Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Terry Cosgrove marks 30 years heading Personal PAC
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 3899 times since Sun Mar 1, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

For 30 years, the nonpartisan organization Personal PAC has been successfully working toward a society where reproductive justice is the law of the land across Illinois.

To celebrate this milestone, Personal PAC will be holding a roast Saturday, March 7, 7-10 p.m., at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery, 688 N. Milwaukee Ave., to honor founder Marcie Love and former board chairs Jerry Newton and Melissa Widen, with Illinois Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer and former state Sen. Toi Hutchinson serving as the emcee. Additionally, Personal PAC will be noting Terry Cosgrove's 30 years as the organization's CEO.

Cosgrove's journey to Personal PAC began when he moved back to Chicago in 1987 and joined the board of pro-choice organization Illinois NARAL, where he met Love.

"I am not sure Marcie and I knew what to make of each other then, but her deep commitment to reproductive justice and political sense fit with what I thought was needed, which was winning elections and changing laws," Cosgrove told Windy City Times. "In 1989, when it became clear the U.S. Supreme Court was open to dangerous restrictions on abortion, the pro-choice leaders of Illinois agreed that Marcie and Personal PAC should lead the unified political strategy to fighting all the horrible anti-choice laws that were being introduced and passed in Springfield."

Love said when they decided to hire an executive director and find an office the search committee narrowed their choices to three people—one of whom was Cosgrove.

"Terry was, by far, the best candidate," said Love. "After many, many discussions and all of us agonizing, we hired him. I took so much grief for hiring a man. But hiring Terry was one of the two best decisions I have ever made, the other was saying yes to my husband's proposal."

Cosgrove said that when he called his father to tell him about accepting the job despite the fact that the organization had no office or phones or computer and hardly any money, he said, "Terry, are you crazy?" and "I responded, 'Dad, have you met me?'" and "Here I am 30-plus years later."

Personal PAC is, according to its website, "dedicated to protecting and advancing reproductive rights for all women by recruiting, electing and holding accountable pro-choice candidates to state and local office in Illinois."

Cosgrove said Personal PAC has been critical in transforming Illinois from one of the most anti-choice states in the nation to one of the most pro-choice states by raising money to win elections for as many pro-choice candidates as possible.

"It takes 30 votes to pass a bill in the Senate, 60 votes in the House and one governor to sign or veto," said Cosgrove. "If the right wing has the votes, they win. If we have them, we win."

In terms of the most challenging part of getting pro-choice legislation passed in the Illinois General Assembly, Cosgrove said it is getting legislators and candidates to understand that "the anti-choice movement is a small, albeit dedicated, very noisy group of people intent on keeping women second class citizens."

Love said that during her time on the board she was most proud of helping elect 18 pro-choice Republicans in the 1990s because she always felt this should be a nonpartisan issue.

"Another was getting birth control covered by insurance," said Love. "Viagra yes; birth control pill, no. And, as I got involved in this issue because women of means could get an abortion but not poor women, finally getting abortion services paid so poor women could have access."

Newton said "Personal PAC's ability to educate voters and influence them in considering reproductive justice in their voting decisions has been an evolution. Now we are on the cusp of being the most pro-choice state once we repeal the dangerous and punitive Parental Notice of Abortion ( PNA ) law. Requiring parental notice for a teenager's abortion is a violation of that teenager's human rights. That is not who we are and the law must be repealed."

"Thirty years of fighting for reproductive justice has gotten us to the strong place where we are today in Illinois," said Personal PAC Board Chair Eileen Dordek. "We must maintain our laser-focus and elect pro-choice champions every two years to ensure access to reproductive healthcare into the future."

Cosgrove said there were two important pieces of pro-choice legislation that got passed that have meant the most to him personally—when the Cook County board restored abortion services at Cook County Hospital and Illinois House Bill 40 that removed the 1977 restriction on Medicaid funding for abortion care.

"I am looking forward to the day when the dangerous PNA law is repealed because it puts the health and lives of pregnant teenagers at risk," said Cosgrove.

In addition to his work at Personal PAC, Cosgrove has been an activist and ally of the LGBTQ community for decades. He received the Equality Illinois Freedom Award in 2017 and was inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame in 2014.

"LGBTQ equality and reproductive rights are intertwined because both are about people being able to control their lives and bodies," said Cosgrove.

