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 2022-12-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

This article shared 1468 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 1468 times since Sun Jun 26, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden talks accomplishments, second term goals 2023-02-01
- ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden discusses accomplishments, second term goals By Carrie Maxwell This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: 49th Ward challenger Belia Rodriguez on why running, differences from incumbent 2023-02-01
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Belia Rodriguez is a lifelong Chicagoan who attended Chicago Public Schools. ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: 48th Ward candidate Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth on why running, biggest differences from other challengers 2023-01-31
- A lifelong Chicagoan, Leni Manaa-Hoppeworth is running to become the next 48th Ward Alderperson. She is currently a small business owner (Chicago Dance Supply, 5301 N. Clark St., for the past 20 years) in the ward ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Lamont Robinson talks political switch, guns, LGBTQ+ issues 2023-01-30
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. When it comes to politics, Lamont Robinson has, for several years, ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Candidate Larry Svabek describes his vision for the 48th Ward 2023-01-30
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. Twenty-nine year old Larry Svabek has been an instructor, lecturer and ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Jessie Fuentes: 26th Ward candidate talks mental health, LGBTQ+ Chicagoans 2023-01-30
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The 2023 race to represent Chicago's 26th Ward—which includes parts of ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Incumbent 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa seeks third term, talks accomplishments 2023-01-30
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. A life-long Chicagoan, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) is running unopposed ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Raymond Lopez on running for alderman, endorsing Willie Wilson 2023-01-29
- This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The last time Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez talked with Windy City ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Missing student, Utah bill, Atlanta Pride, crime items, Castro bar 2023-01-29
- A New York City law student has been missing for weeks—and his brother said his last known location was The Q, a gay bar in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, NBC News reported. Jordan Taylor, 29, a ...


Gay News

Quigley commends progress in FDA LGBTQI+ blood donation draft guidance 2023-01-27
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, released the following statement commending long-awaited updates to the FDA's blood donation guidance for LGBTQI+ ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois responds to violence, murder of Black and Brown trans people on the south side 2023-01-25
--From a press release - Statement by Myles Brady Davis, Director of Communications at Equality Illinois, the state's civil rights organization for LGBTQ+ people, regarding the violences and murders of Black and Brown trans people on the south side of Chicago: ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bills, DeSantis, HIV vaccine, Meta, college items 2023-01-22
- Buried within the bills California legislators filed after Gov. Gavin Newsom released his budget proposal for the 2023-2024 fiscal year is a line seeking to retrieve $13 million back from the state's Transgender Wellness and Equity ...


Gay News

WORLD Dutch vote, landmark ruling, French teen, UK items 2023-01-22
- Dutch senators voted 56-15 in favor of including an explicit ban on discrimination on the grounds of disability or sexual orientation in the constitution, DutchNews.nl reported. This development clears the way for the constitution to be ...


Gay News

Early voting in downtown Chicago to start Thursday, January 26 2023-01-17
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Early voting in Downtown Chicago for the February 28, 2023 Municipal Election will start at two vote centers — the Voter Supersite at 191 N. Clark and Board Offices at 69 W. Washington, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Asylum-seekers, equality updates, cannabis, HIV and COVID 2023-01-15
- Advocacy groups that specifically work with LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers and migrants criticized the Biden administration's expansion of the use of "expedited removal" of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans who enter the ...


 




Copyright © 2023 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


 



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.