Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

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

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS Ald. Pat Dowell talks congressional run, Brittney Griner, LGBTQs
by Andrew Davis
2022-06-26

This article shared 1222 times since Sun Jun 26, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


At the beginning of this year, Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (D-1st District) announced that he was retiring from federal office. Almost immediately, several people announced their intentions to succeed him. (The total number is now at almost 20 individuals.)

One of those individuals is Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell, who has led the city's 3rd District since 2007. She initially planned to run for Illinois secretary of state, but has now focused her efforts on representing Illinois' 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dowell recently talked with Windy City Times about this run, the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and self-reflection.

Windy City Times: Why did you switch from running for secretary of state to running for Congress?

Ald. Pat Dowell: I'm really proud of my track record being alderman since 2007. I was actually thinking about something else I could do to contribute. When I didn't see any African Americans step up to run for secretary of state, I decided this was an opportunity where I could still contribute. There were things in [that] office that I was still interested in: voting rights, the library system, small-business development and helping nonprofits. It was more than just driver's licenses, stickers and titles.

But I saw that I was not going to be able to get support from the Cook County Democratic Party—which I had been involved in since 2008 as a committeeman, and where I've served on the executive board. I came in second in that race because the person who eventually was slated and who I support [Alexi Giannoulias] came in with millions of dollars, compared to the few hundreds of thousands I had raised. It appeared the window was closing for me in that race, but I was still going to run against the party.

But who knew Bobby Rush would suddenly announce that he wasn't running for another term? I thought, "Aha! This is probably a seat I'm better suited for because it deals with policy. And it's a seat where I can contribute my talents in terms of working on economic development, affordable housing—all the issues I care about."

And also, it seemed like divine order. They say when the Lord closes one door, he opens another. I made a quick pivot.

WCT: It seems like there are 300 people running for this office. [Dowell smiles.] So what separates you from all the other candidates when a lot of you seem to have similar issues and goals?

PD: Well, I am one of probably two people in this race with actual legislative experience. I have a real track record you can see. I have the experience of developing consensus among different points of view. There are people in the race who are Republican, Democratic Socialists, progressives and others; I can build consensus among those views—a skill some of the other people in this race don't have.

And I'm ready on day one to be a congresswoman; it would take some of these others a lot of time to learn to function in a legislative body. They don't have the experience of knowledge.

WCT: What do you think are your biggest advantage and disadvantage in this race?

PD: I would say name recognition and having a campaign team in place would be advantages in this race. I have campaign experience, having run in six elections. I know what it takes on the ground to get your message out. Being a budget chair, I know how to put a budget together and find hidden expenditures.

The disadvantage is that people are really cynical about government. They feel government officials don't deal with their interests or deliver on their promises. I am an action-oriented and results-driver person; I think I've proven that in the 15 years I've served as alderman. I mean what I say, and I deliver results.

WCT: Back in the day, you worked with Mayor Harold Washington, correct?

PD: Yes. I was very young in my professional career and I had an opportunity to serve in Mayor Harold Washington's office. Unfortunately, it was during his second administration [when he passed away]. I was actually one of the economic development assistants in the mayor's office during his second term. We worked on some very interesting projects. But he didn't finish his term and I ended up back in the Department of Planning of Development as a deputy commissioner.

WCT: The centennial celebration for him was in April. What was he like?

PD: He was one of the smartest men I ever met. When I had an opportunity to meet him—when I worked under [professor of urban planning and public administration] Dr. Robert Mier—he was funny, very friendly and smart as a whip. You never knew how he would come at you with questions so it was very important to be prepared. You know how they say, "Never let 'em see you sweat?" I always went in there sweating, but able to answer the questions.

WCT: I noticed you included LGBTQ+ issues on your website. What do you think is the biggest problem the community faces?

PD: I think we're all under attack by the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. [NOTE: This interview was conducted a couple days before the U.S. Supreme Court officially overturned the case.] Maybe the LGBTQ+ community isn't as aware of this, but the face is that we could go down a slippery slope from controlling a woman's body. The next thing will be controlling other things that are important to us, like the chance for people to live their lives the way they want. So many issues could be wiped away or attacked.

WCT: It's interesting looking at all of this anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

PD: Yes—and we're seeing all these attacks, especially on the trans community, across the country. It's going to be very important for the various communities under attack to work together and fight back against this draconian attitude.

I think another issue that's important is the increased level of hate crimes against the community. I can see there's been an increase. I get notified of every hate crime that happens in my ward—and in the last month, I was notified of three! I don't know if it's happening more or if they're being reported more, but it's a concern.

WCT: And I thought of our upcoming interview when I saw news about Brittney Griner, as you're a former college basketball player yourself. I've seen people say that if this were an NBA player like LeBron James who was being held, he'd be out by now. Do you agree?

