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 2020-06-24
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS 2020: ILLINOIS STATE REP (5TH DISTRICT) Lamont Robinson on past accomplishments, future goals
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Lamont Robinson, Jr.—a Chicago business owner and insurance agent who became the first openly gay Black state legislator in Illinois history—is running for a second term representing the 5th District in the Illinois House. According to his website, Robinson wants to "help residents protect and grow their prosperity by helping to shape a community built on economic growth and development, employment and support for essential social services."

Windy City Times: What do you feel like you've accomplished in your first term?

Lamont Robinson: I learned about the legislative process, and worked to bring resources back to the district—resources that, because of the budget impasse, had not been in the district for many years.

WCT: What resources are you referring to, specifically?

LR: I secured $15 million to bring an LGBTQ center to the South Side, which is much-needed. It'll have a health center and it will have a space for organizations which are already doing work on the south sides. Also, housing resources, which are very much needed.

Secondly, [I helped secure] two million dollars to the South Side Community Art Center. That was founded by Margaret Burroughs, the creator of the DuSable Museum. Then, a million-dollar for economic development development at 39th and State Street. That's going to bring a Pete's Produce, jobs and retailers to an area that was formerly public housing. I've also been working with my colleagues to bring a senior center to the Bronzeville community.

WCT: What's been the most challenging part of the job?

LR: Probably moving things along at the state. Because of the budget impasse, we're really trying to get the state back on a secure footing. That has been tough. A lot of organizations have closed. We've lost staff. One of the biggest frustrations has been is things are not moving as fast as I'd like them too.

WCT: So what kind of work would you like to get done in a subsequent term?

LR: Putting more funding into—and working alongside the governor for—putting an end to HIV by the year 2030. Specifically, that means adding more funding to the African-American Response Act. Secondly, working on housing for the LGBT community, especially for our trans brothers and sisters. Also irradiating lead, which is something I'm also working on, and then creating opportunities around minority contracts and jobs.

Jobs are a key staple of my legislation for this year, because I believe jobs will stem the violence that we're seeing, particularly in the South end of my district, and jobs will be able to improve our communities.

WCT: What kinds of initiatives would be successful in materializing those jobs?

LR: My lead bill would create jobs, because we are removing lead pipes from the streets to someone's home. Also, creating opportunities for minorities to have contracts with the state would create jobs. I'm a small-business owner, so if I look at the agencies that I own, employees are the folks that I hire. Small businesses are the backbone of a community. Helping someone to get a state contract is very important because that person will go out and hire folks from within the community.

WCT: What's it been like being openly gay—and the first openly Black member—in the state legislature?

LR: I've received a lot of love and a lot of support. Passing the PrEP bill was frustrating. That gives youth the opportunity to obtain PrEP without parental consent. That was a bill that I was a sponsor fill. Also the bill [requiring LGBT-history] be taught in schools—both of those were very challenging to get through. People still have a stereotype of the LGBT community. My plan of attack is to figure out a way to circumvent that, so that we can get the same opportunities as anybody else.

WCT: How do you circumvent that?

LR: A lot of one-on-one meeting with my colleagues, telling them my story and how I cam out. Telling them that we have the same issues that they have—putting out an olive branch and not being closed-off. I've tried to be open and to be a conduit to building relationships in the General Assembly. That hasn't always been easy.

WCT: You alluded to them previously, but what are the biggest challenges facing LGBT residents of the district?

LR: Housing, jobs and educational opportunities. Healthcare services and safety are issues as well.

WCT: What are issues for the district itself that you may not have mentioned?

LR: As I move around the district, people are frustrated with us overtaxing them, and safety. Those are the two largest issues I hear. The district goes as far north to North Avenue and Old Town and as far south as South Shore, but the common threads are overtaxation and safety.

WCT: How do manage having such diverse neighborhoods and residents in a sprawling district?

LR: It is walking the district regularly. It is having coffees regularly. It is working with the aldermen as well as my county representatives, and folks at the federal level, to get out and make sure that they understand the needs to the community. I'm also very fortunate in that I have a chief of staff and a community liaison that split the district up. We're very visible within the district.

See .

facebook twitter pin it 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.


Gay News

Morrison and Preckwinkle host online LGBTQ health forum 2020-07-05 - Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison and Board President Toni Preckwinkle were joined by advocates from three local organizations for a conversation about LGBTQ ...

Gay News

Experts weigh impact of judiciary on LGBTQ rights 2020-07-02 - A panel consisting of prominent legal and public policy officials met June 23 to discuss recent developments in LGBTQ legal advocacy, particularly as ...

Gay News

LGBTQ activists, leaders respond to police meeting 2020-07-02 - A Chicago Police Department off-the-record Zoom meeting June 30 with hand-picked leaders from LGBTQ organizations and new CPD Superintendent David Brown resulted in ...

Gay News

State law takes effect to strengthen Illinois workplace non-discrimination 2020-07-01 - Illinois' foundational civil rights law will now protect more workers from discrimination as a new statute to strengthen the Illinois Human Rights Act's ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker issues Pride proclamation 2020-07-01 - On June 30, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker marked Pride Month with a statement of celebration. "Thanks to the tireless help of advocates and ...

Gay News

21st Ward holds own Pride event 2020-07-01 - Chicago's 21st Ward—an area on the city's South Side that includes neighborhoods such as parts of Auburn Gresham, Washington Heights, Gresham, Chatham and ...

Gay News

LETTER: The U.S. Census important to LGBTQ community political, economic power 2020-06-27 - We've all seen the messaging about the Census and many of us might just wonder whether completing it truly makes a difference. ...

Gay News

Lambda files suit over Trump anti-trans policies 2020-06-26 - Lambda Legal announced June 22 that it is suing the federal government over rollbacks the Trump administration announced June 12 to protections against ...

Gay News

Assistance available to businesses affected by civil unrest 2020-06-26 - Illinois businesses and residents affected by civil unrest on May 26 through June 8 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. ...

Gay News

NCLR celebrates five-year anniversary of Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality 2020-06-26 - WASHINGTON, DC — The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) today joins with millions of LGBTQ people and allies in celebrating ...


Copyright © 2020 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 Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar 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      Post 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 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.