Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



Rick Garcia and Equality Illinois part ways; EI on civil unions
News update Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 and Equality Illinois news release
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 10677 times since Wed Dec 22, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In a move that will likely send shock waves through the local LGBT community, pro-LGBTQ organization Equality Illinois is no longer employing Rick Garcia as its director of public policy.

[ Click here to see Garcia's response: ]

Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov confirmed the news during a conversation with Windy City Times. He said that during a Dec. 17 conference call with "key stakeholders to outline an agenda for Equality Illinois with our priorities for 2011. We announced that we have to strengthen our team for all the challenges that come ahead, including protecting civil unions and empowering our community about civil unions. And we all announced that Rick Garcia is no longer employed with Equality Illinois."

Cherkasov added that "we will begin a new search process right after the holidays to hire someone who will help us get to our next milestone." When asked about the qualities he would want in Garcia's successor, Cherkasov said he would like "somebody who is skilled, experienced and professional—somebody who would develop strong relationships with all the key stakeholders in the community, not only with our elected officials, but with our partner organizations as well as communities of color, the transgender community, women...every segment of our community."

Garcia's contribution to the advancement of gay rights in Illinois is undeniable. He was a key figure in the passages of both the amendment of the state's human-rights act that includes sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the civil-unions bill that recently passed through the Illinois General Assembly.

When asked to describe Garcia, Cherkasov said that he is "a passionate advocate. He did a lot for our movement. He is outspoken and unafraid and he, in his heart of hearts, really believed in full equality for the LGBT community. Wherever his next journey takes him, I wish him every success."

Regarding civil unions, Cherkasov added that Equality Illinois is holding 12 community forums "in every corner of the state" over the 120 days after the bill passed the state Senate Dec. 1. There was one Dec. 16 at Center on Halsted.

He said that Equality Illinois is unveiling an "aggressive" campaign that "will educate and empower our community about civil unions. We are also focusing on ... [ ensuring ] that the legislation intended to provide equal treatment for same-sex couples in Illinois. We're going to closely scrutinize and follow the implementation of civil unions, and make sure the legislators' intent is carried out.

"We are also going to work with our allies in the communities of faith and color to make sure people understand what relationship recognition means and doesn't mean."

Windy City Times will have more news on these developments as they happen.

Equality Illinois press statement, Dec. 17, 2010

CHICAGO - Equality Illinois began the process of announcing its strategic priorities in the wake of civil unions' passage.

This morning, CEO Bernard Cherkasov and Board President Jeremy Gottschalk briefed community leaders and key stakeholders on the organization's assertive plan for moving forward in the calendar year 2011. The plan includes strategies for education and empowering the LGBT community on civil unions, on building bridges with our allies, and on protecting newly-passed civil unions from possible attacks. Aside from civil unions, the plan will focus on transgender equality, on partnerships with communities of color, and on outreach to communities of faith, among other issues.

"Passing civil unions was a victory long-fought and hard-won, but we cannot rest on those laurels," - said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. "We will continue to fight hard to protect them, and we will continue our focus on transgender equality, on discrimination issues, and on other issues. EQIL will continue, as always, to be a strong independent organization."

The organization announced a strong showing of support from funders and donors of the LGBT equality movement. Among the new grants, Equality Illinois received a grant for $100,000 from Gill Foundation and State Equality Fund.

"The strong showing of support from funders and donors is an endorsement of our organization's direction," - said Jeremy Gottschalk, Board of Directors President. "Particularly, the State Equality Fund grant from the Gill Foundation is a seal of approval for Equality Illinois' vision and mission."

The organization also announced the transition of Rick Garcia from Equality Illinois. "Rick is a passionate advocate who has done a lot for our movement, and we wish him every success in his future endeavors," — said Bernard Cherkasov.

Community leaders responded positively to Equality Illinois' direction, expressing unequivocal support for the organization's new plans and strategic approach.

"Equality Illinois has set forth an ambitious agenda for 2011 and with an expansion of its work with in the broader LGBT and ally community the organization will certainly be successful," said Mary Morten, former mayoral liaison and Planned Parentood PAC board member.

"A strategy on protecting every aspect of Civil Unions is something that needs to be done collaboratively and I am glad there is a policy driven team in place to do it, along with a strong integrated commitment from all corners of the community," said State Representative Sara Feigenholtz.

"Equality Illinois has outlined a strong vision for moving forward and has a strong team in place to accomplish it. I look forward to working with EQIL on this." Ann Hilton Fisher, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago.

