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
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

State Rep. Ann Williams talks adoption, LGBT outreach
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Erica Demarest
2011-12-07

This article shared 9697 times since Wed Dec 7, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


After five years in the attorney general's office, Lakeview lawyer Ann Williams set out on her own in 2010 to try her luck in the state House of Representatives.

With a sweeping 71-percent victory in the Nov. 2010 general, the independent Democrat successfully secured a seat in Illinois' 11th District, which includes West Lakeview, Roscoe Village, North Center and parts of Lincoln Park and Lincoln Square.

The freshman representative, who has advocated consumer protection and reproductive choice, recently announced plans to seek re-election in 2012. Williams sat down with Windy City Times in her Belmont office to discuss adoption, Springfield and legislative priorities.

Windy City Times: Hi Ann. You're about halfway through your first term. How's it going so far?

Ann Williams: I'm still feeling pretty new. It's been kind of a crazy adventure. As you know, Illinois is in some really tough financial times, so concern about the state budget is kind of overlaying every other issue that's taking place. That being said, there are still a lot of opportunities to some really important and great work in Springfield.

WCT: I noticed that you're on the Adoption Reform Committee.

AW: Yes. I'm actually adopted. It's interesting because Sara Feigenholtz, who's my seatmate, is also adopted. I got to know Sara years ago because of the adoption issue. She'd been working toward getting access to original birth certificates, and she finally accomplished that goal. I didn't get to vote for it though. [The vote came before Williams took office.] I would've loved to take that vote. I think it's a huge deal and a very important civil-rights issue for adoptees in Illinois to have access to their original birth certificates.

WCT: What's your take on the Catholic Charities lawsuit? [Several Catholic Charities agencies tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to deny adoption and foster care placements to same-sex parents.]

AW: As an adoptee, I truly am a believer in adoption. I believe anyone that can provide a loving, caring, stable home should be allowed to be a candidate for adopting a child. I mean, that's the most important thing. Any other considerations are simply not relevant. My parents provided a loving home at the time I was adopted, and I just hope that all children who are up for adoption get that same opportunity. There are a lot of loving parents in the LGBT community.

In terms of Springfield, I think some of the legislation out there is somewhat mean-spirited in terms of trying to limit the eligibility of LGBT couples to adopt. Obviously, it's something I don't want to see move forward. I was happy to see that the Catholic Charities withdrew. I am concerned though, that for whatever reason, there may still be legislation pending in Springfield. If there is, I'll work along with advocates and colleagues to make sure it doesn't move forward.

WCT: Besides adoption, what's on your mind this election?

AW: A couple issues that always come up—unfortunately, even those it's 2011—are things like [abortion] choice and civil unions. Those are a priority for a lot of us in this region. I wasn't there to take the vote for civil unions. [Voting occurred before Williams took office.] It would've been a real highlight and privilege to get to vote for that, but I hope to be around for the vote that will provide full marriage equality. I hope that comes sooner rather than later for the families in my community.

I've also focused on some consumer protection issues as they've come up. It's surprising: Some of the not-so-legitimate companies or businesses that prey on consumers always find a new way to do so or a new way to work around the law. So there's a lot to do on the consumer side.

WCT: You worked on consumer protections in Lisa Madigan's office, right?

AW: Yes. I was at the attorney general's office for five sessions, and I was the legislative director. In that role, I advanced her legislative agenda, which was quite aggressive.

WCT: Why did you decide to run for the state Assembly?

AW: I never really set out to run for office, but I got frustrated with what I felt was a lack off real advocacy on the part of some elected officials. I thought: Who are they really speaking for? When I worked for Lisa, I spoke for her office, and I advanced the role of attorney general. And the role of state representative is really to advocate for your district. I thought: Well, I could do that, and I think I could do a good job.

So when a seat in my district came open, when John Fritchey went on to county commissioner, I went for it.

WCT: Was it what you expected?

AW: There's no job description. All you have is your title, which is "representative," and I take that really seriously. We've built up in the office a real effort to communicate and be accessible to our constituents. We have 105,000 constituents, and that's a challenge. The state does not have the resources to reach out to everyone.

WCT: And as part of that outreach, you'll be hosting an LGBT breakfast, right?

AW: Yes. It'll be very informal, kind of a roundtable discussion. A lot of legislators will do advisory committees, but I really wanted a proactive approach to sit down with leaders in the LGBT community to really get a sense of what everyone's priorities are. [I want to] make sure we're on message, we're on the same team, and working toward the same goals.

