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 2020-03-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

42ND WARD CHALLENGER: BRENDAN REILLY
2007-02-21

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


By Andrew Davis

Brendan Reilly believes himself to be a 'man of the people'—a person who feels he can be a better advocate for the 42nd Ward stakeholders than current alderman Burton Natarus has been. Reilly—whose Web site states that he 'is firmly committed to holding the line on taxes for local property owners, consumers and employers'—also feels that he would be more accessible to the ward's constituents than the incumbent is.

Reilly recently talked with Windy City Times about the LGBT community and his vision for the ward.

Windy City Times: So, how do you like your chances against the current alderman?

Brendan Reilly: I think we have a great chance. The feedback on the streets has been fantastic. Wherever I go, people say that it's time for a change. People feel that the city council's lost touch. People are referencing recent headlines regarding the regulation of restaurant menus and efforts to put uniforms on cab drivers; they feel that bigger issues aren't being focused on.

WCT: What are your qualifications?

BR: I started my career working in the Illinois House of Representatives, working under then-Minority Leader Mike Madigan. I started as an environmental policy analyst and appropriations staffer; in that role, I help staffed the environment and energy committee, and was responsible for crunching state budgets that added up to roughly $6 billion. I was later communications director for Speaker Madigan and the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Following my six and a half years in the House, I joined Paul Vallas in his campaign for governor; I served as his spokesperson and communications director during the 2002 primary. I actually credit him for renewing my interest in public service. Even though he lost, I thought that the experience was very rewarding.

Afterwards, I joined AT&T, where I serve as Midwest vice-president of public affairs. I'm their youngest regional vice-president in the country.

WCT: I saw on your Web site that you want to make the 42nd Ward 'the most liveable and employer-friendly area in Chicago.' Do you mean to make it liveable for those who can afford it? I talked with some people about the ward, and they see it as 'pretentious' and 'homogeneous.' Are you seeking to incorporate more diversity into the ward?

BR: Honestly, I think that the 42nd Ward is pretty diverse. Certainly, it tends to be more upscale and real estate is more expensive. However, I think that it is pretty racially diverse.

When I say that I want to make it more liveable, I'm focusing on current residents who have to deal day-to-day with other aspects of the ward, including tourism economy and the commercial economy off of Michigan Avenue and in the River North area. That requires someone who's going to be proactive and who's going to work hard every day to balance those various needs. To me, it's about taking care of current residents and balancing future developments and growth in the ward. We need to have someone who provides more input to local residents: sharing information, soliciting input [and] bringing local stakeholders to the table to make sure we promote growth in a responsible manner and bring more transparency to the process.

WCT: Where do you stand regarding housing?

BR: We need to promote a balance of commercial and residential housing. In neighborhoods like River North, you have a tremendous amount of residential housing but not a lot of commercial development; I understand that residents there are looking for some of those neighborhood amenities, like a local dry-cleaner or a retail shop. In other areas, such as Streeterville, there's been a tremendous amount of residential development and I think that we can always promote additional retail space here. You have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.

WCT: What do you think the alderman's biggest weakness is?

BR: Well, I'm not going to launch into some sort of attack...

WCT: Or what do you feel he's not doing right? I'm assuming you're running because you feel he isn't doing something correctly. BR: I would argue that the alderman has lost touch with the real priorities of residents. Voters are concerned that many development decisions are being made in a vacuum; people feel that their opinions are not solicited in a proactive manner.

From developments stem all kinds of issues, like traffic congestion and scarcity of parking. The one criticism I hear on a pretty regularly is that [voters] are not being invited into that process.

I'm absolutely willing to listen to the residents. An alderman's chief responsibility is being accessible and responsive. Every letter or call deserves a response in a timely fashion, and that response should include a clearly-stated next step and regular progress updates. Some constituents have sent letters and left voicemails and have never heard back. An alderman should respond to concerns and proactively share information.

WCT: Now I'm going to ask you to turn the mirror on yourself. What do you feel your biggest flaw is?

BR: Well, I'm a workaholic; I don't know if that's a weakness. [Laughs]

It would be a new role for me; I am a first-time candidate, but I think with that comes some new objectivity. I want to bring fairness to the office. I don't have preconceived notions regarding development decisions. I also bring an open-door policy.

WCT: What's your position regarding same-sex marriage and civil unions?

BR: I'm supportive of civil unions and I'm a strong supporter of same-sex partner benefits. [Having civil unions] is an issue of basic human rights, and gay couples should have the same rights afforded to everyone else.

WCT: Do you have any specific plans for the LGBT community?

BR: I don't, but I have a number of supporters from the [LGBT] community. I've been struggling with trying to understand the role of city government in forwarding the cause and addressing the issues that the community face. However, I do have an open mind and I'm supportive; I want to be as helpful as I can.

