Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

43RD WARD CHALLENGER: PETER ZELCHENKO
2007-02-21

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


BY MEGHAN STREIT

Peter Zelchenko is an outspoken writer and community organizer. Over the years, this Lincoln Park native has held several different jobs, and worked on projects almost too numerous to count. Now he's decided to try his hand in local government by running for alderman in the 43rd Ward.

Windy City Times: You have a really lengthy resume. What is it from your background that you think has most prepared you to be alderman of the 43rd Ward?

Peter Zelchenko: I've been communicating all my life. I'm a third-generation journalist—[with a] newspaper background. Maybe I haven't been full-time at the big newspapers, but I've understood how to do this all my life. Communicating has been second nature to me all my life. And the fact is that in the 43rd Ward, we don't communicate, which is what has gotten us into a lot of trouble.

WCT: In things you've written, you've been outspoken about the problems you see in Chicago government. Can you talk about what you think is wrong with our government.

PZ: We've had problems all my life, and for many generations before that. This is nothing new in Chicago. As I've been doing over many years, people need to speak up. We have very 'namby-pamby' people in office today. If things play out the way they look like they're playing out, we're not going to have very any outspoken aldermen unless we get some replacements in this cycle. The well-funded candidates are getting elected, and these folks are afraid to ruffle any feathers. That's how they got where they are in the first place. The best candidates aren't terribly well-funded, they've never worked for the city, but understand democracy, and these folks have less of a chance of getting elected. This ward is no exception.

Two-thirds of Lincoln Park's population are renters. They're not 'McMansion' owners, which is what most people think everyone here is. We've got low-income housing. We have African Americans throughout the ward. It's a very heterogeneous ward, and technically not being served by the city powers.

I've got some ideas about education that are very iconoclastic for someone who would be serving in the 43rd Ward. I'm saying the city schools are doing very poorly, overall. It's important for the 43rd Ward alderman to set an example and claim a leadership role in coaxing residents of these wards to exercise charity. Let's adopt these other schools in the city. We're doing fine here, now let's improve the entire school system. We've had 17 years of Richard M. Daley in charge of the school system, and it's been a real problem.

WCT: A lot of people with good intentions get elected, and then do the things they said they'd do.

PZ: Exactly. You've got four years, and most of the electorate isn't really awake anyway, and the newspapers aren't really covering it. It's really easy to fall off the wagon. You can't just have good intentions, you also have to have commitment to carry it out.

That's going to my main activity for the first few months, establishing a ward assembly, and the assembly is going to have veto power over me. I am going to communicate with the ward through a spin free publication that is journalistically neutral.

WCT: So you advocate for the press as the fourth branch of democracy?

PZ: Oh, yes. The Sun-Times is pretty outspoken, but all of the real issues are drowning in the pop culture. The Tribune fails to even report. That's why the alderman needs to be the voice of last resort because in many areas, there are no good publications. So I've got to got to do it, and I can do it.

WCT: Do you think people would get more involved if they had the information?

PZ: It depends on how you spin it. Most politicians are out there to say everything is wonderful, and when you say things like that, of course it lulls people into a sense of complacency. My publication is going to be provocative. It's going to say, 'This is what the alderman wants to do...Here are the pros and the cons. What do you think?'

WCT: One issue that remains really important in the national debate is same-sex marriage. What are your thoughts on that issue?

PZ: It is technically more in the state's jurisdiction, and yet the leaders of our city have direct access, and are on a first-name basis, with legislators at the state level—and they could even pass resolutions and debate things on the city level. It would be very interesting to see what every ward in the city thinks about gay marriage. I happen to be in support of it. I would not foist that opinion on my constituency; this is where we come into my position as a leader. I think that a good statement needs to debate...just to start the ball rolling and possibly even to coax the constituency.

WCT: Another issue that is important to the LGBT community, as well as to the African-American and Latino communities is funding for HIV prevention and treatment. What do you think the city could do to improve that?

PZ: There are a lot of groups competing for social funding. This is something that we obviously need to increase. It's going to be a huge wrestling match. Again, with the lakefront wards being the most affluent, need to take the lead. Even if we don't have the most HIV-affected populations. If we're affluent and part of the leisure class, we owe it to the public to bring it up, and we should definitely go to the mayor and push for budgets to expand that sort of coverage.

*********


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

World news: Olympic resolution, 'LGBTQ Poland' book, Canada's apology 2017-11-20
Fioretti, Stroger running for board president 2017-11-20
National roundup: Tyler Clementi, Victory Fund, Republican busted 2017-11-20
HRC rises to occasion at 2017 gala 2017-11-19
Dr. Kathleen Robbins appointed to IL Senate Task Force on Discrimination, Harassment 2017-11-19
HRC spotlights five Trump-Pence anti-LGBTQ nominees as the greatest threats 2017-11-18
Planned Parenthood of Illinois Marks Transgender Awareness Week 2017-11-17
HRC & Trans People of Color Coalition: Fatal violence against trans community rising 2017-11-17
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson announces Parkinson's diagnosis 2017-11-17
Rally Nov. 16 for release of father with health issues from detention center 2017-11-16
Lipinski opponent, mom of trans child, to host Sidetrack event 2017-11-16
Community groups to boycott the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday 2017-11-15
Researchers: No simple solutions for tackling LGBTQ youth-homelessness crisis 2017-11-15
Morningstar hosts investing for equality discussion 2017-11-15
Australians approve marriage equality 2017-11-15
Leadership Conference opposes Don Willett for 5 Circuit Court of Appeals 2017-11-14
ACLU attorney Strangio discusses trans rights at UChicago event 2017-11-14
National roundup: Father kills son, Calif. education, Kenneth Cole situation 2017-11-14
World news: Theologian, Gaydar co-founder die, crocodile hunter 2017-11-14
EEOC cuts backlog 16%, labor union warns justice denied 2017-11-14
UN member states maintain non-discrimination in Olympic Truce Resolution 2017-11-14
Victory Fund endorses gubernatorial candidates; could triple LGBTQ representation 2017-11-14
Loop rally focuses on rights of LGBTs, women 2017-11-13
Chicago organizations expose ICE tactics, sue over agency secrecy 2017-11-13
City softens single-user restroom regulations 2017-11-12
HHS accused of censoring LGBTQ homeless advocates 2017-11-11
Members of Congress Announce Amicus Brief in Key LGBTQ Rights Case 2017-11-10
Attny Gen Lisa Madigan opposes Tribune/Sinclair media merger 2017-11-10
Under Review: Transgender airman inspired by grandfather's service weighs future 2017-11-10
Trans candidate discusses historic Virginia victory 2017-11-10
Puerto Rican veterans demand federal hurricane relief for Puerto Rico 2017-11-09
LGBTQ Forum: Democratic candidates for governor taking questions, viewing sites statewide 2017-11-09
HRC scores Illinois companies' LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies 2017-11-09
LGBTQ persecution reported in Azerbaijan, senators call on State Dept. to investigate 2017-11-09
Middleton first openly transgender person elected to non-judicial office in California 2017-11-08
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, colleagues bring legislation for LGBT seniors services 2017-11-08
LGBT candidates win 55 percent of races nationwide 2017-11-08
EI launches LGBTQ leadership initiative 2017-11-08
Open enrollment for ACA insurance has begun 2017-11-08
AFC conference focuses on bisexual health 2017-11-08
 



Copyright © 2017 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.