Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis honored former Democratic Illinois House Majority Leader Rep. Greg Harris at a breakfast reception and bi-monthly board meeting Oct. 19 at the MWRD headquarters in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.
Ahead of the general business portion of the MWRD regular board meeting, President Kari K. Steele called the meeting to order and then went into the resolutions each commissioner wanted to read into the record by the clerk. This included Brady-Davis' resolution honoring Harris.
The clerk read the entire resolution which elicited applause from the board members and attendees.
Brady-Davis spoke about Harris' 30 years of public service in both city and state governments, including as the highest ranking LGBTQ+ elected official in Illinois history.
"Greg is a champion of justice," said Brady-Davis. "Someone who has never given up fighting for the people of Illinois. Greg wasn't just any state representative. As the first openly gay house leader and openly person with HIV, he challenged norms and confronted prejudice head on. His heart fights for the marginalized, especially in his fervent work within the LGBTQ community during the disheartening AIDS epidemic. As the AIDS crisis ravaged the community, Greg served his community by serving meals and served as a lifeline to those who were ostracized. He is a survivor."
Brady-Davis also spoke about Harris' fight for marriage equality in Illinois, among other legislative achievements, as well as his previous awards and accolades. She added that "I am because of you. The state of Illinois is more safe, secure and stronger because of you."
Fellow MWRD Commissioners Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia, Cameron Davis, Daniel Pogorzelski, Mariyana T. Spyropoulos, Eira L. Corral Sepulveda, Vice President Patricia Theresa Flynn and Steele shared their thoughts about Harris' achievements and what he has meant to them over the years.
Harris said that, in his 30 years of public life he had never been inside the MWRD building before. He added that he was looking forward to seeing the control room and learning more about it.
"When I started, you would go to work every day and try to make your neighborhood better for the people who lived there," he added. "You still all have to do that today, but each of you also have to now contend with fighting back against those who want to deny climate change, deny ballot access and those who want to deny basic truth. I salute anyone who is in government today and anyone who wants to stay in government today, to prove to people … that government can work and does work for them. It is full of decent and honorable people who spend their days trying to make our communities better, safer and our lives better for our families. More equity. More justice."
See mwrd.org/ .