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
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

LGBT forum lays out issues for mayoral candidates
by Carrie Maxwell
2011-01-01

This article shared 3171 times since Sat Jan 1, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


With the next Chicago mayoral election up for grabs (for the first time in more than 20 years), LGBT organizations and community leaders held a forum entitled "The LGBT Community and the Next Mayor of Chicago" at the Center on Halsted Nov. 29.

The evening began with 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney giving an overview of the committee's goals. Tunney mentioned that about 20 members of the city council will change hands "so we have work to do."

Then, the moderator, AIDS Foundation of Chicago's David Munar, laid out the ground rules for the discussion. He said that these forums will be a way to keep "LGBT issues high on the radar" of the mayoral candidates. He emphasized that the discussion would not include any back-and-forth conversations, but would illuminate the issues that were not included on the briefing materials that attendees received as they arrived.

The first person to speak was Laurie Dittman, who talked about City of Chicago employee benefits. Dittman made note of the achievements the city has made with regard to its personnel rules. The city has replaced the term "sexual preference" with "sexual orientation"; added the term "gender identity"; and expanded the definition of "immediate family member" to include a domestic partner's mom, dad, son or daughter. She then emphasized that, despite the city being a leader in providing domestic-partner benefits, there need to be changes in state law regarding pension-fund benefits to include domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Then, Edwin Corbin-Gutierrez spoke about immigration issues as they relate to the LGBT community. Gutierrez highlighted the difficulties same-sex couples face since they cannot sponsor each other to come live in the United States, like opposite-sex couples can. He mentioned the work that DREAM Act proponents are doing to help LGBT youth affected by these policies, along with the plight of LGBT refugees. Lastly, he touched on the inconsistencies regarding immigration enforcement.

LGBT youth homelessness issues were the foci of Kelly Cassidy talk. She said the homeless need access to services, including the need for more shelter space. Since there is a higher percentage of homeless LGBT youth in Chicago (about 2,000 to 3,000 people) than among non-LGBT youth, Cassidy said the city has to pick up the slack when other service providers reject LGBT homeless youth because of their lack of education and training or their discrimination.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Debra Shore discussed the need for significant numbers of mayoral appointments to be LGBT leaders so they can set policy direction and provide visibility for the community. Shore said that this is a project similar to the one that was created when President Obama took office where they identified, recruited and vetted qualified people from the LGBT community to potentially work in his administration. According to Shore, they would be doing the same thing in Chicago with this project so the next mayor will have a briefing book of potential appointments from which to choose.

Bennett Lawson highlighted public safety. One of the things he said was crucial was the need to have an anti-bullying program with the police and Chicago Public Schools so young people will feel safe. Lawson also talked about the need to have an LGBT liaison in all districts and not just the 23rd District, as well as the need to recruit more LGBT police officers.

Tunney ended the presentation part of the evening talking about LGBT senior issues. He remarked that they are working on a proposal to convert the old 23rd District Police Station into a senior center, which would be a natural extension to the Center on Halsted, located just down the street. He also expressed his hopes that the next mayor will approve this measure so LGBT seniors can get more services in the city. The other topics that were included on the briefing materials included education, transgender rights and HIV/AIDS funding; however, the people in charge of those areas were unable to attend the forum.

When the committee members were finished reporting out the open discussion began. The discussion titles were: What's missing? What actions should the new mayor take? How to enable the community? Some of the issues attendees had added to what's missing question category included having HIV/AIDS and sex education curriculum in CPS schools; mandatory updated LGBT sensitivity training for city and contract workers; and training for aging service providers and access for transgendered people to housing/shelter.

As far as what actions the new mayor can take, attendees mentioned the keeping the LGBT advisory committee; committing to partner benefits for city workers and city contractors; keeping the LGBT liaison and Hall of Fame; and having a mayor who lobbies for marriage equality and marches in the Pride Parade each year. People also suggested that a background fact sheet should be created to highlight the candidates' history on LGBT issues and that pro-LGBT mayoral candidates speak out against the anti-gay stances of other candidates.

