Joey Johnston, a gay man who in February lost a bid for a post on the Berwyn Township Trustees board, has been appointed to the board after one of the winners in that race decided not to take her oath of office.
Johnston was one of several candidates in the 2017 contestsmany of them LGBTaffiliated with the Berwyn United organization, which has frequently challenged policies and viewpoints of Mayor Robert Lovero and his allies.
One of the eventual winners, Elizabeth Jimenez, was told that her taking an oath for the trustees might conflict with a seat that she already held on the Berwyn South School District 100 board, so the trustees voted to replace her. Johnston won a 3-2 vote against Brenda Patterson, another candidate who had previously lost her bid. City Clerk Marge Paul, a Berwyn United ally, cast the deciding vote.
"That means another gay person will hold elected office in Berwyn until 2019," said local activist Ted Korbos.
Indeed, Johnston now becomes the eighth openly LGBT member in Berwyn government. In October, he told Windy City Times that he wanted to join the board because, "I've always wanted to become involved in my community … There's a movement now for Berwyn for change, and here's the perfect opportunity to do."