"Equality Illinois has made great strides under the direction of Board Chairman Jeremy Gottschalk and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Cherkasov. Their vision for the future of the organization and their 2011 education program represent a solid approach to effecting change throughout the state to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. I look forward to working with their new Policy Director in the coming year," said Clark Pellett

"With it's rich history of advocacy for the equal rights of the LGBT community and it's most recent success in securing rights for all of us in Illinois, we are confident in Equality Illinois and it's leadership and it's vision for the future - a bright future indeed for the LGBT community and all of Illinois. We proudly stand by Equality Illinois as it has stood by us and our community and look forward to working together to promote the health and wellness of our shared community, including securing equal rights and equal access to quality healthcare for all." Jamal M. Edwards, JD, President & CEO of Howard Brown Health Center.

This article shared 10677 times since Wed Dec 22, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

NATIONAL Ritchie Torres, N.J. towns, Karine Jean-Pierre, Tennessee items
New York Congressman Ritchie Torres has talked about his own struggle with depression and the importance of mental health in the wake of U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.)'s recent hospitalization for clinical depression, The Washington Blade ...

Gay News

'Spring Fling' at The Baton on Thursday, April 13 to benefit Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame
--From a press release - The Baton Show Lounge (4713 North Broadway, Chicago) has been entertaining folks for 54 years and will host a special "Spring Fling", an all-new show to benefit the Chicago LGBT of Fame on Thursday, April 13 ...

Gay News

Johnson and Vallas to take part in LGBTQ+-focused candidate forum March 22
Affinity Community Services (Affinity), Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (ALMA) Chicago, Brave Space Alliance, Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus, Life is Work and Task Force Chicago are co-hosting a virtual ...

Gay News

HRC settles race-based lawsuit with former president
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and its Black former president, Alphonso David, settled a lawsuit in which David had alleged racial discrimination in his firing, Reuters reported. In September 2021, David was fired after New York state ...

Gay News

Lambda Literary announces award finalists
--From a press release - Lambda Literary has announced the finalists in 25 categories for the 35th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. The finalists were selected by a panel of over 65 literary professionals from more than 1,350 book submissions. These selections ...

Gay News

31ST annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raises more than $9 million
--From a press release - LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2023 — The 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards® Viewing Party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, with special guests Eric McCormack and Michaela Jae Rodriguez, raised more ...

Gay News

Valle leaving longtime Center on Halsted CEO role
Longtime Center on Halsted CEO Modesto Tico Valle is leaving his post, according to organization officials. Board Chair Victor Ravago announced Valle's departure in a March 10 statement: "I share with you today that Modesto Tico ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 2023 Gala May 13 at The Old Post Office
--From a press release - CHICAGO (March 6, 2023) — The Steppenwolf Ensemble and Board of Trustees are pleased to host Steppenwolf 2023 Gala—an unforgettable evening celebrating 47 years of powerful and thought-provoking storytelling. Emceed ...

Gay News

PFLAG holds 50th anniversary celebration gala, honors Tom Daley with George Takei Advocate Award
--From a press release - NEW YORK (Mar. 4, 2023) — Last night, iconic LGBTQ+ community organization PFLAG celebrated 50 years of leading with love at a spectacular gala event hosted by comedian and actress Amber Ruffin at New York's Marriott ...

Gay News

Home of long-term NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter devastated by Texas tornado, NCLR comments on outpouring of support
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Yesterday during violent storms in several southern states, the home of long-time NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter and his Robin was destroyed by a powerful tornado in rural Texas. The house also ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund launches new brand; celebrates LGBTQ+ progress, joy and resilience
Video below. From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ+ Victory Fund launched its new name, new logo and new visual identity. This new brand honors LGBTQ+ progress since the organization's inception in 1991, celebrates LGBTQ+ people's joy and resilience in ...

Gay News

Gay race-car driver Zach Herrin on industry, historic partnership with Lambda Legal
NASCAR driver Zach Herrin has announced a partnership with Lambda Legal, a national organization aimed at achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV through litigation and public advocacy. ...

Gay News

More LGBTQ PoC report barriers to academic achievement than white LGBTQ peers
--From a Williams Institute press release - A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, conducted in collaboration with the Point Foundation, the nation's largest LGBTQ scholarship nonprofit, finds more than twice as many LGBTQ POC as white LGBTQ ...

Gay News

ALMA's Manuel Hernandez takes on new executive director role
ALMA—which stands for Association of Latinos Motivating Action—was established in Chicago in 1989, making it one of the oldest Latinx LGBTQ organizations in the country. After over three decades of operation, the organization last summer hir ...

Gay News

Rep. David Cicilline to retire, hailed by LGBTQ Victory Institute as a groundbreaking LGBTQ leader
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, has released the following statement following U.S. Representative David Cicilline's announcement that he will retire this June. "David has been a fearless champio ...


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.