Compiled by Kaitlyn McAvoy
Chicagoans tell Windy City Times who they plan to vote for for president and particular races they find interesting this election season-
—Michael Bauer, political activist: For President, I am voting for Barack Obama. His support on a wide number of subjects affecting the LGBT and pro-choice communities make Sen. Obama a clear choice versus John McCain. The most important race that I get to vote in is that of Cook County State's Attorney, where Democrat Anita Alvarez is running against Republican Tony Peraica. It is critical that Alvarez be elected so Cook County can continue to have a state's attorney who is both sensitive and empathetic with issues arising out of the LGBT community.
—David Zak, Bailiwick Repertory Theatre artistic director: Obama. I love that he talks about art and science as important ingredients for education. And from a theatrical point of view, no one is more interesting then that Sarah Palin. If she were in a play no one would believe the things she gets away with.
—David Valkema, chairman for the Log Cabin Republicans of Illinois: By looking at the change Sen. Barack Obama brought to his constituency we can then see the change he is capable of bringing to the nation; they are dismal ,at best. Out of the 50 states, Illinois ranks 48th in economic performance, 47th in employment growth, 7th highest in median property taxes paid and first in sales tax burden. These statistics just scratch the surface of where Chicago and Illinois is now, as a result of the changes Sen. Obama worked hard on for us. From looking at Senator Obama's past history, he is not capable of bringing any good changes to his constituency in the future.
—Mark E. Wojcik, professor at The John Marshall Law School: [ I'm voting for ] Obama, without a doubt. The country needs him as our president to recover from the disasters that the Bush administration has brought upon our country.
—Michael O'Connor, activist: I'm voting for Obama. I believe Obama will increase transparency so that ordinary Americans can understand their government and trust that their money is well spent. I am voting for Obama because of his stance for GBLT rights in this country! Also, I am interested in the 11th congressional district race between Democrat Debbie Halvorson and Republican Marty Ozinga. It's a fantastic opportunity for the democrats to gain a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
—Rick Garcia, public policy director for Equality Illinois: I'm voting for Barack Obama. I've known Barack Obama long before he was a presidential candidate or even a United States senator. When Barack was running for the Illinois Senate, I met with him to discuss issues important to gay, lesbian and transgender Illinoisans. I was impressed with not only his thoughtfulness but his command of the issues. Most importantly, he understood the issues and his commitment to LGBT equal rights clearly stemmed not from political correctness, politics or trying to woo votes—but from a deeply held belief that all of us should be treated fairly and equitably. —Renae Ogletree, Department of Post Secondary Education and Student Development: Obama not only represents a clear agenda but he also motivates me to want to help make change happen. He is clear that he cannot do this work alone. He makes me believe that he needs my help. His passion about what he believes about change in America has me charged up and ready to go! Clearly, if we voted today, Obama would be victorious.
—William B. Kelley, historian and part of the advisory group for the Chicago Gay History Project: I am voting for the Democrats, and particularly Barack Obama, because I believe Democratic candidates are much better on issues that matter to me as a gay man and as an American. I find the 65th district's race for state representative particularly interesting. Current Republican Rep. Rosemary Mulligan has taken some good positions, but challenger Aurora Austriaco—whom I know personally and admire—is energetic, enthusiastic, personable and able to work well with others. She is excellent on issues including abortion, gay rights and civil rights. I'm supporting Austriaco not just because she's a Democrat but because she's so capable.
—The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, chief executive officer of the Chicago House and Social Service Agency: I'm voting for Barack because I think he offers the strong leadership we need at this time. I am also particularly interested in the Mark Kirk and Dan Seals race. What would have been unthinkable without an Obama ticket is suddenly possible here in Illinois.