Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-07-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Kelly Cassidy on marriage, activism
ELECTIONS '12
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-03-07

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Depending on where you stand on an issue, Kelly Cassidy can be your best friend or your mortal enemy. It's a quality the recent appointee prides herself on. The freshman state rep says she intends to be annoying in her opposition to "concealed carry" legislation in Illinois, and she admits to telling anti-gay lobbyists to stop wasting her time.

Cassidy, a Rogers Park resident and a lesbian mother of three, got her start in Chicago as the legislative director for the National Organization for Women. She went on to work in Sen. John Cullerton's district office before holding multiple roles in the Cook County State's Attorney's office. She was appointed in May to fill the 14th Dist. house seat.

But as her political star has risen, so too have criticisms that she has become a Democratic Party insider. Windy City Times caught up with Cassidy and questioned her about that perception and about why she is feels like the best pick for her office.

Windy City Times: You are someone who started as a community activist and moved into politics. How has that transition been?

Kelly Cassidy: I think I have really done a great job for many years of bridging those two roles and carrying them out simultaneously and continue to in many ways in this role. So, it is funny because when my appointment was announced, the Sun Times headline was "Lesbian Activist." [ Laughs ] It was sort of hilarious, but that's obviously how the mainstream media writes headlines.

I think that we each carry different perceptions of what words mean, whether it's "working from the inside" or being an activist. I actually think that all those roles are critically important to a successful movement, and I think that people can play multiple roles in any given.

WCT: What do you consider to be your most important legislative priorities right now?

Kelly Cassidy: For all of us, we have to be focused on getting our state's finances in order and getting this budget passed in a way that doesn't harm the most vulnerable folks in the community. You go there, and you're done, and obviously we can't be done because the needs are too great.

I did an interview ... about the marriage bill, and somebody asked, "Do you think that you're going to hear from critics that this is a bad year to push this because you have to pass the budget first?" I said, "We always have to pass a budget but we also have a responsibility to carry out good policies."

Public safety: Going about that in a way that balances the need for public safety with the need for smarter policies that spend less money that actually make us safer, that's going to be big. And fighting the coming wave of "concealed carry" is something that I'm quite excited to be part of. That's going to be a big fight.

WCT: What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the LGBT community?

Kelly Cassidy: It depends on where you are in the community. As a lawmaker representing, among many other things. our community, I have to be mindful that marriage is important to a segment of the community, elder issues are important to a segment of the community, healthcare issues are important. So, you cannot say marriage is the most important or AIDS drug funding is the most important because we are not one mind.

So introducing the hate-crimes act to add gender identity is going to be somebody's highest priority within the community. Introducing family medical leave so that civil-union couples are covered is going to be someone else's highest priority.

WCT: In this race, the community gets to choose between two out lesbians. What do you bring to the table that sets you apart?

Kelly Cassidy: My combined experience, my ability to hit the ground running, pass legislation within the first couple of weeks within arriving there, tough legislation, the relationship building I'm able to do at a time when we need to be on the ground quickly and really the breadth of my experience and the issues that I can bring there really sets me apart.

WCT: You introduced a marriage-equality bill. Many activists say this won't pass this year.

Kelly Cassidy: Well, it took 30 years to pass human rights. It took three years to pass civil unions. I like the way those timelines shrink. Is it going to happen this year? Who knows? It would be remarkable if it were to rocket to the top of the house agenda. Whether we get there this year or not, shouldn't be disconcerting to folks... very few substantive bills get passed the first time they're introduced.

WCT: Marriage equality has been introduced before in Illinois, however.

Kelly Cassidy: It has been introduced a few times. This time is different in that it acknowledges the existence of civil unions and the transition to be made, so we did have to go about it differently. But yes, this is not the first year that marriage has been introduced.

WCT: You have been billed as the political insider in this race by some. How do you respond to that?

Kelly Cassidy: The reality is, I am related to no one in Chicago that I didn't give birth to. I am the original nobody [ that ] nobody sent. I came from a little island on the west coast of Florida. I came here 20 years ago. I didn't know a soul. The people that are supporting me are supporting me because I spent 20 years getting things done. They've seen it happen, and they are impressed by that and they like working with me.