Munar said that in order to get the entire Chicago LGBT community involved, the committee will hold forums on the West and South sides. Following the forums, the committee will then amass the information to create a questionnaire they will issue to the mayoral candidates in mid-December so they could get the responses back from the candidates by mid-January. They also plan on holding a candidates' forum in early 2011 that will focus on LGBT issues.

For more information on this event, visit www.eqil.org/nextmayor.html.


This article shared 3171 times since Sat Jan 1, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Three Illinoisans among Victory Fund's latest endorsed candidates 2021-02-24
- On Feb. 24, LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office—issued a press release announcing its endorsement of 30 more LGBTQ candidates for 2021 races. Illinois candidates in the group ...


Gay News

Daniel Biss wins Evanston mayoral race 2021-02-24
- Former Illinois state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democrat, won the Evanston mayoral race on Feb. 23, media outlets reported. An hour after polls closed, Biss had collected more than 73 percent of the votes counted and ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan now wants successor to step down 2021-02-24
- Just two days after appointing Edward Guerra Kodatt as his successor, former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has asked him to step down, according to various media outlets. Marty Quinn, alderman of Chicago's 13th Ward, joined ...


Gay News

1.3 million adult immigrants in the US identify as LGBT 2021-02-23
--From a press release - LGBT immigrants are more often male and younger compared to all immigrants in the country An estimated 1,274,500 LGBT foreign-born adults live in the U.S., including 289,700 who are undocumented and 984,800 who are documented, according ...


Gay News

Madigan resigns as state Democratic chair 2021-02-23
- On Feb. 22, former longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan resigned as chairman of the state Democratic Party—one day after anointing 26-year-old constituent services worker Edward Guerra Kodatt to fill the legislative seat he held for ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan chooses successor 2021-02-21
- Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said Feb. 21 he hasn't made a decision on how long he will continue as state Democratic Party chairman as he installed a 26-year-old constituent services worker as his successor ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian groups, Moroccan refugee, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, trans heroine 2021-02-21
- From $400,000 in funding for a national initiative aimed at expanding two-spirit advocacy, to $239,000 to improve LGBTQ youth housing access in the Prairies, 76 Canadian community groups are being sent nearly $15 million from the ...


Gay News

Equality Act introduced Feb. 18 2021-02-18
- The Equality Act was formally reintroduced to Congress on Feb. 18 by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and openly gay U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, Gay City News reported. The legislation, which most recently passed the lower chamber ...


Gay News

Equality Act reintroduced in House of Representatives, NCLR responds 2021-02-18
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Today, NCLR lauded the reintroduction of the Equality Act (H.R. 5), a bipartisan comprehensive federal civil rights bill that would create permanent protections for LGBTQ individuals, women ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan to resign from Illinois House 2021-02-18
- Illinois state Rep. Michael Madigan announced that he plans to resign from the Illinois House at the end of this month, The Chicago Tribune reported. Madigan has represented a Southwest Side district for a half-century—the majority ...


Gay News

Lightfoot wants local statues and plaques reviewed 2021-02-18
- Statues of presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and William McKinley, as well as the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, were among the 41 public statues and other commemorative markers that Chicago ...


Gay News

NATIONAL: Missing gay man, paramedic's suit, Equality Act, Bayard Rustin 2021-02-14
- San Francisco police are seeking the public's help finding a gay man who went missing, seemingly without a trace, The Bay Area Reporter noted. The mother of Christopher J. Woitel, 50, last heard from him Jan. ...


Gay News

WORLD School items, Olympics, Angola law, Dutch senate 2021-02-14
- Toronto's Catholic school board reinstated the link to an LGBT support phone line on its website following outrage from the community, according to Yahoo! News, citing The Canadian Press. The school board removed LGBT YouthLine from ...


Gay News

Mike Simmons talks about making history in Illinois state Senate 2021-02-14
- In a historic move on Feb. 6, Mike Simmons——who is Black (half African-American, half Ethiopian) and gay— was chosen to succeed Heather Steans as Illinois state senator for the 7th District. According to Simmons, he will ...


Gay News

Trump acquitted again on Feb. 13 2021-02-13
- On Feb. 13, the U.S. Senate acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, concluding a historic impeachment trial, The Chicago Tribune reported. The Senate convened for a rare weekend ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.