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

EXCLUSIVE Trans Minneapolis city councilmember talks about violence, George Floyd
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2020-05-30

This article shared 4158 times since Sat May 30, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In 2017, Phillipe Cunningham ( a DePaul University graduate ) made history when he became one of the first openly transgender men to be elected to public office in the United States. He defeated a two-decade incumbent to become the city councilperson for Minneapolis' Ward 4.

Now, Cunningham's city has made history in a decidedly uglier and more controversial way. On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died when white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes. For many, it was the breaking point for a year already turned topsy-turvy by a pandemic as well as by recent racial incidents involving Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery and gay New York City bird-watcher/editor Christian Cooper—resulting in protests and riots across the nation.

Cunningham talked with Windy City Times about the Floyd incident, reactions from the LGBTQ community and his own feelings.

Windy City Times: As of today, May 30, what's the state of things in Minneapolis?

Phillipe Cunningham: As of today, what started off as riots being the language of the unheard turned into white supremacists and some anarchists taking advantage of some Black grief and trauma to wreak havoc, destruction and violence. I'm not saying that oppressed folks aren't participating; however, it has been seen that the folks initiating the destruction and fires are actually white. There's suspicion that they're anarchists or white supremacists.

WCT: And the National Guard has been brought in?

PC: That's correct. They have been brought in and 500 people were deployed—the largest deployment in Minnesota history. And there's a huge protest planned for today, and they're planning to ramp that up to 1,700 throughout the Twin Cities [St. Paul and Minneapolis] and the suburbs.

WCT: What has been your emotional journey from the time you heard about what happened to George Floyd?

PC: So I'm Black and trans-masculine, and I navigate the world being seen as a Black man and am treated as such. When I saw the video, a ton of trauma came up and I was so angry. I was angry as a Black man in America, and I was angry as a city councilmember; I have put in hours and hours and hours of work trying to make the smallest change within the institution of policing in this city. When I saw that—knowing that efforts have been pretty futile—seeing the video absolutely enraged me. But it also confirmed that we need an alternate form of public safety outside of policing.

WCT: What would be an example of that?

PC: It's actually something I've worked quite diligently on. There's the public-health approach to public safety, in which violence is treated like a major disease that spreads, and that can be corrected and treated. It can go interpersonally and generationally; for example, children can see their parents [committing violence] and become violent themselves.

The City of Minneapolis works with John Jay College [of Criminal Justice] on what's called the National Network of Safe Communities. They have, for example, the Group Violence Intervention system [which involves team formation, data gathering and message conveyance]. Then there's a bedside intervention system in which if someone is shot or stabbed, there's a trained person to immediately treat the trauma of the person when they are at their most vulnerable as well as to prevent retaliatory violence.

So that's what I'm working on. I had to fight to get $50,000 put into a $1.6-billion budget for domestic-violence intervention. Domestic violence is the number-one reason for 911-initiated calls in the entire city.

WCT: What has the local LGBTQ community said about everything that's happened this week?

PC: Yeah. Trans and queer business owners are concerned about their spaces, but they're also concerned about getting justice and others' safety. We have a very large queer and trans community here, so they're, like, "That's our people out there." So that's what I'm hearing: People concerned about their own businesses but also about safety and justice.

WCT: Officer Derek Chauvin was arrested May 29, as you know. There are some people who feel that he should not be the only officer arrested. What do you think about that?

PC: I agree, 100 percent. So that is the bare minimum that can happen. The other three officers [on the scene] should also be arrested and charged and convicted. As elected officials, we are calling for the governor to take authority over the case, and that attorney general have prosecutorial authority. These officers should be held accountable.

WCT: There are people who even think the paramedic should be charged as well.

PC: It's bizarre, but not unexpected, where the paramedics defer to what police do or want. For example, we had an issue in which people in custody were being drugged with [the sedative] ketamine, and the only people who have that are paramedics [seen, for example at www.buzzfeednews.com/article/azeenghorayshi/ketamine-police-minneapolis-report ]. There has been a problem with paramedics in this city.

WCT: There have constant incidents with Black people and the police, but in more recent years there have been situations with people such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Laquan McDonald. Even earlier this week, Tallahassee police shot and killed a Black trans person, Tony McDade. What do you say to people who have lost hope in the system?

