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 2020-01-22
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS 2015: 2ND WARD Restauranteur Bita Buenrostro aims for aldermanic seat
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Bita Buenrostro is a senior executive with a local restaurant corporation that manages three successful Chicago-area restaurants. However, for the second time, she has set her sights on an aldermanic seat, having previously run ( in the 43rd Ward ) in 2011.

The main issues on Buenrostro's platform involve safety, city services, and jobs and economic development. She recently talked about those issues as well as LGBT-related topics and a controversial police flyer.

Windy City Times: How would your restaurant experience help you as an alderman?

Bita Buenrostro: Don't kid yourself—being an aldermanic is all about customer service. And I wouldn't have survived in the restaurant business if I [hadn't] listened to people. I'd like to think of the constituents as customers in a restaurant. Would I survive if they weren't happy? Unfortunately, these people do not have the choice of not coming back—they live there. Ultimately, it's about service and getting things done.

WCT: Back in 2011, you ran for alderman in the 43rd Ward. Did you move between then and now?

Bita Buenrostro: No, I haven't. Every 10 years, the map changes. So the ward where I live was touched by the remapping. I'm just two streets over; I have a year to move into the 2nd Ward.

WCT: So how does running before help you now?

Bita Buenrostro: Oh my God—I have so much experience, so much that I've learned from last time. When you run for the second time, you understand that you have to get in touch with people. It's not just the endorsements of the politicians that matter; it's the endorsements of people that matter. Last time, I relied on politicians; this time, I'm getting in touch with the people of the 2nd Ward.

WCT: Let's say you're elected alderman. Give me three items on your platform that you would push for within your first year.

Bita Buenrostro: The first thing is the safety. The second thing are the city services we deserve, but that we're not getting. The third thing is local economic development, which [involves] bringing good-paying jobs to our ward. I believe the 2nd Ward is not receiving our fair share of city services. I will work with the city departments to make sure we get those services. Also, I will work to bring more mentoring and after-school programs.

One other thing I have to tell you: I've gone through three different educations in my life. There's the wraparound program, which they're just getting to around here; I'm a big promoter of that.

WCT: I noticed that there's apparently a controversy involving one of your opponents [Alyx Pattison] who allegedly used a flyer with a fake policeman. Did you want to speak to that? [Editor's note: The original article is at .]

Bita Buenrostro: Yes—I'm married to a police officer and am endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. That, to me, is disrespectful; men and women have died for that uniform. If you're doing that to fool voters, what's the next thing you're going to do? You mean in a city that has almost 10,000 police officers, you couldn't find one who could take a picture? If not, what does that show about you?

Being endorsed means I have a duty to protect the uniform, especially with everything that's going on, like in Paris. I'd like to know how they got the uniform. It's not legal. My husband noted that it didn't say he was impersonating a police officer. We know what they were going for—you know it and I know it. And that's a shame.

WCT: On our questionnaire, you indicated that you would've indicated the city's minimum-wage increase. What do you tell a small-business owner who supports that in theory but may have to let some employees go?

Bita Buenrostro: This is perfect because I'm on both sides of the question. I am that business owner who has to pay the gradual minimum wage; I'm proud to tell you that everybody in my restaurant makes above minimum wage because I know how hard it is to live in Chicago on minimum wage. I think it's going to take five or six months—maybe a year—for people to adjust to that gradual increase. Maybe in the beginning they'll freak out, but I think they'll adjust.

WCT: What do you think of the current city council?

Bita Buenrostro: I'm going to tell you the truth: The first thing that comes in my mind is a bunch of big boys rubbing elbows—but, knowing me, I'll be a thorn in their side. Right now, it seems it's divided—some are supporting the mayor, and some are not; it's a hodgepodge right now. I think a lot of issues are being rubber-stamped, and that's not fair. I think the city council is in the middle of a hectic situation.

WCT: Also from the questionnaire: What do you feel is the biggest problem the LGBT community is facing?

Bita Buenrostro: Well, the community is going in the right direction—being able to get married, for example. However, they're not being recognized the way they should. Marriage is right; if someone wants to dedicate themselves to someone else for the rest of his life, who am I to say no?

I would support something like the Harvey Milk School [asked in the questionnaire]. I would advocate for mandatory anti-bullying policies and training in Chicago Public Schools. I would also advocate for mandatory LGBT-inclusive material to be taught in schools, starting in middle school. I also think gay couples should be able to adopt children; as long as the couple is [loving], I'm all for that.

This is an important question to me. I was a woman in Iran—and had to deal with prejudice was well. It's very important to favor equality. Most of the LGBT are very gracious and easygoing, just like everyone else.

I had a party recently for one of my gay employees who got married. It was so fun.

WCT: What do you feel is your biggest disadvantage in this race?

Bita Buenrostro: I'm not an attorney or career politician; I'm just a person who has the same challenges everyone else has. To be honest, I don't have any challenges except that my English is not the best, although I do speak five languages. I'm more qualified than any other candidate, although one of my opponents is a machine candidate and could have insiders working for him. I'm the people's candidate.

Visit .

See more election-related coverage at the link: .

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

GLSEN slams religious exemptions that Trump proposes 2020-01-22 - GLSEN—which works to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students—denounced religious exemptions to federally funded programs across nine federal agencies recently proposed ...

Gay News

Sara Feigenholtz sworn in as state senator at ceremony 2020-01-22 - Call her state senator instead of state rep. A packed house of dignitaries and other supporters gathered Jan. 21 at the Ann Sather ...

Gay News

Federal court ruling benefits same-sex couples 2020-01-22 - A federal appeals panel of Republican appointees ruled Jan. 17 that the state of Indiana must treat same-sex married couples the same as ...

Gay News

Me Too movement founder at NU Jan. 27 2020-01-22 - Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke will keynote Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Week on Monday, Jan. 27. Burke will speak on the ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal releases report on judicial nominees 2020-01-22 - Lambda Legal released the third edition of its annual report of judicial nominees, showing how the Trump-Pence administration, with the help of Senate ...

Gay News

Show examines life of Barbara Jordan 2020-01-22 - The life of the late lawyer, educator and politician Barbara Jordan will be examined in City Lit Theatre's Voice of Good Hope. Voice ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Cassidy, Lightfoot among those at Pizer kickoff 2020-01-22 - Out officials Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot were among those joining community members, as well as other elected ...

Gay News

Equality Illinois to honor Baim, Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center at gala 2020-01-22 - Equality Illinois will present its annual gala on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave., starting at 6 p.m. ...

Gay News

Nancy Pelosi play debuting Jan. 26 2020-01-22 - The Adult in the Room, a new play by Bill McMahon about the life of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, will ...

Gay News

WORLD Swiss votes, HIV+ pilot, Indonesian raids, Dutch beauty expert 2020-01-21 - On Feb. 9, Switzerland residents will decide on extending the scope of anti-racism legislation to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to ...


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 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      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.