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 2019-11-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS 2019, 33RD WARD. Lesbian alderperson Deb Mell talks feats, LGBT issues
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Deb Mell has been the 33rd Ward alderman since 2013 and previously served in the Illinois General Assembly as a representative for the 40th District.

Prior to being an elected official, Mell worked for Christy Webber Landscapes. She was a member of Equal Marriage Now in the mid-2000s and participated in protest actions that led to her arrest in front of the Cook County headquarters. Mell's arrest made the news due to her father's and brother-in-law's ( former Ald. Dick Mell and Gov. Rod Blagojevich, respectively ) political positions at the time and led to her running for office following a training session with the Victory Fund.

She is running against challengers Katie Sieracki and Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez.

Windy City Times: Why should people vote for you again and not your two challengers?

Deb Mell: I have proven myself as an independent progressive voice that gets things done. I have led on issues from affordable housing and reform to taking on abuses in the TIF system. I have also secured incredible improvements to our public parks. My staff is great and knows how to work with the community on solving problems big and small. The ward has big challenges ahead and we have the infrastructure, relationships, passion and knowledge to move our ward forward. I have a reputation for having a transparent and accessible ward office that listens to constituents.

WCT: What are the most pressing issues for the 33th Ward and how would you address them?

DM: The rising cost of living and the need for additional resources to combat displacement is critical. The impact on our local neighborhood schools has been devastating. We must expand and preserve affordable housing and pass new tenant protections.

Public safety is another big concern. It is an important part of the job and I embrace an all-of-the-above approach that includes expanding social services, revamped community policing, empowering young people and taking a proactive approach to dealing with troubled buildings that contribute to gang violence.

WCT: In what ways have you advanced LGBT equality during your time as alderman?

DM: I helped pass a bill that ensures CPS students can use restrooms that matches their gender identity. I have signed many resolutions reaffirming Chicago as an LGBT-friendly city. I have worked to strengthen the LGBT caucus and let our voice be heard on important issues of the day.

WCT: What is your vision for the LGBT community?

DM: I want our community to experience more equality in every aspect of life. I am so encouraged by this previous election and the rainbow wave we witnessed. We need to recruit more openly LGBT people to run for public office. There needs to be more acceptance of our trans brothers and sisters. We should be free to live our lives, start a family, support our community and contribute to society without facing discrimination.

WCT: Do you have any openly LGBT people working on your staff? Campaign?

DM: Not on my staff, but they are a part of my campaign.

WCT: HIV prevention and awareness are still important issues for the community. What have you done since becoming alderman regarding this issue? How will you use your role going forward to address it?

DM: We try and generate a lot of awareness in the community on public health matters. We hold regular health fairs with a range of services like HIV testing. Our office also participates in events hosted by Howard Brown Health and Center on Halsted. We were big proponents of the city's first LGBT Databook, which was a great first step in the city toward collecting important data on health disparities. It was an enormous achievement for Chicago.

WCT: Do you back an elected school board? Should the CEO have education experience?

DM: Yes to both.

WCT: What are your recommendations for better relationships between the police and citizens they serve, including people of color and the transgender community?

DM: We need a well-trained, accountable and more diverse police force that can earn the trust of our most vulnerable residents. With better training, I am hopeful we can restore trust with those residents who have suffered abuse and reduce the staggering amount we pay in settlements.

The FOP [Fraternal Order of Polic] also needs to negotiate in good faith and accept that there will be changes to police contracts. Having officers that truly understand the needs of every community is vital. We have to address the issue of trans people being murdered. The trans community experiences violence at alarming levels. We need a public awareness campaign and more training and attention from our police department regarding the trans community.

WCT: What is the ideal minimum wage for the city of Chicago?

DM: Fifteen dollars an hour.

WCT: How should Chicago increase its revenue stream?

DM: A state-wide progressive income tax, legalizing cannabis, gambling at airports and a real estate transfer tax are some ideas. We must scale back regressive fines, fees and taxes. We must also hold Springfield more accountable and I am optimistic they will do more with the new administration.

WCT: Are you currently backing anyone for mayor?

DM: No.

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

Cook County Clerk's office celebrates marriage equality milestones 2019-11-20 - To commemorate the upcoming 15,000th marriage license for same-sex couples in Cook County—and the sixth anniversary of then Gov. Pat Quinn signing marriage ...

Gay News

State's first lady attends Equality Illinois event 2019-11-18 - On Nov. 17, Illinois' first lady made a historic appearance at an annual LGBTQ event. M.K. Pritzker was the star speaker at ...

Gay News

HRC plots course ahead at 2019 Chicago gala 2019-11-18 - Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood ( D-14 ) and actor Theo Germaine were among those headlining HRC's annual gala the ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Megan Rapinoe, 'High School Musical,' Roxane Gay, 'Paris Is Burning' 2019-11-18 - Soccer star Megan Rapinoe accepted Glamour's Woman of the Year award—another addition to her hardware collection that includes the Golden Ball award as ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Iowa judge dies, N.Y. items, Buttigieg's mixed news, RuPaul 2019-11-18 - One Iowa Executive Director Courtney Reyes released a statement mourning the passing of Chief Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady, who passed away ...

Gay News

Jury renders $2.3M verdict for Planned Parenthood 2019-11-17 - A federal jury found an anti-abortion group led by activist David Daleiden caused substantial harm to Planned Parenthood by infiltrating abortion industry conferences ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Kina Collins fundraiser highlights Transgender Awareness Week 2019-11-16 - Nov, 14, LGBTQ leaders and allies joined Kina Collins at the "LGBTQ+ All in for Kina!" party held at Cantina Laredo in downtown ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal decries Menashi's confirmation to lifetime judicial appointment 2019-11-14 - WASHINGTON, D.C., November 14, 2019 — In response to the Republican-led Senate's confirmation of Steven Menashi to serve on the U.S. Court of ...

Gay News

Artemis Singers part of LGBTQIA+ improv show 2019-11-14 - In a return engagement, members of Artemis Singers, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will perform as part of the Friday, Dec. 6, Dreamboat LGBTQIA+ ...

Gay News

Red Stars MVP leaving team for Europe 2019-11-13 - Sam Kerr has informed the Chicago Red Stars she will not return to the team for the upcoming 2020 National Women's Soccer League ...


Copyright © 2019 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.