|MASS EQUALITY 2012 QUESTIONNAIRE
Name: Lee Scott Laugenour
Phone: 413 551 9222
District: 4th Berkshire (State Rep)
Party Affiliation: Green-Rainbow
E-mail Address: email@example.com
1. Please include a brief biography (1 paragraph) outlining relevant experience, such as other public offices held. For incumbents, please include committee assignments, legislative priorities, and legislative leadership.
Please see the bio on my web site. (http://www.scottlaugenour.org/about.html)
2. What is your past or current involvement within the community you live? (example: clubs, campaigns you worked on, elected offices held, or boards/committees you serve on)
I serve as a volunteer on the Lenox Environment Committee and as an appointee to the board of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. I have chaired the town of Lenox's Economic Development Steering Committee. I volunteered for Dennis Kucinich's and Cynthia McKinney's respective 2008 presidential campaigns, heading a local office for the former.. I have also served on the boards of the Storefront Artist Association in Pittsfield MA and the Williamsburg Gallery Association in Brooklyn NY.
3. What is your past or current involvement with LGBT specific clubs/organizations? (This could include PFLAG, GSEN, BAGLY, etc.)
My husband and I have been financial supporters of Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition, MassEquality, GLAD, Iranian Queer Railroad, Lambda Legal, SAGE and The NYC LGBT Center.
4. Why are you running for office?
I have confidence in my ability to do the job. I am a thoughtful, caring, hard-working candidate who believes that representative government is accountable for the infrastructure that allows responsible individuals, communities, and businesses to thrive. (More)
5. What actions have you taken or efforts have you made that illustrate your commitment to working for progressive causes?
These are numerous: letters to the editor, public policy petitions (2 this year: Citizens United petition and Budget For All petition), public testimony, my blog, political campaigns that I have worked on, the political party with which I affiliate, my own campaign.
6. What actions have you taken to protect or advocate for LGBT rights?
I publicly affiliate with a political party for which 'respect for diversity' is a key value and which endorses full equality and rights for the LGBT community.
I wrote a letter
to the South China Morning Post while visiting Hong Kong in 2006. There had been a slew of hate mail written by readers who were opposed to a the airing of a documentary on same sex marriage. I suggested that bigotry and hatred cause more harm to society than expressions of love.
I marched with MassEquality on June 14, 2007 at the State House.
My husband and I were interviewed about the tax effects of DOMA. We made our 2010 tax returns available to the Berkshire Eagle for a front page story that appeared on April 10, 2011.
7. Would you support legislation to protect transgender people from discrimination in areas of public accommodation?
8. If so, how will you show leadership to pass this legislation?
I will speak publicly and loudly on the ongoing fight for equality and respect for diversity.
9. Do you support strengthening the state's bullying law by requiring school bullying plans to include enumerated categories of students who are most vulnerable to bulying, including those students who are LGBT, perceived to be LGBT, or part of LGBT families?
10. If so, how will you show leadership to pass An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools?
My husband and I were both bullied in childhood. I will speak loudly to the harmful and damaging effects of bullying, and also to the lessons that bullies learn when their bullying goes unpunished.
11. How will you work to ensure critical programs that serve the LGBT community including LGBT elders and caregivers, LGBT victims of domestic violence and members of our community with HIV/AIDS are fully funded within the state's budget?
Budgets that are funded by fair taxes are a cornerstone of my campaign. Passing legislation means nothing if the funding to support the legislation isn't provided. I will champion full funding for social services that voters desire and that reflects our values.
12. Do you support equal civil rights, including marriage, for same sex couples and oppose any Constitutional amendment to limit those rights?
13. Is there anything in your record that is inconsistent with your positions stated above?
(Note: we decline MassEquality's offer to keep these questions and responses confidential. All questionnaires that are sent to the campaign we make publicly available.)
14. What is the make-up of voters in your district?
The population of the 4th Berkshire District has an income well below the state average, so it has been disproportionately affected by regressive tax policies. Most voters and communities in the district struggle with health care costs and poor access to education and training opportunities.
15. What is your plan to win? How many votes do you need to win?
We need 12,000 votes to win, which will be earned by making direct voter contact.
16. What is your campaign budget?
We are on track to quadruple the amount of financial support we received in 2010, which will exponentially increase the reach of our campaign. Our financial reports are available online.
17. What endorsements have you received to date?
I received an endorsement from the Berkshire Record in 2010.
I have been endorsed by the State Committee of the Green-Rainbow Party.
18. Do you have paid campaign staff currently working on your campaign, and if not, what staff structure do you plan to have in the final months of the campaign?
Yes. Kalin Jordan, a graduate of Suffolk University, is our campaign manager.
19. If you are unopposed, are you interested in an endorsement from MassEquality?
I am not unopposed, Yes, I am interested in an endorsement from MassEquality.
20. If you are unopposed for reelection this year, are you willing to help elect other pro-equality legislators across the state?
I am not unopposed.
20 [sic]. How would you contribute to electing pro-equality legislators?
By being a good example.
21. Have you previously been endorsed by MassEquality, if so when and for what office(s)?