility should remain with those who are professionally trained.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. Elected representatives are accountable to the public, and should have oversight over all government surveillance that could infringe on the privacy rights of citizens.

Do you support the recommendations of the D.C. Police Reform Commission?

Ebbon Allen: No. There are still many questions that need to be answered within the recent Crime Bill, especially around policy implementation. Yes, we need to address crime but we also need to address crime prevention. We want to ensure that we reduce crime in DC without unjustly punishing marginalized communities.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: No. While reform is necessary, we must balance accountability with robust strategies to address crime, focusing on community policing and engagement to restore trust and safety.The state of crime in DC calls for greater inclusion to combat the public safety crisis. If elected, I plan to prioritize public safety by maintaining a fully staffed police force, expanding violence intervention programs, and addressing the root cause of violence.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. De-centering the police is a necessary step in moving toward increased community safety. Police training needs reform to respect human bodily autonomy in a more serious manner.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. My support is centered on the holistic approach which relies on all aspects community/society that can be useful in reducing the elements that bred crime and not solely responding or attacking the symptoms or victims of poverty.. We need not criminalize those who experience poverty and thus the aspect of poverty which result in persons serving and not thriving.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. It protects the MPD and residents.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. My vision for Ward 7 and the city includes a collaborative relationship between the police and the community where both work together to ensure safety, trust, and mutual respect.

If elected, which recommendations would you prioritize implementing? 

Ebbon Allen: I would prioritize implementing the Mayor's Public Safety Plan.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: I would implement police accountability mechanisms to hold police accountable to the communities they serve. In addition to complying with the NEAR Act Data collection requirements. As an elected official protecting civilians from unlawful enforcement actions based on race and other protected classes is a priority of mine.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: I support a majority of the recommendations of the commission. I will likely prioritize crime prevention and harm reduction initiatives. Please read more about my plans for police reform on my website at natefordc.com.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Decriminalizing poverty and harm reduction approach to policing.

Ebony Payne: 1. Creating a well-trained response team with behavioral specialists and mental health care professionals to respond to non-violent individuals who are in the midst of a mental health crisis

2. Providing training for police officers in harm reduction and de-escalation tactics

3. Bolstering oversight of complaints and investigations within the Office of Police Complaints

4. Increase funding for the Department of Behavioral Health to be able to hire more social workers and specialists.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Adding civilians to disciplinary review and voting rights for an independent agency that reviews police conduct. It will keep everyone honest.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: If elected, I would prioritize fully implementing NEAR Act provisions focused around public access to police actions and records. Oversight is a core function of an elected official, and as councilmember. I see oversight of all DC agencies including MPD as an expectation of the Ward 7 community I represent, and an existing law.

Do you support police-free schools?

Ebbon Allen: No. Though some parents are concerned about the presence officers in schools, especially as it relates to the school-to-prison pipeline, School Resource Officers (SROs) do help maintain safety in schools. Educators and scholars want to feel safe while in a place of learning.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Fostering a safe educational environment involves more than security measures; it requires investment in mental health resources, counselors, and programs that address the root causes of conflict and distress among students. DC students deserve to feel safe at school. Unfortunately, juvenile crime has increased drastically. The presence of officers in schools as support while phasing in more social-emotional solutions that foster trust and relationships between students and staff.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. Our children are going to school to learn, not be arrested. Many altercations that happen between children inside schools do not need to be handled by law enforcement.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. I support culturally competent counselors - I support resources personnel that will aid in relationship building and protection of children and adults so learning can occur in buildings.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. There should be school resource officers, but there should not be police officers with guns in our schools.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. Being the president of the DC State Board of Education for the last four years, my position comes with nuance. I led school safety work including the creation and adoption of a resolution on this issue on the SBOE. My compromise to this issue was to push for civilian positions housed in MPD for public safety coordination to help coordinate existing MPD resources at our schools.

What non-law enforcement supports would you invest in to improve school safety? 

Ebbon Allen: There are measures that schools can implement (e.g. violence interrupters and mental health resources) that can help students resolve conflict and aid in their personal development. As councilman, I would prioritize these initiatives. I would also support the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, that seeks to build relationships with DC schools.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: School counselors and mental health advocates are critically important for the well-being of students. Students deserve to learn in a non-trauma-based environment free from over policing.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Increased mentorship programs. Year-around after school programs. Employment opportunities after school for older students.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Culturally competent counselors. Increased investment in behavioral and mental health counseling in the school curriculum. Holding school principals more accountable for a school environment that's conducive for learning. De-escalation training and a common training for civil ethical behavior. Rewarding respect for the boundaries and values of others who may think, feel or believe in views that differ from one's own. Active shooter situational awareness training above the 5th grade. Mandatory self-regulation training from kindergarten through highschool. Establishing and enforcing codes of conduct on school property and off for all enrolled students.

