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 2017-09-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage




facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

by Charlsie Dewey

Don Gordon has been a member of Rogers Park for most of his life. In his time, he has seen the community move from good times to bad. After a career in management and years of community service, Gordon has decided to take his community service further and is running for 49th Ward alderman.

Windy City Times: Why did you decide to run for alderman of the 49th Ward?

Don Gordon: My wife Bonnie and I moved to Rogers Park 30 years ago. At that time, Rogers Park was one of the best communities in the city of Chicago. But over the past 16 years that Alderman Moore has been in office, Rogers Park has been left behind. ... Today, I'm appalled by the conditions of our commercial districts. People are afraid to walk down the street. Affordable quality housing, which made our community so attractive, has deteriorated. I know—and this is what drives me—that we can do much better [ and ] I know I've got that leadership ability.

The leadership comes with 25 years of management experience, and it comes with 25 years of community activism in Rogers Park. It's a combination of business experience and public service that makes me qualified. I know we deserve better, and I'll be a better alderman for the 49th Ward.

WCT: What are some of the key issues Rogers Park needs to confront?

DG: The thing that is really on people's minds today is the climate of our business districts and commercial districts. We need to recruit new businesses, and include more shopping and services [ as well as ] create more jobs. That is the key.

The second thing is the whole idea of balanced housing. We've got condo developments going rampant in Rogers Park. Development is wonderful—we were screaming for it back in the late '80s—but there has to be a balance that's struck. We can't afford to lose all this quality rental housing we had.

The third thing is crime and public safety. The fact is, regardless of what the statistics show, people do not feel safe on the street and in Rogers Park, and they have every right not to feel safe because of all the activity that continues to go on in Rogers Park, the drug dealing and prostitution, it's all over the community.

Every one of us is worried about ward services. The really key job of an alderman is to run a good ward services office. And you'd think after 16 years, he'd [ Moore ] get it, but this alderman doesn't. You would not believe how many people complain about the fact that they call the ward services office and they either don't get answers; they get an answering machine, or someone says they'll take care of it and there's no follow-up.

WCT: How will you ensure that you will provide representation and protection for the LGBT community?

DG: I actually have a LGBTs for Gordon group. The first thing that got cleared up for me is the number of people in the LGBT community in Rogers Park. If you just take a very conservative estimate of the national estimate of around 10 percent, we're talking well over 6,000 people in this community, and that's low for us and all the lakeshore communities. We know for a fact that there is a huge migration going on [ with the LGBT community ] moving from the Edgewater and Lakeview communities. It just floors me that we don't have any advisory groups or task groups within the alderman's staff or office to address the needs of the LGBT community, and there certainly are specific needs of the LGBT community.

I don't want to say that HIV/AIDS is just a LGBT issue; it certainly crosses all of society, but it hits very hard in the LGBT, Latino and African-American communities—all of which make up a large constituency here. That issue in and of itself in the community, in terms of resources, is not being addressed. ... One of the things I hear is for the most part, with the exception of a few specialized issues, [ is that ] their issues are what everybody else's issues are.

WCT: How do you deal with opposing priorities on the same issue?

DG: That is the heart and soul of Rogers Park.…What's important for anybody who is in a leadership role in this community is knowing how to bring all these diverse elements, diverse people to the table together. As I mentioned, I've worked for 25 years in the private sector in management. I've managed projects and I've managed development in the technology sector. Managing projects in a corporation is very much like working with a lot of diverse people in a community, and I say that because I've been on both sides, as a community activist as well, but you have to be able to deal with a lot of diverse personalities in the private sector. You have to be able to deal with management all the way down to the mailroom. ... The only thing I can tell you is that it takes experience to be able to do this; I know how to bring people together.

WCT: What do you think is the key to economic development?

DG: You have to be aggressive. You have to be on the ground doing it. What I've said is that one of the first things I'll do in the first 100 days is have a true accountable Chamber of Commerce in Rogers Park. ... The underlying element of a true chamber is to have the business members of that chamber work together in peer-to-peer relationships to help bring other businesses into the community and to improve the business climate. ... The other candidates are pointing to Andersonville as a model and that's great, but we have an even better model right here in our community. What I would do to improve the business climate in this community and our retail strip is to start tapping into the Dan Sullivans of our community and start building a Chamber of Commerce here, that's how we do it.

facebook twitter 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.


GLAD, NCLR react to transgender military ban, anti-transgender judicial nominee 2017-09-20
'Use It or Lose It' Sept. 23 at Greenhouse 2017-09-20
Committee formed for McCarthy mayoral run 2017-09-20
World news: Jewish lawmaker, LGBT crimes, trans school reopens 2017-09-20
National roundup: Trans bill blocked, student killed, Chelsea Manning 2017-09-20
Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform (HB 303) removes financial incentives for local police 2017-09-18
Scott Simon to Receive NLGJA Randy Shilts Award for LGBTQ Coverage 2017-09-18
Lambda, allies to Supreme Court: Trump's Muslim ban unconstitutional 2017-09-18
City clears out Uptown tent residents 2017-09-18
Politics, diversity dominate Emmys 2017-09-18
Palm Center Statement on Bipartisan Support for Senate Bill to Block Trump's Transgender Ban 2017-09-15
Attorney General Madigan announces she will not seek fifth term 2017-09-15
Groups tell courts: Ban already harming transgender troops, U.S. military 2017-09-15
Advocates: Trump working to weaken protection against sex, gender discrimination 2017-09-15
Barbara Flynn Currie not seeking re-election in 2018 2017-09-15
NOW endorses Black Women's March and March for Racial Justice 2017-09-13
Brave Space Alliance to create trans drop-in spot in new home 2017-09-13
National roundup: Lesbian ex-mayor, Spelman College, DJ fatally shot 2017-09-13
World news: UK hate crimes, intersex report, Irma damages center 2017-09-13
Gay Seattle mayor resigns 2017-09-13
PFLAG National names Dr. Jaime M. Grant new Executive Director 2017-09-12
Lambda brings case on gender expectations and employment before Supreme Court 2017-09-12
Bipartisan Amendment Introduced to Protect Transgender Service Members 2017-09-12
Biss names Wallace as new running mate 2017-09-11
Rauner signs opioid order 2017-09-11
People react swiftly to DeVos' changing Title IX guidance 2017-09-11
Students sought for Chicago Ideas Week 2017-09-11
Pelosi speaks against ban on transgender service members at GLAAD Gala 2017-09-11
Advocates and officials respond to DACA announcement 2017-09-10
PFLAG responds to DeVos' planned change to campus sexual assault guidance 2017-09-08
Speakers announced For Chicago Ideas Week Oct. 16-22 2017-09-08
LGBTQ forum with Democratic candidates for governor Dec. 6 2017-09-08
Lambda asks Supreme Court to affirm LGBT employment rights in Georgia case 2017-09-08
Gay alderman no longer Biss' running mate 2017-09-06
Attorney General Madigan joins lawsuit to protect DACA grantees 2017-09-06
Madigan sues city for police reform 2017-09-06
Pritzker, Stratton travel around state 2017-09-06
Advocates reflect on 2017 state legislative session 2017-09-06
NUNN ON ONE George Takei gets political, talks future plans 2017-09-06
World news: Arabic media, 'Tom of Finland,' trans women attacked 2017-09-05

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.








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.