Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09



ELECTIONS 2019, 35TH WARD. Ramirez-Rosa seeks second term, promotes economic reform
by Tim Peacock

This article shared 1473 times since Wed Feb 13, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Seeking a second term serving Chicago's 35th Ward, Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa offered Windy City Times a bold vision for the next four years. In a recent interview, he spoke about the issues facing his ward and the city, how economic reform could help the LGBTQ community and more.

Windy City Times: What factors motivated you to seek reelection for alderman of the 35th Ward?

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa: I love the city of Chicago, and I got in involved in politics because I know that our working families are suffering. I know that our immigrant families are suffering. I know that our trans sisters and brothers are under attack. And so, my involvement in public service is about moving forward our movement for social and economic justice.

Moving forward our fight to see a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. That's why I ran for alderman, and that's why I'm running for reelection. As 35th Ward alderman, I'm very proud that alongside my colleagues in the LGBT caucus, we removed the prohibition on our trans sisters and brothers being able to use the bathroom of their choice. And now in the city of Chicago our trans sisters and brothers and friends can use the bathroom of their choice without fear of discrimination. I'm very proud of the fact that we passed legislation in the city of Chicago—legislation that I was the lead sponsor on—to ensure that our immigrant sisters and brothers and friends could not be abused or coerced based upon their perceived immigration or nationality status.

So this is exactly the type of legislation we need to be passing in this moment of Donald Trump's right-wing presidency and his effort to take us backwards. But we're not done. And I think one of the greatest accomplishments in our progressive movement is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now out. We now have an opportunity to pass a lot of the legislation that I have been fighting for over the last four years that was blocked by that administration.

WCT: What would you say are the biggest issues facing the 35th Ward right now and what steps would you take to address those issues if re-elected?

CRR: We have to understand that our ward—and wards across the city—are gerrymandered. Right, so we have wards across the city that are gerrymandered and the issues impacting the 35th Ward don't stop at the boundary between one ward and the other. The issues impacting our ward are underfunded schools, a lack of investment to address public safety issues, regressive taxation that is driving working people out of the city, corporate handouts in the form of TIF [tax-increment financing] largesse and a lack of investment in our neighborhoods whether that be city services or issues related to public safety or to our public schools.

For the past four years, I have been fighting as a member of the progressive caucus and as one of the most independent and bold progressive voices on the council board. To make sure that we're taxing the rich. To make sure that we are ending the handouts that come through TIF funds that go to some of the mayor's biggest donors. I'm very proud of the track record that I have as it relates to fighting for working families. And I think, in terms of addressing the issues in the 35th Ward, it's going to come down to continuing to fight at City Hall to make sure that we are fully funding our schools, and we're funding job programs, after school programs and that we're funding neighborhood investment.

WCT: You were one of the first openly gay Latino aldermen in Chicago, giving you unique intersectional insight into the way government works. What do you see as being the most pressing issues for the LGBTQ community both within the 35th Ward and around the city?

CRR: One of the issues we face is a continued lack of funding to ensure that we have outreach not just around health services, but also around mental health issues. The city closed down six mental-health clinics, claiming they didn't have enough money to provide the funding to keep those open. And that has had an impact on our community. I actually speak to parents who say, "Look, my child is trans and they would like to begin the process of transitioning but I don't know where to turn to."

While Howard Brown is a tremendous important service that our community has, it's hard to get to for a lot of our LGBTQ sisters and brothers and friends outside of Boystown—outside of the Lake View community. I think that we need to ensure we increase funding to ensure that there's outreach in every single part of the city to meet the needs of the LGBTQ community. I think it's also important we understand that the issues that are impacting working Chicagoans are the same issues that impact all LGBTQ Chicagoans. Our LGBTQ seniors need affordable housing. Our LGBTQ young people need fully funded public schools that provide that provide them with after school programs that can often be extremely critical to provide them with a safe space to learn and grow and be themselves.

WCT: Homeless LGBTQ youth are a big focus in one Chicago mayoral candidate's LGBTQ policy framework. She's proposing 24-hour drop-off centers at Chicago public schools. What kind of engagement could the 35th Ward expect from you in helping LGBTQ youth ( homeless or otherwise ) and what ideas do you have to address the problem?

CRR: I've spoken up boldly for the need for progressive taxation. One of the issues the city of Chicago faces is we have a massive pension obligation that we need to meet while at the same time we need continue to be able to provide the city services that taxpayers deserve and expect. And the question then is, how do we then also fund the things that the community needs? For example, the services and support for LGBTQ youth. So that is why I support progressive taxation, and in my second term I am really fighting to make sure we are doing things like passing a commercial lease tax for downtown.

