Annapolis Candidate Questionnaire

Toni Strong Pratt, Ward 4 (D)

1. Please let us know if you have ever volunteered with or supported any LGBTQ+ organizations, such as Annapolis Pride, PFLAG, or the Human Rights Campaign. Feel free to include events in which you participated. Please include all groups you feel are pertinent including LGBTQ+ Equity actions or advocacy that you have taken in other non-LGBTQ+ organizations or Boards. If no previous volunteer or advocacy experience with or for LGBTQ+ Community, please explain why not and how you now understand the importance of such advocacy.

As to date, I have not specifically supported your community’s causes. However, my stance on equality has and will always be inclusive to ALL. Know that the causes your community may face, is one that we ALL face, which is equal but not separate. Discrimination hits every group that dare to stand in their truth!

2. The Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health 2021 surveyed nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States. Among the key findings of the survey:

+ 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
+ 12% of white youth attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth.

Please discuss your feelings about the data above and how you would help support LGBTQ+ youth and specifically Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and transgender nonbinary youth. Have you advocated for or endorsed legislation and actions on the state or local level to keep LGBTQ+ youth safe? Explain if you have not and what you intend to do in the future to improve the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth in Annapolis.

Just as the Trevor Project focuses on discrimination AND BULLYING, the African American community lives with the tragedy of the death of Travon Martin! It saddens me as a mom, sister, daughter and advocate to have to witness the lost of life in order for action. I will continue to fight for the voiceless, discriminated and equality be if for Trevor or Tavon. All lives MATTER!!

3. On June 16, 2021 the Anne Arundel County Public School Board passed the Safe and Inclusive Environments for LGBTQ+ Students, a comprehensive policy that prohibits discrimination and harrassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The policy states support for the right of any student to be addressed by a name and pronoun that correspond to the student’s gender identity. Additionally, the policy supports the right of any student to use school facilities that correspond with gender identity in which the student identifies.

Please discuss the importance of the adoption of policies in schools that respect student gender identification, including consideration of reasonable and respectful accommodation in regard to facilities. Please provide your feelings regarding “Bathroom Bills” that have been proposed around the country.

Yes, I march and stand in solidarity for equal rights. But when it comes to school facilities being used by gender identification students, I am concern with the safety of the student due to the ignorance (hidden and lurking) that still is prevalent in our community towards the LGBTQ+ community.

4. How have you advocated for the LGBTQ+ community and supported inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community in the past (i.e. have you spoken out publicly for policies at your place of business, testified before government bodies, adopted written policies for your employees, marched for equal rights, etc.)? Please be specific.

Throughout my life I have advocated for friends and family members to live their best life as they stand in their own truth. Though you are seeking public events, my approach has always been to uplift and inspire individuals to live a life that resonate with their Spirit and being without care of judgement from others.

5. It has been well documented that LGBTQ+ people face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to quality health care. How have you advocated to reduce LGBTQ+ health disparities? Explain if you have not and what you intend to do in the future to improve the health of LGBTQ+ people in Annapolis.

My fight is Medicare/quality healthcare for ALL!!

6. What is your position on police reform and do you support police training and education on issues of concern to the LGBTQ+ community?

Again, We ARE One Community/Race! Its humans that must be attended to for inclusion and protection. So, if one group advocates for sensitivity training for the law enforcement industry it should not be geared just towards LGBTQ, African Americans, Asians, Hispanic, Native Americans communities etc. But for inclusivity of the Human Race.