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 2018-11-14
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

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

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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 .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Competition aims to bring starter homes to working-class families 2018-11-14
GUEST COLUMN Battling Trump via art, an actor's superpower 2018-11-14
ELECTIONS 2018 Pritzker holds press conference, talks LGBT issues 2018-11-14
ELECTIONS 2018 Personal PAC marks midterm successes 2018-11-14
Nigerian activist in Glen Ellyn on Nov. 18 2018-11-14
ELECTIONS 2019 Chicago NOW PAC backs Preckwinkle 2018-11-14
ELECTIONS 2018 Heuerman, Reneau secure victories 2018-11-14
Brynn Tannehill: Trans activist calls for action in new book 2018-11-14
NATIONAL Don Lemon, Kan. governor, LGBT electoral wins 2018-11-13
Kyrsten Sinema wins key race, becomes first openly bisexual member of U.S. Senate 2018-11-12
ELECTIONS 2018 Heuerman, Reneau secure victories 2018-11-09
Historic Number of LGBTQ People Elected to U.S. House 2018-11-07
Late gay artist's identity, politics intersect at MoCP 2018-11-07
Ex-Neo Nazi talks about what spurred him to change 2018-11-07
Michelle Obama giving book-tour tickets to groups 2018-11-07
Openly Gay Millennial Defeats Illinois GOP Chair; Flips Republican Commissioner District 2018-11-07
ELECTIONS 2018 Change is in the air 2018-11-07
Massachusetts' Ballot Initiative to Uphold Transgender Protections 2018-11-07
Open enrollment for ACA insurance underway 2018-11-07
NATIONAL Anti-Trump actions, suicide hotline, Jeff Bezos/Amazon 2018-11-06
WORLD Abuse investigation, Australian principal, trade agreement 2018-11-06
Sharice Davids Becomes First LGBTQ Member of Congress from Kansas 2018-11-06
Jared Polis Elected First Openly Gay Governor in U.S. History 2018-11-06
Pritzker Wins Illinois Governor's Race, Planned Parenthood Comments 2018-11-06
First LGBTQ U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Defeats Anti-LGBTQ Opponent 2018-11-06
God's trans-affirming vote on Question 3 2018-11-05
Casten fundraiser focuses on science 2018-11-05
Casten blasts Roskam for remarks on Savage praise 2018-11-05
ELECTIONS 2018 Sean Casten: Learning the science of politics 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 Lamont Robinson Jr. wants to be the 5th District's 'champion' 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 Sam Yingling re-election campaign focused on economy 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 J.B. Pritzker addresses reasons for candidacy 2018-10-31
'This Bitter Earth': LGBT play tackles class, race and political apathy 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 Kash Jackson mounts run for governor 2018-10-31
HRC's newest Congressional Scorecard out 2018-10-31
LGBTQ activists start expenditure committee 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 Free Divvy bikes on Election Day 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 LGBT candidate Maggie Trevor takes on conservative incumbent 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2018 Civil-rights activists to donors: Stop funding anti-LGBTQ candidates 2018-10-31
ELECTIONS 2019 Tunney supporters celebrate alderman's achievements at fundraiser 2018-10-31
 



Copyright © 2018 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

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.