A chance for history
The Latino LGBT community in Chicago has a tremendous opportunity created by the recent decision by 1st Ward Ald. Manny Flores' decision to accept an appointment by Gov. Quinn to head the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Manny has been a steadfast supporter of the LGBT community and I expect that his support will carry over into his new position. I am proud that as a Latino elected official, he never wavered in his support of our community and I want to publicly thank him being such a strong ally.
While I am sad to see him go his departure brings an opportunity for the Latino/a LGBT community to seek to fill his vacancy with an openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Latino. Imagine thata place at the table!
The time is right for such a move and there are a number of organizations and individuals who recognize how important having one of our brothers and sisters representing us on the City Council would be.
We are still waiting for our Tom Tunney, our Greg Harris, our Debra Shore, our Sebastian Patti, our Deb Mell. And now is the time to do something about it!
I am proud to be able to say that someone from the Latino LGBT community has stepped forward to seek appointment as alderman of the 1st Ward, and the city council could soon have it's first openly lesbian Latina alderman.
It is my hope that Mona Noriega's decision to seek this position will inspire others to consider running for public office. For years, me and many in the Latina/o LGBT community have worked to elect our straight Latino brothers and sisters. Now we have an opportunity to have a voice on the City Council and we should seize the opportunity.
Are you with me?
To the editor:
In the coming primary I'm wondering where our gay elected officials' loyalties lie.
In the 7th State Senate district there is an excellent gay candidate, Jim Madigan, running a very credible campaign. Yet, Greg Harris, a gay legislator, endorses the straight incumbent.
In the 11th State Legislative district there is another highly regarded gay candidate, Ed Mullen; yet Greg Harris and Alderman Tom Tunney both endorse one of his straight opponents.
The straight people these gay elected officials have endorsed are politically well-connected and intertwined with the Democratic Machine that runs Illinois.
Getting more gay, lesbian and transgender folks elected is clearly not Harris' or Tunney's priority. When it comes down to it, Harris and Tunney back the people House Speaker Madigan and Mayor Daley tell them to. Now that they are comfortably inert in their incumbencies, the community that helped elect them is betrayed and forgotten.
Riding the Red Line
Concerning the unfortunate criminal victimization of the 33-year-old gay man on the Red Line "L" train, LGBT people are criminally victimized just like everyone else. In this case, the victim demonstrated several lapses in judgement that hastened the criminal offense. Media reports indicate both the Chicago Transit Authority ( CTA ) and Chicago police responded appropriately and even placed three men under arrest for the incident.
While establishing motive is not a required element under the law, nothing indicates this offense was motivated by the victim's sexual orientation, although one glaring omission does stand out. Under Illinois law ( 720 ILCS 5/12-4 ) , misdemeanor battery committed on either public property or involving a passenger on a public transportation system becomes aggravated battery, a class 3 felony.
The failure of the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to seek and/or approve felony charges for this and other similar offenses, as the General Assembly provides for, demonstrate the unequal and subjective application of criminal charges. This only promulgates future crime and allows riding the CTA to be a risky endeavor.
Bob Zuley, Chicago