WCT: Campaigning door to door in a ward with lots of high-rises is a unique challenge, isn't it?

BR: It really is. When I worked in the legislature and for the party, I managed a lot of races in the suburbs, where you could win on shoe leather alone. What we've done here is organize building coordinators, who are like precinct captains; they host meet-and-greets, coffees [and similar events]. I'll be drinking plenty of coffee in the next few weeks. [Laughs]

WCT: Did you want to add anything?

BR: I'm running because I think it's time for new leadership in the 42nd Ward. I want to work closely with Mayor Daley to address issues like traffic congestion, parking and [even] government corruption.

One thing I failed to mention earlier: I was pretty disappointed when [Natarus] and his colleagues voted to spend our tax dollars to hire a private law firm to block the court-appointed federal hiring monitor from doing the job at City Hall. Scandal and corruption aren't just disappointing headlines; they're also evidence of an inefficient government—and, ultimately, taxpayers have to foot the bill.

See www.ReillyForChicago.com for more info.


facebook twitter pin it 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

Cook County commissioner urges census participation 2020-03-31
Organizations ask LGBTQs to pledge to run for office, online panel April 2 2020-03-31
Courts stand up for women's reproductive rights during Coronavirus Pandemic 2020-03-31
Over 6.5M LGBT adults to get $1,200 payout under coronavirus stimulus bill 2020-03-31
Idaho governor signs two anti-trans bills 2020-03-31
COVID-19 Forest preserves being monitored for overcrowding 2020-03-29
Coalition of states fighting Texas on blocking abortions during pandemic 2020-03-27
COVID-19 Quigley, Larsen urge FDA to allow healthy gay, bi men to donate blood 2020-03-26
COVID-19 Chicago lakefront, trails closed to public 2020-03-26
Police, fire officials joint Dept. Public Health work to protect first responder 2020-03-24
Greer named Biden's LGBTQ liaison 2020-03-23
COVID-19 Chicago Humanities Festival updates events 2020-03-23
ELECTIONS 2020 PRIMARY ELECTION Oberweis wins, will face Underwood 2020-03-21
Gov. Pritzker announces statewide stay at home order for COVID-19 containment 2020-03-21
Lightfoot: City Hall closed to public 2020-03-20
Telephone Town Hall on pandemic with Cong. Schakowsky and experts, March 20 2020-03-19
HHS not enforcing anti-discrimination rules, LGBTQ advocacy groups sue 2020-03-19
PRIMARY ELECTION Rep. Pizer concedes to winner Croke 2020-03-18
ELECTIONS 2020 Biden takes Illinois; trans candidate makes history 2020-03-17
Chicago businesses, groups undertake COVID-19 preparations 2020-03-16
Drivers' facilities closed through March 31 2020-03-16
ELECTIONS 2020 IL SUPREME COURT (FREEMAN VACANCY) Margaret Stanton McBride on diversity, LGBT 2020-03-16
Windy City Times printable election guide charts 2020-03-16
ELECTIONS 2020 U.S. CONGRESS (7TH DIST.) Kina Collins on championing women's, LGBT issues 2020-03-15
Chicago and state issue new coronavirus guidelines 2020-03-15
ELECTIONS 2020: COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY Bob Fioretti talks crime labs, LGBTQ issues 2020-03-14
ELECTIONS 2020 U.S. REP. (5TH DISTRICT) Brian Burns talks LGBTQ issues, controversial tweet 2020-03-13
ELECTIONS 2020 Chicago moving 25 polling locations 2020-03-12
Chicago theatres suspend productions due to Coronavirus, guidance of Governor and Mayor 2020-03-12
Pizer proposes extra charge on ammunition 2020-03-12
ELECTIONS 2020 U.S. REP. (5TH DISTRICT) Mike Quigley, incumbent and longtime ally 2020-03-12
Feigenholtz, Pizer, Tunney to host REAL ID info session March 14 2020-03-11
Election Judges still needed for primary 2020-03-11
PASSAGES Activist Marc Loveless passes away at 59 [UPDATED] 2020-03-09
LGBTQ leaders, allies rally for Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's re-election 2020-03-08
ELECTIONS 2020 COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY Bill Conway on money, LGBT issues, gun crimes 2020-03-08
LGBTQ+ leaders, allies to rally for Cook County State's Attorney Foxx's campaign 2020-03-05
Aaron Schock comes out of the closet as gay 2020-03-05
Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Board endorses Kim Foxx for State's Attorney 2020-03-05
Quigley confronts Carson over discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans 2020-03-05
 



Copyright © 2020 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  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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 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.