Cosgrove said the stakes are sky high right now because "we can lose everything in one election. Just look at 2016. There is never a time when we can afford to not be fully engaged. Roe v. Wade is about to be overturned, and with it likely marriage equality, as the foundation of equal marriage is the Roe decision."

He told Windy City Times that the most effective way to fight back is by voting for candidates in the March 17 Illinois primary and the Nov. 3 general election who have committed to reproductive justice, every marginalized community's equality and climate justice.

"People often ask how I survive doing this work for so many years and I say, being around people who have great senses of humor," said Cosgrove. "I take my work very seriously, but not myself. The roast is going to be about the serious work and accomplishments of Personal PAC, but it is going to be a night of celebration and great humor. I cannot wait to hear the roasts of our three former chairs, and maybe even get in a comment or two of my own."

To purchase tickets for the March 7 event, visit .

This article shared 3899 times since Sun Mar 1, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Strict Ugandan anti-LGBTQ+ bills signed into law
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has signed some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the world, according to CNN. The bill includes the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which includes sex with a minor, having sex while ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Google Doodle, drag laureate, Nebraska bill, NYC AIDS Walk
D.C. poet/activist/journalist Ivy Young passed away at age 75, per a press release. Among other things, Young worked at Chicago's VISTA; the Center for Black Education and Drum and Spear Book Store in D.C.; the ...

Gay News

WORLD Japanese bill, 'HRC Equidad CL,' center closes, UN expert, amFAR gala
LGBTQ+-rights activists criticized a new bill submitted to the Diet (Japan's national legislature) aimed at "promoting understanding" of equality issues as a "meaningless gesture," Japan Today noted. Japan's coalition government ...

Gay News

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy denounces violent acts stemming from political speech
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, along with members of the House Dobbs Working Group responded to increasing acts of violence and threats stemming from political attacks on reproductive rights and the LGBTQ community ...

Gay News

Illinois Healthcare Cultural Competency Coalition applauds passage of HB 2450
--From a press release - The Illinois Healthcare Cultural Competency Coalition applauds passage by the Illinois General Assembly of legislation that will ensure cultural competency is part of continuing medical education for a range of healthcare providers in Illinois. "We are ...

Gay News

Board of Commissioners unanimously passes Bodily Autonomy Ordinance Amendment with support of Equality Illinois, ACLU Illinois
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — May 25th 2023 — Today, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed an amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance ensuring the protection of all individual's right to their own bodily autonomy. The ...

Gay News

Louisiana Senate committee kills anti-trans bill aimed at minors
The Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee has stopped an anti-trans bill aimed at minors, WBRZ News 2 in Baton Rouge has reported. Republican committee chairman Fred Mills joined Democrats on May 24 to kill Louisiana House Bill 648—a bill tha ...

Gay News

Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee kills bans on gender affirming care, HRC responds
--From a press release - Baton Rouge, Louisiana — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, thanks members of the Louisiana Senate Health ...

Gay News

Dr. Petros Levounis takes office as American Psychiatric Association president
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2023 — Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., an internationally renowned addiction expert and advocate of LBGTQ+ mental health, began his term as president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) at the 2023 APA ...

Gay News

TaskForce Chicago's ED talks organization, AIDS stigma and queerness
Among the many organizations helping Chicago youths is TaskForce Prevention & Community Services. The West Side-based organization helps hundreds of youths by being committed to addressing the HIV/STI-related needs of ...

Gay News

HRC condemns Ohio state senate for passing education censorship bill
--From a press release - Columbus, Ohio — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the Ohio State Senate for passing ...

Gay News

Attorney general concludes Illinois Catholic clergy sex-abuse investigation
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a comprehensive report detailing decades of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in the state. The report concludes a multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by members ...

Gay News

Sodomy laws repealed in Minnesota and Maryland
Sodomy laws are no longer on the books in Minnesota and Maryland. According to The Los Angeles Blade, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a public-safety bill into law on May 19 that repeals several anti-LGBTQ+ sections ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal marks 50 years with Bon Foster Civil Rights Celebration
Lambda Legal marked its 50th anniversary with The Bon Foster Civil Rights Celebration May 19 at the Art Institute of Chicago. The event honored Windy City Times Owner and Co-Founder Tracy Baim. The celebration was named ...

Gay News

Advocates applaud Illinois General Assembly passage of House Bill 1286 for gender-neutral multiple-occupancy restrooms
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Advocates celebrated passage by the Illinois General Assembly of House Bill 1286, legislation that will reduce barriers for businesses serving their communities and customers by allowing for the ...


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.