Ebony Payne: I would support providing additional funding for schools to be able to cover expenses for having a permanent nurse on site, school counselors, behavior specialists, and Safe Passage workers.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Mandatory parental monitoring on a rotating basis. I believe parental presence would thwart some of the behavior that takes place in schools. Parents of unruly students should be particularly required to do this.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: I have heard the concerns raised by the police reform commission and youth leaders, who advocate for no law enforcement presence in schools, and school leaders and students across Ward 7 that requested to continue to have law enforcement presence available for the safety of the students in and out of the schools. As mentioned above, I led school safety work and led on the creation and adoption of a resolution on this issue on the SBOE. My compromise to this issue was to push for civilian positions housed in MPD for public safety coordination to help coordinate existing MPD resources at our schools

Do you support ending the use of solitary confinement in the D.C. Jail?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. Solitary confinement has been proven to cause detrimental affects on inmates that last long after someone has served a sentence. Incarceration is a penal function, but it should also facilitate rehabilitation. Solitary confinement oftentimes leaves inmates in a worse condition than they were in before they entered.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Solitary confinement is an inhumane practice. People of color disproportionately represent the prison population subjected to solitary confinement.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. Solitary confinement is far from a rehabilitating habitation environment. It cases psychological trauma entrenching possibly entrenching problems an individual was struggling with prior to arrest and it creates new mental health problems for the person in confinement. Solitary confinement is counter to human dignity and any goals related to incarceration.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: No. I support ending the use of solitary confinement as punitive punishment. However, It can be useful in protecting inmates while working to transition them into safer situations and prison environment. The D.C. Jail has a number of problems. The vulnerable within the resident of the jail should be protected, when solitary may be the best option for language-challenged, transgender or mentally ill detainees, a holistic approach to incarceration is required sooner rather than later. Private sector corporate incarceration entities should have substantially superior alternatives before the District does a piecemeal approach to incarceration reform.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: No. This should be implemented when deemed safe for the imprisoned individual or those he/ she is housed with.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. Solitary confinement in the DC Jail is both a racial justice and human rights issue that should be abolished. The United Nations has deemed solitary confinement torture, and several states have largely agreed including Colorado and New Jersey who have already put restrictions on solitary confinement. But restrictions are not far enough. Solitary confinement in the DC jails is a racial justice issue; according to the DC Policy Center, the 2022 DC Jail population stood at over 92% Black. DC should join NYC in banning most uses of solitary confinement in our jail, and I support the ERASE (Eliminating Restrictive and Segregated Enclosure) Solitary Confinement Act to do so.

Do you support empowering a new independent oversight body with unrestricted access to the D.C. Jail to regularly and publicly report on the conditions and treatment of residents at D.C. Department of Corrections facilities?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. Numerous reports of lack of nutrition, physical abuse, and deplorable living conditions have come out regarding DC Department of Corrections facilities. An independent oversight body is needed that will be transparent about what is going on in these facilities, including bringing accountability to responsible stakeholders and providing justice to inmates.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Transparency and accountability are essential in ensuring the rights and well-being of those in the correctional system are protected, emphasizing the importance of oversight in promoting justice and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, DC Jail has routinely created inhumane conditions inside DC Jail that justify the need for an independent oversight body. This intervention is necessary to effectively prevent criminal justice systems from lacking in stable housing, nutrition, healthcare care, violence intervention, education, and recreational programming.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. An independent oversight body with unrestricted access would be able to get into the jail with no prior notice and see the conditions. This would greatly inform the DC Council and the public about what actually happens in the DC Jail.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. Someone of unbiased authority needs to pay attention.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. This could be modeled after the Corrections Information Council which has this function with federal Bureau of Prisons facilities. Such an entity could monitor living conditions, interview inmates and employees for safety awareness and generally keep everyone honest.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. A steady flow of articles about the conditions in the DC Jail has made one thing clear to me; What we are doing now is not working. As the chair of the Ward 7 Education Council, ANC, the president of the SBOE, and now a candidate for DC Council, I have always seen oversight as an important tool to make sure that government entities function the way they are supposed to, particularly for mostly Black DC residents. We need better oversight of the DC Jail that can ensure that our residents are kept in humane conditions as they pay their debts to society.

What types of measures would you implement to hold MPD accountable when they disregard or violate Department policies or District laws?  

Ebbon Allen: I support objective implementation of a code of conduct, which I am sure the department currently implements. As an added layer of protection, I would also support low barrier transparency on officer employment history regarding complaints of misconduct. Though human resource records contain sensitive information which should remain confidential, performance evaluation and infractions should be accessible to the public.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: DC residents deserve to live in safe communities. This should not be at the expense of allowing an abuse of power. I’d recommend implementing advisory councils and independent oversight mechanisms would enhance accountability, ensuring that policing practices align with community standards and legal requirements.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: The only way to restore trust in law enforcement with the community is to have harsh standards on accountability for officers who violate District policies or laws. These standards should include employment termination and prosecution where necessary.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Civil oversight on police behavior is necessary. There needs to be better policy level and specific review of complaints and disciplinary measures. If we create direct accountability that will provide the opportunity for place to learn from those that they serve then this will be a great step to achieving accountability. Public bi monthly meeting that are open to the public. Making body cam footage available without FOIA. There needs to be more work with analyzing civil and criminal lawsuits.

