Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

A.J. Cooper's questionnaire answers

The city’s smokefree workplaces law was weakened last summer when the Council agreed to allow cigar smoking at hotels for two events annually. The Council acted without holding hearings or seeking public input. Instead, the exemptions were tacked onto a budget amendment. Would you vote to remove the exemptions? Please explain why or why not. Yes [yes]
The city’s smokefree workplaces law was weakened last summer when the Council agreed to allow cigar smoking at hotels for two events annually. The Council acted without holding hearings or seeking public input. Instead, the exemptions were tacked onto a budget amendment. Would you vote to remove the exemptions? Please explain why or why not. (Comment) Legislation that is passed without public input lacks credibility. We should never allow the influence of corporations to infringe on the rights of DC residents. Until there are public hearings the exemptions should be tabled.
If elected, will you pledge not to further weaken the smokefree workplaces law? Yes [yes]
If elected, will you pledge not to further weaken the smokefree workplaces law? (Comment) Research is clear about the effect of smoke on the human body. If people choose to subject themselves to that danger then they should not force others to make that same questionable choice.
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Outdoor cafes)
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Parks) Yes [yes]
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Other recreational areas) Yes [yes]
Please enter your comment about the above question here Parks and recreation areas are places for families to have fun. Tobacco smoke has no place in these locations. Nothing ruins a fun time like a face full of second hand smoke. There should be designated areas for smokers that are far away from playgrounds, sports fields or courts and picnic sites.
Would you vote to make secondhand smoke an actionable nuisance like excessive noise? (Doing so would make it easier for nonsmokers who suffer secondhand smoke encroaching in their apartments to take their smoking neighbors to court.) Yes [yes]
Would you vote to make secondhand smoke an actionable nuisance like excessive noise? (Doing so would make it easier for nonsmokers who suffer secondhand smoke encroaching in their apartments to take their smoking neighbors to court.) (Comment) Within reason, it is vital that smokers contain their smoke to their own homes. Imagine a family with a child who has asthma being forced to breath tobacco smoke day in and day out. That is not right. Smokers could open a window, use an air purifier, seal open spaces. Also landlords and developers must ensure that the air/smoke from one apartment does not contaminate other apartments.
Would you vote to increase funding for tobacco cessation programs in D.C.? Yes [yes]
Would you vote to increase funding for tobacco cessation programs in D.C.? (Comment) Our young people are very vulnerable to the well funded marketing campaigns of big tobacco. We must fight to protect their young minds and lungs from this menace.
Would you vote to increase the District’s tax on cigarettes? Yes [yes]
Would you vote to increase the District’s tax on cigarettes? (Comment) The extra money raised would go to helping low income victims of smoke related ailments pay their hospital and burial expenses.
One of your constituents has called your office to inform you that secondhand smoke is coming into their condo or apartment.  Attempts to remedy the situation have gone nowhere. What would you say to the constituent? Dear Constituent, It is clear that no one else on the city council cares about your health and well being so first let me apologize on their behalf. They know better but are to concerned with upsetting their corporate sponsors to intervene on your behalf. You deserve much better from your representation and I will make sure that you get it. Let us set up a time to meet together in the office of your ward’s Councilmember so that we can ask them what they are going to about your plight. I will also write a letter to your land lord letting them know that this situation is unacceptable and needs to be remedied immediately. Together i know that we can begin changing this unhealthy and annoying situation. I will make sure to vote for every measure that makes our city a healthier happier place. Respectfully, AJ Cooper City Council At-Large