Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



ELECTIONS 2022 Activist Rick Garcia talks about MWRD race
by Matt Simonette

This article shared 669 times since Fri Jun 24, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Rick Garcia is among those who entered the June 28 primary to win a seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's (MWRD) board of commissioners. Longtime Commissioner Debra Shore, who is a lesbian, is stepping down from the commission, so Garcia hopes he will be elected for the LGBTQ+ community to keep a "seat at the table." Besides Garcia, transgender activist Precious Brady-Davis is also running for an MWRD seat. Garcia spoke with Windy City Times about the importance of MWRD and his hoped-for transition from activism to a political post.

Windy City Times: What prompted you to run?

Rick Garcia: People have always encouraged me to run for office; I've always said no. But this time they persuaded me.

When Deb Shore was appointed to the EPA, her seat became available. I thought, 'Once a community gets a seat at the table, they don't give it up.' So I put my name in the running.

WCT: How do you think your record of LGBTQ+ activism overlaps with the requirements of being on the MWRD board?

RG: I believe that clean and safe water is the most basic human right. What I know from the Water Reclamation District is that it should be working with many local communities to mitigate flooding and pollution. I have experience working with legislative bodies all over the state, and I've worked on boards and commissions, so I think that I bring to the table and ability to bring people to the table to get the job done, and move forward the way we need to move forward.

WCT: What do you think are the biggest challenge for MWRD both in the short and long terms?

RG: The District is responsible for processing residential and industrial waste, and mitigating flooding. Most people do not know what the Water Reclamation District does. In addition, they have the highest paid salaries of any governmental body. I think there needs to be transparency at the Commission, more education about what they do and how they do it. Those are the issues internally about what needs to be addressed.

In addition, I'm concerned about PFAWs, a chemical that gets into our water and there is no way to get it out. It is from teflon pans and teflon coating. I think that really being vigilant about trying to stop what is being put into our water.

WCT: MWRD is sometimes rightly or wrongly mythologized as being above the controversies that beset local government. Do you have specific concerns about transparency there?

RG: I absolutely do. I think no one knows what this agency does and it's such a critically important agency. When your'e looking at the environment and wastewater, you have to have an aggressive plan, aggressive education, so the public knows and learns what you can throw down the toilet and in the sink. Those are very important. The District had some very important programs, such as giving out [free oak] saplings—who knew? Mulch—people are asking about that too. With the internal runnings, people should know what is going on there. Where are your tax dollars being spent and how? With the environment, people need to be educated on keeping our waterways safe.

WCT: How do see climate change affecting us in the years ahead?

RG: We know that we will continue to have experiences with flooding. The lake fluctuates its depth, but we will see periods with the lake rising. That is what [MWRD] must monitor, and [it must further consider] how to mitigate the problems with climate change. This is not totally related, but trying to urge cities, when they build schools and playgrounds, to use water permeable materials so the water goes into the ground and doesn't run off and into our sewers is important. Climate change needs to be our number one issue.

WCT: Are there any commissioners whose work you admire? You already mentioned Debra Shore.

RG: I admire almost all the commissioners. They really do a fabulous job of protecting our waterways. Frank Aguilar, who is running again this time, is fabulous. He's an engineer and brings a lot of institutional knowledge to the table. Marcelino Garcia—he's new and is very smart, and he takes the job very seriously. If you ask me how many aldermen do you admire, I'd have a hard time. But the folks on the [board] do a great job.

WCT: What has it been like for you, who's been an activist, to run as a candidate?

RG: This is one of the reason's I've never run. I'm an activist and can have influence, and as a candidate, there are things you cannot and should not say. I don't follow that rule. I like to tell the unvarnished truth and that is not looked well upon with candidates. I think that's said to say. What my activism has done has been to bring me to common ground with other people and to work to get the job done. I can work with the Board of Commissioners and I can work with local officials because that is what I have done my whole career. I think that's the biggest thing I bring to the Board.

WCT: You mentioned earlier that with Debra Shore leaving, it is important for the LGBTQ+ community to retain its seat at the table. Why do you see that as important?

RG: One of the things that MWRD does is contracts. We have to make sure that minority communities and LGBTQ people have access to applying for those contracts.

WCT: Anything you want to add?

RG: Vote for me. Punch #85.

See .

This article shared 669 times since Fri Jun 24, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Another queer candidate is part of Chicago mayoral race 2022-08-10
- In addition to incumbent Lori Lightfoot as well as Ald. Raymond Lopez and media figure DJ Doran, there is a new LGBTQ+ candidate in the race for Chicago mayor. According to their website, J Saxon "is ...

Gay News

Chicago Ald. Sophia King enters mayoral race 2022-08-10
- Chicago Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward) has officially entered the Chicago mayoral race. "I love this city. We need a Chicago that's safer AND stronger," King says in the video, according to NBC Chicago. "Let's put ...

Gay News

Drag show finally takes place at UpRising Bakery and Cafe 2022-08-08
- After a series of events that encompassed everything from vandalism to meetings with village officials to a visit from Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, LGBTQ+-owned Lake in the Hills business UpRising Bakery and Cafe finally held its ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library 2022-08-07
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...

Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons 2022-08-07
- Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...

Gay News

Uganda government forces LGBTQ+ group to shut down 2022-08-07
- An LGBTQI+-rights group in Uganda said the country's government forced it to shut down, according to The Washington Blade. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), in a press release, said Uganda's National ...

Gay News

Pritzker visits UpRising Bakery and Cafe 2022-08-06
- On Aug. 5, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker met with Corrina Sac, owner of Lake in the Hills business UpRising Bakery and Café, as well as leaders from Equality Illinois and Woodstock Pride and Illinois state Rep. ...

Gay News

POLITICS Milwaukee gets RNC in '24; Chicago among DNC hopefuls 2022-08-06
- Milwaukee will host the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC). According to Politico, RNC committee chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted, "I am excited to announce that the RNC has voted unanimously to select Milwaukee as the host city ...

Gay News

Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs bill banning most abortions 2022-08-06
- Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill that would ban most abortions—making it the first state to pass a restrictive law against the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this ...

Gay News

CDPH, community partners provide monkeypox update as Market Days nears 2022-08-05
- With the event known as Northalsted Market Days happening Aug. 6-7—and with tens of thousands of people expected to attend—the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and community partners held a press conference Aug. 4 about ...

Gay News

Sinema plans to sign on Senate Democrats' climate, health and tax bill 2022-08-05
- U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) announced Aug. 4 that she will "move forward" with Democrats' massive climate, prescription drug and spending bill, after fellow party members appeared to reach an agreement about her concerns with the ...

Gay News

Cook County Commissioner Morrison calls for hearing to address monkeypox outbreak 2022-08-04
-- From a press release - SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Aug, 4, 2022 —Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison (District 15) has introduced a resolution calling for a public hearing in the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee that will convene Monday, Aug. 8, ...

Gay News

Bailey faces backlash after abortion/Holocaust comment 2022-08-03
- Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey is facing backlash after footage from 2017 showed him comparing abortion to the Holocaust, according to NBC Chicago. "The attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn't even ...

Gay News

Voters preserve abortion rights in red state Kansas 2022-08-03
- In the first abortion-related election since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters have rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have specified that the right to terminate a pregnancy is not protected, ...

Gay News

LGBTQ trailblazer Jim Obergefell wins primary in Ohio, advances to November election 2022-08-02
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed candidate Jim Obergefell advanced to the November election after running unopposed in the Democratic primary for Ohio state House District 89. He is the named plaintiff of the ...


Copyright © 2022 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
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     
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.