Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Lesbian appointed to vacant 14th District rep post
News update posted April 16, 2011
by Tracy Baim

This article shared 8796 times since Wed Apr 20, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Long-time lesbian activist Kelly Cassidy has been appointed to fill Illinois' 14th District state representative on Chicago's Far North Side. State Rep. Harry Osterman is leaving the post to assume assumes his 48th Ward aldermanic duties in May.

Another lesbian, Paula Basta, had been in consideration for the post, as was transgender activist Catherine Sikora, vice president of the board of Equality Illinois. There were more than 20 people positioning for the appointment.

Basta, regional director of the Levy Center, which serves seniors in Chicago, is not stopping her campaign, however; she announced she is running for the 14th District seat in the 2012 elections.

On May 16, Cassidy will join two other openly gay members of the state House: Rep. Greg Harris and Rep. Deborah Mell. Cassidy is currently director of programs and development as part of the Cook County State's Attorney's executive staff.

The replacement for a vacant post was decided by Democratic ward committeepersons in the area, after a lengthy public meeting April 16. Committeewoman and former state Sen. Carol Ronen had a large influence because of the location of her district within the state rep area.

"I am pleased that after reviewing credentials and hearing from 23 candidates the committeemen unanimously selected Kelly Cassidy to fill the seat vacated by Harry Osterman," Ronen said. "Kelly Cassidy has a set of unique credentials which will allow her to be a strong and effective progressive force in the Illinois House … she will hit the ground running on May 16."

"I am honored to have been selected from over 20 candidates to fill the vacancy left by Representative Harry Osterman's election as 48th ward alderman," Cassidy said. "The 14th District has an abundance of motivated and talented people who presented their credentials yesterday. I have nothing but respect for all of the candidates who made presentations and the nearly 200 people who came to see the presentations. I am thankful for the confidence placed in me by Committeewoman Carol Ronan, Committeman David Fagus and Committeeman Patrick O'Connor who made this decision after an open and fair process."

Paula Basta responded quickly with a press statement attacking both the process of Cassidy's selection, and Cassidy's clout. "Although I am respectful of the laws governing the appointment process for this vacancy, I believe the only true way to earn this seat is through the democratic process where the people get to choose who represents their voices," Basta said is a press statement. "That is why I am announcing without a doubt that I will run for this seat in 2012."

In what appears to be a direct shot at Cassidy, Basta claims she is "not a well-connected insider or connected to a deep-pocketed political machine. I plan to walk each block, knock on every door and earn each vote from the neighbors and friends I have lived next door to and served for over 30 years."

"I am mindful that I will be representing one of the most diverse districts in the state and I plan to spend as much time as possible in the coming months meeting with residents so that they can share their concerns and ideas about our community," Cassidy said. "I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with all of the people of the 14th District as we work towards solutions to the fiscal challenges our state faces. Over the coming weeks as I prepare to take office, I hope to meet with as many people as possible to gather their thoughts and ideas on the needs of the district and solutions to the budget crisis. I am looking forward to working with Sen. Heather Steans, Rep. Greg Harris, Alderman-elect Osterman, Ald. O'Connor and Ald. Joe Moore to serve our constituents and to do everything we can to ensure the interests of the district are protected as much as we possibly can in the face of the looming budget cuts ahead."

"Kelly will make a great addition to the House of Representatives," said Rep. Harris. "I have known her for many years and have always been impressed by her commitment to LGBT rights, a woman's right to choose, and her neighborhood. She has a long track record of effective work in public policy advocacy, in government and community affairs. I think this is great because it will help her hit the ground running at a time when she will be called upon to help make some of the most dire and difficult choices in our state's history. I will be proud to serve with her!"

Rep. Mell also welcomed Cassidy's appointment. "I am thrilled to serve in the General Assembly with Kelly. She is more than qualified and a perfect fit for the 14th district," Mell said.

Long-time gay rights activist Rick Garcia send out a press release on the appointment. "It is telling that Kelly won a unanimous vote. She is imminently qualified to represent the district and she has an impeccable record on LGBT issues," Garcia said.

"There was an abundance of riches in this district, Garcia continued. "Trans rights activist Catherine Sikora has a rich and long history in the community as does Paula Basta. … The committeemen, and especially Committeewoman Carol Ronen, should be commended not only for the open process but for considering all the diversity of this district."

Garcia said in 1996 Cassidy ( who had a broken leg ) helped organize a lobby day at the Springfield capitol to oppose the legislative ban on same-sex marriage. "It was one of our largest lobby days and there was Kelly hobbling around in a foot cast and crutches," Garcia said. "That is a real commitment to fairness and equality. She will be a strong and effective advocate in Springfield."