Ebony Payne: Turning a blind eye to police officers who violate MPD policies and District laws destroys trust in the entire Metropolitan Police Department. I support creating an independent commission that is required to oversee all complaints submitted the Office of Police Complaints to ensure MPD is following their own policies and investigations are completed ethically.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Reprimand and, perhaps, change in leadership.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Oversight is a core part of my legislative philosophy, and in holding MPD accountable, I see oversight as a key tool that we need to expand in the District. Currently, the DC Office of Police Complaints is a good start but is limited in its oversight of MPD. As councilmember I would push to expand the powers of the DC Office of Police Complaints to better oversee and hold police officers accountable when they violate Department policies and District laws.

Do you believe that mental health specialists, rather than police, should serve as the default first responders for mental health emergencies?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. Oftentimes, officers are expected to operate in the capacity of a mental health specialist but lack the training and experience to properly and safely de-escalate a situation. A mental health crisis should not be treated as a crime. DBH and MPD have an opportunity to work in tandem to keep our communities safe.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Prioritizing mental health interventions over police involvement can transform our approach to crisis management, emphasizing care, support, and de-escalation. When police respond to mental health emergencies, a health crisis becomes a criminal encounter. Peer-certified support specialists have greater training and experience to respond to mental health crises. This would allow police to respond more efficiently and timely to calls.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. In cases where no weapons are present and there is little to no risk to a responders' safety, a mental health emergency can be handled better by a mental health specialist because that is their area of expertise and specialty.

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: No. However, I do think they need to be in close proximity where possible. I remember my neighbors son had been off his meds for several days and it had an impact on his temperament and behaviors. His mom was afraid but he committed no crime. MPD did not take the right approach to the situation. My intention helps them send a medical unit. He went to the hospital rather than jail.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. The should accompany police or there should be a push to hire police officers who have training in mental health.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. As a supporter of the NEAR Act and its full implementation, I agree that mental health emergencies are best served by mental health professionals, for both the safety of the person in crisis and the responding police officers, and to better use police resources to address violent crime.

Do you support a 24-hour harm reduction center in D.C.?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. A 24-hour harm reduction center can keep some of our most vulnerable citizens alive. This is a common sense policy. More DC residents, however, need to be aware of them in order to help keep our communities safe.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Healthcare is important to the wellness of a community. Offering harm reduction options, 24-hour reduction centers and services, and support diversion initiatives help residents experiencing psychiatric emergencies, trauma, and substance disorders. Such initiatives are vital in providing continuous support for individuals facing mental health challenges, substance use issues, and other crises, contributing to a healthier, more supportive community.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. 

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. If it is like the Stabilization Center on K street. We need to expand those.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. It’s a good supportive service that often protects health, safety and dignity.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: No. I am a strong supporter of addressing drug abuse as a public health crisis, however, and support safe reduction tactics like mobile services and needle exchanges, however I have concerns about the management, accountability and transparency of a 24 hour harm reduction center at this time.

Do you support increasing the number of Community Response Team (CRT) members and creating more appropriate crisis response locations?

Ebbon Allen: Yes. This is another common sense policy. The more Community Response Team members we have that can respond to emergencies, the safer our communities will be.

Kelvin Brown: Did not answer.

Dwight Sinclaire Deloatch J.R.: Did not answer.

Wendell Felder: Yes. Expanding the capacity and capabilities of Crisis Response Teams will improve our city's ability to address mental health emergencies effectively, ensuring timely and appropriate care. Currently, these emergencies have a less than 1 percent response rate. Physical emergencies and mental health emergencies deserve adequate response by trained professionals.

Yolanda Fields: Did not answer.

Nate Fleming: Yes. 

Roscoe Grant Jr.: Did not answer.

Villareal Johnson: Yes. The expansion of specialist, licensed clinicians and peers in recovery is useful in ensuring that communities in need can have resources beyond police interventions.

Ebony Payne: Yes.

Veda Rasheed: Did not answer.

Denise Reed: Yes. Because there is an overwhelming need that current staffing cannot accommodate.

Eboni-Rose Thompson: Yes. Mental health emergencies are best served by mental health professionals, not police officers, for both the safety of the person in crisis and responding law enforcement to better utilize police resources to address violent crime. Evidence shows that these interactions can produce more harmful outcomes because law enforcement is not adequately trained to address the sensitive needs of these individuals.