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 Windy City Times 2022-03-16
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 8705 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 8705 times since Wed Dec 7, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LGBTQ Victory Fund endorses 20 more LGBTQ candidates 2022-05-26
-- From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 20 more out LGBTQ candidates. Victory Fund has now endorsed 292 candidates running in the 2022 ...


Gay News

Governor Pritzker, Lt. Governor Stratton comment on Texas tragedy 2022-05-25
-- From a press release - Chicago — In the wake of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that killed at least 19 students and two adults, Governor JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton released the following ...


Gay News

Indiana institutes anti-trans sports ban, overrides Holcomb's veto 2022-05-25
- The Indiana General Assembly overturned Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb's veto of House Bill 1041, which prohibits transgender girls from playing girls school sports, according to the IndyStar. The House voted to override the veto 67-28; the ...


Gay News

Pritzker signs measure protecting Illinoisans with disabilities in housing, state government 2022-05-23
-- From a press release - Chicago— Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB2775 and SB180 into law today, expanding protections for Illinoisans with disabilities in state government and housing. HB2775 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act ...


Gay News

Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith named to Time100 List 2022-05-23
-- From a press release - St. Petersburg, FL — TIME named Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith to the 2022 TIME100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list and related tributes appear in ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Idaho groups, Clay Aiken, Radio Milwaukee, Louisville school 2022-05-22
- In northern Idaho, two groups with different agendas plan to hold events on the same day (June 11) at Coeur d'Alene City Park—and both organizations have issued statements, according to the Bonner County Daily Bee. The ...


Gay News

WORLD Nigeria protest, 'Flag in the Map,' Belgium, McDonald's 2022-05-22
- Dressed in rainbow-colored vests, members of the LGBTQ+ community marched in a dangerous demonstration in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, to protest a bill introduced by lawmakers in Nigeria's lower house of parliament last month seeking to ban ...


Gay News

Penn. LGBTQ+ candidates mostly suffer losses on primary night 2022-05-21
- LGBTQ+ candidates running for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, lieutenant governor and a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in Philadelphia's "gayborhood" each lost their races in the Keystone State's May 17 Democratic primary, The ...


Gay News

POLITICS GOP candidate Irvin called Trump an 'idiot,' backed LGBTQ+s 2022-05-16
- GOP gubernatorial candidate and current Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin has dodged talking about former U.S. President Donald Trump (and many other topics)—but recently revealed records show how Irvin reportedly felt ...


Gay News

Police officer enters Chicago mayoral race 2022-05-16
- Longtime Chicago police officer Frederick Collins has jumped into the Chicago mayoral race—and it's not his first. Collins also ran for mayor eight years ago. His 2014 interview with Windy ...


Gay News

WORLD Eswatini ruling, Toronto deaths, Greece, blood donations 2022-05-15
- The High Court in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) rejected an appeal for legal recognition by the local LGBTQ+-rights group Eswatini Sexual & Gender Minorities, citing "laws … prevailing in the kingdom" ...


Gay News

NATIONAL New York synod, Danica Roem, legal action, Pride news, PFLAG 2022-05-15
- The Metropolitan New York Synod (MNYS), the regional body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, announced Christopher Vergara as its newly elected vice president, according to a press release. Vergara is the first openly gay ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Urvashi Vaid dies, The National LGBTQ Task Force releases statement 2022-05-14
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC……Legendary attorney, LGBTQ activist, and author Urvashi Vaid, known for her extensive career an advocate for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes ...


Gay News

Pro-choice coalition to rally May 14 in Chicago's Union Park 2022-05-13
-- From a press release - 'Rally for Abortion Justice,' part of a nationwide 'Bans Off Our Bodies' day of action will takes place in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. The crowd may be 25,000 strong according to organizers. ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation addressing rise in organized retail thefts 2022-05-13
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — On May 13, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker joined Attorney General Kwame Raoul, lawmakers, advocates and law-enforcement officials to sign legislation designed to combat a nationwide rise in coordinated retail thefts. "This new law represents ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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
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.