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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Fundraiser held for MWRD Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis
by Carrie Maxwell

This article shared 1458 times since Mon Sep 4, 2023
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A fundraiser was held Aug. 31 at Sidetrack for newly sworn-in Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRC) Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis.

Brady-Davis, a longtime LGBTQ rights and environmental activist, was appointed in July by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to finish the term that was held by now former MWRD Board Commissioner Kim Neely du Buclet, after de Buclet was appointed to the Illinois General Assembly for the 5th state representative district. She will finish out the newly elected 4th Ward Chicago City Council Alderperson Lamont Robinson's term in the state legislature

Ald. Bennett Lawson (44th Ward) noted that LGBTQ+ representation in elected office is growing in Cook County and Chicago with nine Chicago City Council members, three Cook County Board of Commissioners members and two MWRD Commissioners now that Brady-Davis has been appointed to that board.

"We know how important it is to have representation at every level of government, and with our support and our hard work, Precious will be the first Black trans woman elected county-wide in Cook County," Lawson said. "When I say representation matters, I say that because it is not about just checking the box. [Precious] is someone who has been in the trenches for our community for years … She has been slated by the Cook County Democratic Party so she gets to use that cute little Dem approved seal … We are so proud of her."

Illinois state Rep. Ann Williams called Brady-Davis a "fabulous person" and "amazing advocate, candidate and commissioner who is [already] doing great things. I first met Precious when she was working in the environmental space, and I was blown away by her commitment to community and environmental justice and doing right by the people. To see her escalate to this role has been incredibly exciting for me. I am thrilled to now represent this community [with the new redrawn district maps]."

"This is not an 'I,' this is a 'we,'" Brady-Davis said about the stakes surrounding her election. She reminded attendees that this journey to elected office began two years ago, and, "We did not win that campaign, but we were delayed, but we were not denied because I believe everything happens in due season. I feel like I am a leader for this moment, buoyed by so many of you in this room. We just had a one in 100 year storm. We need innovative solutions to solving the climate crisis. That is first and foremost what I am going to do at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. I am going to do it with these amazing commissioners who are all behind me and have been so supportive and welcoming.

"I feel like this is the time. This is my moment. I believe that Black trans lives matter. As we look across our country, we see an onslaught of bills against trans youth. It is disgusting. I believe that when people see themselves reflected in the arc of history, they say I can be that too. I am not in this office just because I am trans, it is because I am qualified and we are flipping what people think of Black trans people, because I believe that Black trans people deserve to be represented in seats of power. We deserve to be represented in government." Additionally, introduced her slate mates for the upcoming elections—Cook County MWRD President Kari Steele and Cook County MWRD Commissioners Marcelino Garcia and Daniel Pogorzelski.

Steele called Brady-Davis "a joy to work with. We get a lot of laughs from her … and still get the job done."

Garcia spoke about being excited to finally have another member of the LGBTQ+ community on the board with him, while Pogorzelski asked the crowd to chant "there is nothing more precious than water" over and over again."

Brady-Davis closed out the remarks by echoing how vital it is to protect Lake Michigan which is the Chicagoland areas source of drinking water and called that the challenge that lies ahead for the MWRD.

Brady-Davis was most recently the Sierra Club Illinois' Deputy Press Secretary and Regional Communications Manager. She also worked for Center on Halsted as the Youth Outreach Coordinator and her alma mater Columbia College Chicago as the Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives. Brady-Davis also wrote a book, I Have Always Been Me, in 2021 focusing on overcoming her childhood trauma and journey as a transgender woman.

Among the host committee members for the Aug. 31event were Pritzker; Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton; Illinois state Reps. Williams, Kelly Cassidy, and Theresa Mah; Illinois state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz; MWRD Board President Steele; MWRD Commissioners Garcia and Yumeka Brown; Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia; Chicago Alds. Lawson and Timmy Knudsen (43rd Ward); Cook County Commissioners Josina Molina and Donna Miller; Equality Illinois CEO Brian Johnson; Sierra Club Illinois Chapter Director Jack Darin, and many other supporters.


This article shared 1458 times since Mon Sep 4, 2023
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