"We are thrilled with this appointment. Kelly has the experience and intelligence to be an excellent state legislator," said Lowell Jaffe, political director of The Civil Rights Agenda. "The LGBTQ community has a new ally in the General Assembly, and I have no doubt that she will be able to make the difficult decisions that are facing our leaders and the state. Our legislative team is very much looking forward to working with her in her new role."

This article shared 8796 times since Wed Apr 20, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

WORLD African efforts, HIV in Amsterdam, Donatella Versace, 'The Queen in Me' 2023-09-28
- A new attempt to prevent the recognition of and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people in Kenya through a constitutional amendment has been introduced in Parliament, The Washington Blade reported. The move was in response to this ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ player wins WNBA's MVP Award 2023-09-27
- Breanna Stewart won her second WNBA MVP award after a career-best scoring season in her first season with the New York Liberty, Yahoo! Sports reported. The WNBA posted on X (formerly Twitter), "Stewie averaged 23.0 PPG, ...

Gay News

Megan Rapinoe receives send-off in last international match 2023-09-25
- Lesbian soccer icon Megan Rapinoe received a triumphant send-off in her last international match, and the United States beat South Africa 2-0 at Chicago's Soldier Field on Sept. 24, per ABC News. Trinity Rodman and Emily ...

Gay News

Nobody's Darling celebrates expansion into adjoining property with soft opening event 2023-09-24
- In the little over two years since its opening, Nobody's Darling in Andersonville has emerged as one of the premiere inclusive spaces to gather in Chicago. Nobody's Darling has become so successful that co-owners Angela Barnes ...

Gay News

THEATER Mosaic Players revives 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche 2023-09-24
- Are suburban Illinois and Wisconsin towns ready to welcome 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche into their churches, synagogues and community colleges? The artists of a Lake County theater company certainly think so. "I was very pleasantly ...

Gay News

Mets honor lesbian baseball icon Maybelle Blair 2023-09-16
- On Sept. 14 at NYC's Citi Field, the New York Mets recognized the life work of lesbian baseball pioneer Maybelle Blair, 96, with the inaugural Amazin' Mets Foundation Legacy Award, according to a Major League Baseball ...

Gay News

Marge Summit's life to be celebrated Oct. 15 2023-09-15
--From a press release - A celebration of the extraordinary life of Marge Summit, the legendary Chicago bar owner, promoter of live music artists, political advocate and much more who passed away on May 16, 2023. Born Sept. 3, 1935 in ...

Gay News

WORLD Quebec lesbians, violence study, Rugby World Cup, Ugandan bill 2023-09-15
- The hidden history of Quebec lesbians is being explored, the CBC reported. Between 1985 and 1996, a group of lesbians leased the Plateau-Mont-Royal school and ran it as a community center. The school was also home ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lesbian politician, Nancy Pelosi, bomb threat, politician dies, Lyft 2023-09-15
- Kathy Kozachenko—the first out politician elected to public office in the country—will be honored with a statue on the 50th anniversary of her historic election, per The Advocate. The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, will honor ...

Gay News

Dykes to Watch Out For Audible series returns listeners to the '80s 2023-09-08
By Ro White - From 1983-2008, Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For captured the drama and hilarity of lesbian life. Now it's been adapted into an Audible Original series that draws parallels between the queer past and ...

Gay News

Laura Ricketts talks about Chicago Red Stars deal, investor group, coming out 2023-09-04
- On Aug. 1, a group of investors led by lesbian Chicago Cubs co-owner/Chicago Sky minority owner Laura Ricketts announced that they had officially took ownership of the Chicago Red Stars National Women's Soccer League franchise. The ...

Gay News

Laura Ricketts-led group of diverse investors buys Chicago Red Stars in $60 million deal 2023-09-01
- From an Sept. 1 press release: A diverse investor group led by Laura Ricketts and prominent Chicago women business and civic leaders has officially taken ownership of the Chicago Red Stars National Women's Soccer League ...

Gay News

Rapinoe's last international match to take place in Chicago on Sept. 24 2023-08-31
- Lesbian soccer icon and two-time Women's World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe will play her last professional match against South Africa on Sunday, Sept. 24, in Chicago, U.S. Soccer announced. The match (scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT) ...

Gay News

Brave Space Alliance holds Post Pride Mixer 2023-08-30
- On Aug. 27, Brave Space Alliance held its Post Pride Mixer at popular lesbian-owned bar Nobody's Darling. The social gathering celebrated past accomplishments while looking forward to new horizons for both the service organization and the ...

Gay News

Sharon Zurek among Chicago Filmmakers' 'Big Shoulders Award' honorees 2023-08-24
--From a press release - (CHICAGO, IL) Chicago Filmmakers proudly announces the recipients of their "Big Shoulders Awards" to be presented during Chicago Filmmakers' Golden Anniversary Celebration and Awards Reception. This special event takes place ...


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.






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.