PD: I don't know if that is the case. We're dealing with an evil dictator in Putin, and he's trying to make a statement about his leadership and Russia's goals in its war with Ukraine. And I'm not convinced that if a male ball player was being held, he'd be treated differently. If it was a famous actor or athlete, male or female, the same situation would be occurring.

WCT: And you could even make the argument that if it were someone super-famous like LeBron James, Russia would try even harder to hold on to him because he's a [bigger bargaining chip].

PD: Yes. Brittney is one of the biggest names in the WNBA, though, and has made a name for herself and the sport. Putin knows of her because of who she is.

WCT: These last two years have tested people and provided plenty of time for self-reflection. What have you learned about yourself?

PD: Interesting question... I'm an only child so, coming up, I wasn't around a lot of people in my home; I had a very solitary life. I was a bookworm and loved to cook, although I usually wasn't around the hustle and bustle of a large family.

I think during the pandemic I realized that, when [required] to be quarantined, I could actually live this way. I can be in the house and be alone while functioning at a high level. I learned that I am able to adapt.

I also learned that having the company of my dog, Toots, was very important. She's not just an animal, but a member of the family.

Also, life is really short and there are some things I have on my bucket list that I want to do—such as going to Ghana and perhaps building a house.

WCT: Is there anything you want to add about yourself or your campaign?

PD: One thing I'd like the LGBTQ+ community to know about my campaign is that my campaign manager and a higher-up in my finance community are from the community. And I was an alderman who supported the first openly gay Black man who's a member of the Illinois General Assembly: Lamont Robinson. I thought his voice was needed.

I'm a friend of the community—and I've been one for a long time. In my years as chair of the Human Relations Committee, we passed several important pieces of legislation that were important to the community.

And on day one, I'm ready to fight for issues that are important to you and your readers.

Dowell's campaign website is www.illinoisfordowell.com .

The Illinois primary election is Tuesday, June 28.


This article shared 1222 times since Sun Jun 26, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

POLITICS Queer businesswoman running for alderperson in 48th Ward 2022-08-19
- Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth—a queer native Chicagoan and 23-year resident of Andersonville who also describes herself as a "mother of three, tango dancer, small business owner and community organizer"—announced her candidacy for ...


Gay News

Report: U.S. has record number of LGBTQ+ elected officials 2022-08-19
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — LGBTQ Victory Institute released its 2022 Out for America Report, the only national census of out LGBTQ elected officials in the United States. With at least 1,043 out LGBTQ elected officials currently serving, ...


Gay News

Bailey's running mate's anti-LGBTQ posts unearthed 2022-08-18
- Stephanie Trussell—Republican Darren Bailey's running mate for Illinois governor/lieutenant governor—has made controversial posts (including ones against the LGBTQ+ community) on social media, WGN-TV reported. "Stick your ...


Gay News

Penn. governor ends conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth 2022-08-18
- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed Executive Order 2022-2 "to protect Pennsylvanians from conversion therapy," according to a press release from his office. "Conversion therapy is a traumatic practice based on junk science that actively harms the ...


Gay News

HRC endorses Pritzker, Stratton for re-election 2022-08-17
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced its endorsements of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton for re-election. A press release stated, "HRC PAC is committed to engaging its volunteers, members and supporters to ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood organizations launch largest-ever electoral program 2022-08-17
- Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations launched the 2022 electoral program "Take Control," which represents the groups' largest ever investment in an electoral cycle, an organizational press release announced. The ...


Gay News

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney loses to Trump-endorsed candidate 2022-08-17
- Overnight on Aug. 16, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney—the vice-chair of the House Jan. 6 panel and one of former U.S. President Donald Trump's biggest Republican critics—lost her seat in Congress to a challenger backed by the ...


Gay News

WORLD Vietnam's pro-LGBTQ+ move, Grindr kidnappings, Taiwan event 2022-08-14
Video below - Vietnam took a major step forward in the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights with the country's Ministry of Health stating that being gay, bisexual or transgender is not a disease and urging medical practitioners to end discrimination ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Conn. candidate, trans study, D.C. attacks, Palm Springs Pride 2022-08-14
- LGBTQ Victory Fund-endorsed candidate Erick Russell won the Democratic primary election for Connecticut state treasurer, according to an organizational press release. With this victory, he is on track to become the first out Black LGBTQ+ person ...


Gay News

Cook County officials discuss MPV timelines 2022-08-12
- Members of the Cook County Health and Hospitals Committee gathered Aug. 8 to hear details from local health officials on the monkeypox virus' (MPV's) impact on both suburban Cook County and Chicago, and their planned responses. ...


Gay News

Big Cities Health Coalition holds monkeypox virus briefing 2022-08-11
- Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) held a virtual monkeypox virus briefing Aug. 10 fthat ocused on local public health activities in Chicago. Speakers included BCHC Executive Director Chrissie Juliano and BCHC member and Chicago Department of ...


Gay News

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom names first queer woman to state supreme court 2022-08-11
- California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his intention to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Guerrero's elevation ...


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 ...


 



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.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


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.