PC: What! I didn't know about Tony.

For those who have lost hope, I would say, "I don't blame you." When we look across the country and see all the efforts and initiatives that have taken place over the last decade or so—including President Obama's 21st-century policing—there's no evidence that any of them worked, in terms of changing police behavior or culture.

That is why we need folks to get behind alternate systems of public safety. When folks are in distress and are in need ( overdoses, mental-health crises ), we should have more appropriate systems in place that don't escalate violence or perpetuate a cycle of criminalization.


This article shared 4158 times since Sat May 30, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

U.S. House passes resolution urging Griner's release
2022-06-26
The U.S. House passed a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release WNBA star Brittney Griner, CNN reported. "Not a day goes by that we aren't thinking of Brittney and working to get ...


Gay News

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


Gay News

NATIONAL Biden's proposal, VP Harris, Elizabeth Taylor, outbreak, candidates
2022-06-26
Lambda Legal issued a press release lauding the Biden administration for issuing proposed regulations that will help protect LGBTQI+ youth against unlawful discrimination. The proposed rules, issued by the U.S. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elliot Page, NPH, Madonna, Chita Rivera, Jennifer Lopez
2022-06-26
Elliot Page talked with talk-show host Seth Meyers about how her Netflix show The Umbrella Academy incorporated the actor's own personal transition into season three of the series, Deadline noted. "With Steve Blackman, the showrunner of ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Judicial candidate Brad Trowbridge on a repeat run, objectivity, Kyle Rittenhouse
2022-06-25
If Brad Trowbridge's face looks familiar from Windy City Times' election-related articles, that would make sense. The openly gay attorney has run in local judicial races three times, narrowly losing in 2020. Trowbridge recently talked with ...


Gay News

Maggie Trevor among latest group of Victory Fund-endorsed candidates
2022-06-25
Cook County Board of Commissioners candidate Maggie Trevor is included in the most recent group of political incumbents and candidates with the backing of LGBTQ Victory Fund. LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 23 more out LGBTQ candidates, ...


Gay News

Preckwinkle unveils preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2023
2022-06-25
-- From a press release - (COOK COUNTY, IL) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today released the preliminary forecast for the County's Fiscal Year 2023 showing a projected gap of $18.2 million. This represents the County's smallest budget gap sinc ...


Gay News

Rugby league bans trans women from international competition
2022-06-24
Rugby has banned transgender players from women's international competition until further notice, following global swimming's decision to restrict trans athletes' participation at the elite level, Reuters reported. The International Rugby ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2022 Activist Rick Garcia talks about MWRD race
2022-06-24
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, ...


Gay News

North Carolina to issue accurate birth certificates for transgender people without requiring surgery
2022-06-24
-- From a press release - (Greensboro, NC — June 23, 2022) — Transgender people born in North Carolina will now be able to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates without the need for surgery under a consent judgment issued ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker expands state license plate options to include Chicago Sky, Red Stars and Fire
2022-06-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4434 into law today, expanding the options of professional sports team license plates Illinoisans can choose from at the Secretary of State. The change, which adds the Chicago Fire, the ...


Gay News

Illinois' Kwame Raoul joins VP Harris, other attorneys general to discuss reproductive rights
2022-06-24
-- From a press release - Washington — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined Vice President Kamala Harris as well as Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and California Chief Deputy Attorney General Venus Johnson for a roundtable discussion ...


Gay News

Human Rights Campaign celebrates 50-year Anniversary of Title IX
2022-06-23
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a press release recognizing the 50-year anniversary of Title IX. HRC Interim President Joni Madison said in a statement: "Title IX has had a transformative impact on our ...


Gay News

HRC report: Wage for LGBTQ+ women is 79 cents to the average man's dollar
2022-06-22
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released new data outlining ...


Gay News

Gloria Allen screening/gathering to take place June 23
2022-06-20
A film screening/community gathering to honor the late trans icon Gloria Allen (also known as Mama Gloria) will take place Thursday, June 23, 6-8 p.m., at the South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan Ave. ...


 



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.