Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

50TH WARD CHALLENGER: GREG BREWER
2007-02-21

This article shared 5009 times since Wed Feb 21, 2007
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


BY MEGHAN STREIT

As an architect for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Greg Brewer has 20 years of experience coordinating large projects. He hopes to build on his project management skills to design a new blueprint for his neighborhood. Brewer says it's time for a change in the 50th Ward, and he says he wants to see more professionalism and accountability in city services and local government.

Windy City Times: You're an architect running for city council, which is an interesting transition. Tell me about your decision to run.

Greg Brewer: What I realized is that it's not so different. My experience and the architect's outlook is really very well-suited to the role of an alderman, especially now to the 50th Ward, which is starting to face many of the challenges that other parts of the city have dealt with, such as pressures from development, condo conversions, tear-downs and all of the things that can dramatically change the character of the neighborhood.

So as I have lived here—and over the last six years have become more involved in the local community—I've really looked for ways to become a real part of this community. I looked at the way changes were done, that we had no comprehensive plan, no leadership for the future, and I saw these as critical issues for our neighborhood is the coming years, and I started working very actively on these things.

More specifically, on zoning and development issues, there's a proposed project at Rockwell and Devon that seemed to me to be the worst of everything in one, a development that was totally out of scale with everything around it on Devon. That would be a real disaster for the community, but because the alderman wanted it and was pushing it through, he was able to really manipulate the system to throw out all of the zoning guidelines, and despite many valid objections, he continued to push it through the system.

WCT: You mentioned the parking and retail structure at Rockwell and Devon, which you oppose. What do you think is the solution to the parking crunch in the 50th Ward?

GB: As far as finding a solution to that, it requires sitting down and meeting with people and doing the work. First, the Chamber of Commerce commissioned a parking study years ago, and the alderman ignored the recommendations that were in that. A number of really simple measures could create as much new parking as a parking structure without using so many city resources and taxpayer dollars.

The thing it has in common with so many other decisions the alderman makes is that it's looking for the easiest solution—one person who can fix the problem—instead of getting out and meeting with the chamber of commerce, the residents [ and ] the business owners, and finding the best solutions.

WCT: What do you think are some of the other pressing problems in the 50th ward and the whole city that you'd like to work on?

GB: To start with, we simply need to open up the process and be more inclusive and more accountable. Again, that can be some really simple things, like [ having ] regular town hall meetings, a real Web site that has real information on it [ or ] a quarterly ward newsletter—what seem like simple common-sense things to keep people informed and try to get them involved.

We're also seeing many of the things that are citywide issues: trying to preserve affordable rental housing, creating new affordable housing, the bad renovations, the work without permits and tenants being treated unfairly.

Of course, economic development [ in some areas have ] been in decline for some time. People recognize that, and a lot of it is neglect on the part of the city not providing services and infrastructure maintenance. The city needs to do its part so that businesses can do their work and be successful.

WCT: Where do you stand on same-sex marriage?

GB: I'm in support of it. While you say it's not necessarily an issue for the city council, I think some big steps like that are achieved through a lot of incremental steps, whether it's providing benefits for partners and starting to treat them equal with married partnerships. You start with what you can do at the local level, and build that up, and certainly be supportive when it comes up at the state or national level.

WCT: Another issue that remains important to the LGBT community is funding for HIV prevention and treatment. What do you think we could improve in that area?

GB: I think we need to put the resources where they are needed. I realize that that is increasingly becoming an issue for poor African-American, Hispanic and other [ communities ] . We need to put the money into the services that those groups need.

WCT: Ald. Stone obviously believes that his decades of experience in the city council continue to make him the best candidate for the 50th Ward. How do you respond?

GB: These days, all Ald. Stone has to talk about is the past. If he's going to talk about his experience, that's fine, but that doesn't mean people owe him another term because of something he did in the '70s or '80s. When he lists his accomplishments, I think they stop about 1979. He has no idea of the future. He has no programs about addressing the concerns of residents in the ward today, and taking this forward. Even when he announced his intent to run for re-election, he only laid out two goals for himself in the future as alderman. One was to be the oldest alderman ever in the city council, and the second was to have his daughter eventually replace him—and I don't know that those are the type of goals that voters get very excited about.