Williams' breakfast is slated for Monday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 a.m. at Wishbone, 3300 N. Lincoln Ave. RSVP to info@repannwilliams.com .


This article shared 9697 times since Wed Dec 7, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Canadian politics, Australian murders, Finnish study, 'Anatomy' 2024-03-01
- Canadian conservatives are divided over an anti-trans policy that Alberta Premier Danielle Smith handed down in her province, The Guardian reported. The policy includes a ban on hormonal treatment, puberty ...


Gay News

Ghana parliament passes harsh anti-LGBTQ+ bill 2024-02-29
- On Feb. 28, Ghana's parliament unanimously passed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill that has been condemned globally. The so-called Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act, which was introduced in the parliament in 2021, not only criminalizes ...


Gay News

Anti-LGBTQ+ Republican McConnell to step down from leading U.S. Senate 2024-02-29
- U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) will step down from Senate leadership in November, having served in that capacity longer than any senator in history, The Advocate noted. McConnell has been a senator since 1985 and has ...


Gay News

APA adopts policy supporting transgender, gender diverse and non-binary individuals 2024-02-28
- From a press release: WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association (APA) has adopted a landmark policy affirming evidence-based care for transgender, gender diverse and nonbinary children, adolescents and adults, noting that recent ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Mike Simmons discusses LGBTQ+ health disparities, child tax credit 2024-02-27
- State Senator Mike Simmons is running unopposed in the March 19 election. Simmons began representing the 7th District after the former state senator, Heather Steans, retired. He's lived in the area his entire life. ...


Gay News

Advocates call for increased HIV funding amid state's 'disappointing' pattern of flat funding 2024-02-27
- Governor JB Pritzker's proposed 2025 budget has no increase in HIV funding, continuing a years-long pattern of flat spending toward tackling the epidemic in Illinois. Pritzker outlined his $52.7 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year ...


Gay News

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy attacked on social media, allegedly by backers of Burke 2024-02-26
- Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy—a supporter of Cook County state's attorney Democratic candidate Clayton Harris III—posted on social media that a backer of Eileen O'Neill Burke, who's running against Harris ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Raymond Lopez talks congressional run, Chuy Garcia, migrant crisis 2024-02-26
- Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez has been a member of City Council since 2015, representing the 15th Ward and making history as one of the city's first LGBTQ+ Latine alderman. Now, he is setting his sights on ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Kelly Cassidy discusses reproductive health, LGBTQ+ rights ahead of March primary 2024-02-26
- By Kayleigh Padar State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, running unopposed in the March 19 primary election so as to continue representing the 14th District, was first elected in 2011. During her tenure in Springfield, she has ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Illinois' first openly gay congressman isn't done yet: A conversation with Eric Sorensen 2024-02-23
- A Rockford-born meteorologist, U.S. Rep. Eric Sorenson didn't plan on being a politician. But after seeing how his work in broadcasting impacted his viewers in both the Rockford and the Quad Cities areas, he wanted to ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Kristen Stewart, Rock Hudson, Talia Keys, 'True Detective,' Marvel comic 2024-02-23
- At the Berlin Film Festival, Kristen Stewart defended her photo shoot for a Rolling Stone magazine cover that went viral and divided audiences on social-media platforms, per The Hollywood Reporter. "The existence of a female body ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Chuck Schumer, anti-marriage bill, drag event back on, military doctor 2024-02-23
- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)—and, as a result, several LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations dropped their opposition to it, The Hill ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024: JUDICIAL 7th Sub-Circuit Candidate Deidre Baumann (Solganick Vacancy), why she's running, strategy 2024-02-19
- Baumann & Shuldiner civil litigation practice owner Deidre Baumann is running in the March 19 primary for Circuit Court Judge in the 7th Judicial Sub-Circuit against the current appointed 7th Sub-Circuit Judge Owens J. Shelby. Shelby's ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Eileen O'Neill Burke talks state's attorney run, judgeship, GOP ties 2024-02-19
- The Democratic primary in the race to succeed outgoing Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx involves two candidates with extensive backgrounds concerning law and government. Eileen O'Neill Burke is a lifelong Democrat and fourth-generation Chicag ...


Gay News

As Chicago prepares to host DNC, former delegates reflect on LGBTQ+ inclusion at previous conventions 2024-02-19
- When Mark Ishaug, now the CEO of the mental health advocacy Thresholds, was a delegate at the 1996 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago, representing the larger LGBTQ+ community was "critical," he said. The convention, where ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

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 Transgender 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
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.