In the island of Manhattan, the city of New York has a commercial lease tax, and if you have a corporate lease for one of the skyscrapers in downtown Manhattan, you pay a tax on that lease. These are major law firms, these are major corporations that are renting out that space. And this actually generates $800 million a year for New York City. If we were to structure something similar, it would generate $200-300 million a year by asking those corporations downtown to pay an additional tax. We also need to enact TIF reform. Last year TIF siphoned off about $660 million—that should have gone to public services—into special funds that the mayor then uses as his piggy bank. What I would like to see is substantive TIF reform, I would like to see progressive revenue, I would like a commercial lease tax for downtown. And with the money in place, I will then be fighting to ensure that our LGBTQ community gets its fair share. But also that we understand that fairness comes in the form of equity. And that means that we have to be funding these services to ensure that we are addressing the issues impacting LGBTQ youth, our seniors, and the population as a whole.

More about Alderman Ramirez-Rosa's campaign is at .

This article shared 1473 times since Wed Feb 13, 2019
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.


Gay News

Elected school-board bill passes Illinois House 2021-06-16
- In a move seen as a bitter defeat for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Illinois House sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker legislation that would shift control of Chicago Public Schools from the mayor to an elected ...

Gay News

Senate hearings for Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly; historic if confirmed 2021-06-16
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold confirmation hearings for two LGBTQ presidential nominees this Wednesday and both will make history if confirmed. Gina Ortiz Jones, nominated for Under Secretary of the Air ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation making Juneteenth an official state holiday 2021-06-16
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — On June 16, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation declaring June 19, Juneteenth, an official state holiday. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Panic defense, VP Kamala Harris, Black LGBTQ app, crime items 2021-06-13
- Four states and the nation's capital have taken action to ban the so-called LGBTQ "panic defense," which is a legal strategy used by defendants to cite a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as an excuse ...

Gay News

Congress makes Pulse Nightclub a national memorial 2021-06-12
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the site of the Pulse Nightclub a national memorial, NBC News reported. The House passed its version of the bill May 12. The measure now goes to President Joe ...

Gay News

Chicago has moved to Phase 5 2021-06-11
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño, city and community leaders, announced Chicago has moved to Phase 5, fully reopening the city as of June ...

Gay News

ON THE MOVE How Chicago's 'gayborhoods' have shifted since 1965 2021-06-10
- Chicago's gayborhoods (LGBTQ+ neighborhoods) and safe spaces have been important to the city's LGBTQ+ rights movement—and saving them post-COVID may be crucial. New research at Georgetown University highlights the importance ...

Gay News

Lightfoot marks Pride Month at Legacy Project event 2021-06-08
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among the speakers at a June 7 Legacy Project event marking Chicago's 2021 Pride Month observance. Other speakers at the event, which was moved indoors to Center on Halsted due to inclement ...

Gay News

WORLD: Domestic violence, activist dies, Jerusalem Pride, Olympics 2021-06-06
- On May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV (domestic and family violence) in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Election news, AsylumConnect, Pride business items, 'Bears' 2021-06-06
- In Pennsylvania, in a race between contenders in the Democratic primary for Erie County executive, Tyler Titus—a trans person who currently serves as Erie School Board president—was declared the winner, according to The Washington Blade. Titus ...

Gay News

First gay Black man elected to office in Texas 2021-06-06
- On June 5, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez was elected to represent District 2 for the San Antonio City Council—making him the first openly gay Black man elected to any office in Texas history, reported. McKee-Rodriguez, 26, defeated ...

Gay News

Noriega named chair of the state's Human Rights Commission 2021-06-05
- Among the appointments Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker named to various state boards and commissions on June 4 was Mona Noriega as chair of the Human Rights Commission. ...

Gay News

Harold J. Phillips appointed director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy 2021-06-05
--From a press release - Statement from Jeffrey S. Crowley, distinguished scholar and director of the Infectious Disease Initiatives at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center: I applaud President Biden's appointment of ...

Gay News

Trans-affirming election legislation passed by Illinois General Assembly, Equality Illinois responds 2021-06-04
--From a press release - Statement from Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, on passage of Senate Bill 825, the trans-affirming election omnibus legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Monday, May 31, 2021: "During Pride Month and at ...

Gay News

Cook County commissioners mark Pride Month 2021-06-04
- On June 1, Cook County commissioners held a flag-raising event at Daley Plaza to celebrate Pride Month. Among those who spoke were openly gay Commissioner Kevin Morrison. In part, he said, "By raising the rainbow flag, ...


Copyright © 2021 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.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.