WCT: You have also taken heat from conservatives. Do you have a favorite criticism you've received?

Kelly Cassidy: The NRA lobbyist just threatened to endorse me if I introduced anymore gun-control bills. You know, "I'll show you, I'll give you my support and then everybody in your district will hate you for it."

WCT: What is the single most important thing for voters to know about you?

Kelly Cassidy: I don't shrink from a fight, whether that's about passing a bill or winning an election, and if I say that I am with you to get something done, I am not going to back down.

See www.CitizensForCassidy.com .

WCT: What is the single most important thing for voters to know about you?

Kelly Cassidy: I don't shrink from a fight, whether that's about passing a bill or winning an election, and if I say that I am with you to get something done, I am not going to back down.

See www.CitizensForCassidy.com .

This election chart was updated online on Friday March 9 with corrections and updates, most notably in the 8th subcircuit judicial race

www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/WCT_2012_primarychartsforweb.pdf .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

#LGBTDNC: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi 2016-07-25
Chicagoan takes part in "Wall Off Trump" protest 2016-07-25
Dispatches from Philly: The parties begin 2016-07-25
State Rep. Sandack to resign 2016-07-25
Transgender activist to speak at Democratic National Convention 2016-07-25
Gay politicians discuss LGBT representation 2016-07-25
Schock grand jury dismissed with no indictment 2016-07-25
Chicago protest marks 50th anniversary of MLK event 2016-07-24
HRC's Sarah McBride to be 1st open trans person to speak at a major party convention 2016-07-24
Progressive Groups Praise Kaine Selection 2016-07-24
Hillary Clinton taps Tim Kaine for VP 2016-07-22
Day in the Life of: a DNC diversity-working-group member, Zach Wilcha 2016-07-22
Dem platform more aware of LGBT voters 2016-07-22
In Orlando, Hillary Clinton Condemns Terrorist Attack, Act of Hate on Latinx LGBT Community 2016-07-22
Trump makes history with LGBT-inclusion in acceptance speech 2016-07-22
Day 4: Thiel declares 'I am proud to be gay' at GOP convention 2016-07-22
Trump, Pence Close Out Week of Attacks on LGBTQ Equality at RNC 2016-07-21
NBA moves all-star game out of North Carolina in response to anti-LGBTQ law 2016-07-21
Dump Trump-Pence: HRC launches site highlighting candidates' anti-LGBTQ agenda 2016-07-21
LGBT Clevelanders have mixed reaction to Republican National Convention 2016-07-21
Homophobic U.S. pastor coming to South Africa 2016-07-21
TONIGHT: FOX News to Air TV Ad Featuring Transgender American during RNC 2016-07-21
Day 3: Pence omits 'religious freedom' law in acceptance speech 2016-07-21
Republican lawmakers attend Family Research Council luncheon 2016-07-20
Undocumented immigrant: Trump, GOP platform could 'incite' violence 2016-07-20
Day 2: GOP subtly seeks LGBT support through Orlando, gun rights 2016-07-20
Jenner denounces anti-trans bathroom bills at 'Big Tent' event 2016-07-20
Trump kids, Christie at second night of RNC 2016-07-20
Sami Grisafe Releases 'All-Un-American' Today 2016-07-20
Day 2: GOP subtly seeks LGBT support through Orlando, gun rights 2016-07-20
'Gays for Trump' make case for anti-Islamic policies 2016-07-20
ELECTIONS 2016 LGBTs among Illinois delegates 2016-07-20
PROFILE Rita Adair talks activism, upcoming book, social work 2016-07-20
Gay defense analyst Rachel Hoff won't 'leave' GOP over anti-LGBT platform 2016-07-19
National roundup: FBI finding, Trevor Project, Cleveland action, Obergefell 2016-07-19
World news: France's blood ban, Prince Harry, Nice attack 2016-07-19
At GOP convention, speakers make LGBT attacks, outreach 2016-07-19
Trump supporter: Armed club-goer could have stopped Fla. massacre 2016-07-18
GOP delegates ratify platform, express support for anti-LGBT language 2016-07-18
Clyburn: Election 'most consequential' of lifetime 2016-07-18
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com