WCT: With three challengers and Ald. Stone, the 50th Ward race is one of the more competitive. Why are you the best choice for alderman?

GB: Talking about experience and skills, and certainly the commitment, I believe my 20 years as an architect and project planner are really well-suited to the needs of the ward, and professionally managing day-to-day city services, but also having a vision and creating a comprehensive plan for the future.


This article shared 5009 times since Wed Feb 21, 2007
facebook twitter 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

Gay News

Treasurer Frerichs honors Illinois leaders during Women's History Month 2021-03-01
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — In honor of Women's History Month, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs today kicked off a virtual campaign to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in Illinois. This year's national theme for Women's Histo ...


Gay News

WORLD Ghana turmoil, Malaysia case, Copenhagen 2021, Brazil churches 2021-02-28
- Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, Reuters reported. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights groups have called on the ...


Gay News

Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to 13M LGBTs 2021-02-26
--From a press release - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under existing civil rights laws. LGBT ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS Chicago alderman exploring secretary of state run 2021-02-26
- According to Politico Playbook, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) is exploring the possibility of running for secretary of state. I know I can build on the work that Secretary [of State Jesse] White has done ...


Gay News

Harris reveals legislative agenda for 2021 2021-02-26
--From a press release - With remote committee hearings starting next week, the Spring Session is now truly underway. I wanted to share my legislative agenda for this year with you. In addition to my duties as chief budget negotiator for ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan picks second successor 2021-02-26
- On Feb. 25, Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar was sworn in as the new 22nd District state representative, media outlets reported. Guerrero-Cuellar is the second person to succeed now-former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in less than a week. ...


Gay News

House passes Equality Act, LGBTQ Victory Institute demands Senate vote 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute — the only national organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ elected officials — applauded the U.S. House for passing the Equality Act and called on U.S. senators not to filibuster ...


Gay News

Vaccine eligibility opens to Illinoisans with serious medical conditions 2021-02-25
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to equitably distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health today announced that Illinoisans with serious medical conditions can be vaccinated ...


Gay News

Dr. Rachel Levine confirmation hearing today, to be first trans Senate-confirmed appointee 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today Dr. Rachel Levine will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about her experience and qualifications to be the next U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health. If moved ...


Gay News

Victory Institute condemns Rand Paul attack on Dr. Rachel Levine, trans youth 2021-02-25
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute condemned Senator Rand Paul's transphobic attack on Dr. Rachel Levine during her confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He attacked trans you ...


Gay News

Advocates, legislators introduce bill to decriminalize HIV in Illinois 2021-02-25
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD, IL - Legislation was introduced in Springfield this week to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH), which serve only to stigmatize and discriminate against PLWH. Current Illinois law makes legal behavior — ...


Gay News

Three Illinoisans among Victory Fund's latest endorsed candidates 2021-02-24
- On Feb. 24, LGBTQ Victory Fund—the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office—issued a press release announcing its endorsement of 30 more LGBTQ candidates for 2021 races. Illinois candidates in the group ...


Gay News

Daniel Biss wins Evanston mayoral race 2021-02-24
- Former Illinois state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democrat, won the Evanston mayoral race on Feb. 23, media outlets reported. An hour after polls closed, Biss had collected more than 73 percent of the votes counted and ...


Gay News

Mike Madigan now wants successor to step down 2021-02-24
- Just two days after appointing Edward Guerra Kodatt as his successor, former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has asked him to step down, according to various media outlets. Marty Quinn, alderman of Chicago's 13th Ward, joined ...


Gay News

1.3 million adult immigrants in the US identify as LGBT 2021-02-23
--From a press release - LGBT immigrants are more often male and younger compared to all immigrants in the country An estimated 1,274,500 LGBT foreign-born adults live in the U.S., including 289,700 who are undocumented and 984,800 who are documented, according ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.