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 2019-05-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS 2019, MAYOR. Lori Lightfoot talks LGBTQ policy, police accountability
by Tim Peacock
2019-02-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Standing out in a crowd of qualified competitors can be difficult, but openly lesbian mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot is up to the challenge. As a Victory Fund- and Equality Illinois PAC-endorsed candidate with a comprehensive LGBTQ policy framework, she stands a chance not only of becoming Chicago's first openly gay mayor, but also becoming the first African-American woman elected to the role.

Windy City Times ( WCT ): What made you decide to throw your hat into the ring in what was already a crowded race for mayor?

Lori Lightfoot ( LL ): I got into the race because I saw that there's a lot of great things that were going on in the city, but the prosperity certainly wasn't spread evenly around the city's neighborhoods. And I saw too many families that looked like the family that I grew up in and individuals who look like me, and under similar circumstances, really struggling.

And that there was no real plan for those folks. There wasn't a plan to uplift the quality of life in neighborhoods, really comprehensively bring down the violence in ways that could stabilize communities. That we have too many neighborhoods that lacked good quality schools either at the elementary or high school level, and that the unemployment rate in many neighborhoods was in the high twenties, if not higher. And there are a number of other factors that made me see that there was a great need for a leader who is going to be independent, who is going to put forth a progressive vision for the city, and who is really truly going to put people first.

WCT: Two of the top issues listed on your campaign website—stopping violence and reforming the police department—strongly connect to your previous role on the police accountability board. How would becoming mayor help you work toward those goals versus your time on the board?

LL: When you work on a board, you have to live within that board's jurisdiction and area of responsibility—which in the police board was limited. We were essentially an administrative court and could only weigh in on topics that came before us. We had some ability to use the bully pulpit of that office to advocate for certain policy changes, but the jurisdiction was limited. Obviously, as mayor, I can break through a lot of the bureaucratic barriers and really compel change both in terms of reform and accountability in really improving the relationship between community and police. And also, in an important area of accountability, it's just unacceptable to me that we are spending so much money on lawsuits, settlements, judgments and attorney fees. And there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency around why that's a problem. Those are all things that can be addressed expeditiously if you're the mayor.

WCT: What is your vision for the LGBTQ community?

LL: I think that we've got a number of battles that we still need to fight. Getting marriage was really important from a practical standpoint and also from a symbolic standpoint, but we know that discrimination still runs rampant against members of our community. And of particular notoriety in the last year or so is what's going on with the trans community. We had two murders of trans women last year where those murders were not solved and frankly it doesn't sound like there's been significant progress.

We know that a significant portion of the homeless population are made up of LGBTQ+ young people. So we've got to make sure that we are doing everything that we can. We also know that there's unequal access to healthcare within our community—particularly for drugs that could mitigate against the spread of AIDS and HIV. So there's a lot more that needs to be done both to highlight these issues and frankly let people know that the struggle continues. I will also make sure, as a part of my administration, that we do a much better job of having liaisons that reach out to this community. That's an area where I think we still have a long way to go—particularly when it comes to reaching out and having relationships between our community and the police department.

Right now there's only one LGBTQ+ liaison for the entire city. I recommend increasing that to three, and having them have specific geographic boundaries within which they work. We also need to make sure the administration, from top to bottom, in every department and not just in the human relations area, is populated with out proud LGBTQ members.

WCT: You referenced liaisons, which is part of your LGBTQ policy framework. Another proposition in that policy framework is creating 24-hour drop-off centers. How would those work?

LL: What we see—and this is a significant issue among our young people—is that they don't have a stable place to go to get resources, to have respite, to get food, to get shelter, and training, to connect with social services. And those needs are really 24 hours a day; they're not just during the daytime or early evening hours. So having 24 hour centers that can really help address the needs of our community is, I think, critically important.

WCT: Do you see any other issues as being big problems facing the city's LGBTQ community within the next few years?

LL: I think our issues are universal in some ways. There are things, of course, that are unique to our community given who are and given the level of discrimination that we continue to face, but people in our community also care about violence, they also care about good and safe schools, they also care about making sure that taxes are not regressive and that they have affordable housing options—particularly among our young people and our seniors. Those issues really overlap with issues that I've heard about from residents of the city all over and are not necessarily unique to the LGBTQ+ community.

WCT: While Chicago does have anti-discrimination protections that are pretty robust, enforcement of those laws can be difficult. What would you do as mayor—aside from your LGBTQ policy framework—to more adequately enforce those laws not only to help the LGBTQ community, but other marginalized communities in the city?

LL: Well I think number one, the mayor has to set the tone for the kind of city we want to have. The mayor has to speak the values of the collective, and talking about these issues in lots of different forums is critically important because it's going to be very clear that this is something that we value, this is something that is important to the health and well being of the city. And I think frankly that goes a long way in and of itself.

But of course we need to also educate people about what their rights are. No one's going to be a better protector of your rights than you. And a lot of times what I hear from people is, "Well I didn't know where to turn, I wasn't sure if I could get help, I didn't actually know that I had a right to this, this and this." Educating people—particularly, young people—about what their rights are and what resources they have when they feel like their rights have been violated is critically important. And making sure people know about various advocacy groups that are out there and designed to protect the rights of marginalized communities or communities that have been subject to historic discrimination on the basis of a lot of different factors.

For more information on Lightfoot's campaign, visit lightfootforchicago.com/ .


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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Eddie Izzard works Wunderbar in Chicago 2019-05-24 - Eddie Izzard has built a career on simply being his authentic self in life, comedy and politics. His West End debut came in ...


Gay News

Second City's Salute to Pride to Bring the Party to UP Comedy Club this June 2019-05-24 - ( CHICAGO, IL - April 3, 2019 ) The Second City is proud to announce the return of The Second City's Salute to ...


Gay News

Trump-Pence admin targets LGBTQ non-discrimination healthcare protections 2019-05-24 - From HRC: WASHINGTON— Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization ...


Gay News

May 22 celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press benefits Windy City Times 2019-05-24 - A celebration of Tracy Baim's 35 years in LGBTQ press was held May 22 at Sidetrack. She was co-founder of Windy City Times ...


Gay News

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Commends DCCC Cancelling Lipinski Fundraiser 2019-05-23 - WASHINGTON — Planned Parenthood Action Fund released the following statement following news that Congresswoman Bustos and the DCCC cancelled a fundraiser for anti-abortion, ...


Gay News

LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum Bill Advances to Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker 2019-05-23 - SPRINGFIELD — A significant legislative measure to ensure students in Illinois public schools would learn about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Military items, trans murders, Southern trans report 2019-05-22 - Sgt. 1st Class Janina Simmons became the first female African-American soldier to complete the U.S. Army Ranger School course in April, Ebony.com reported. ...


Gay News

2019 Pride Month Calendar 2019-05-21 - JUNE ( various dates, to be announced ) - CENTER ON HALSTED - During Pride Month, the Center will feature a variety of ...


Gay News

Pete Buttigieg and homelessness: Advocate on slow South Bend response 2019-05-21 - Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg cites the revitalization of South Bend, Indiana, which he largely stewarded, as a prime reason he should be elected ...


Gay News

Emanuel, Cappleman celebrate Broadway Streetscape Project project 2019-05-21 - As one of his last official acts, now-former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Ald. James Cappleman ( 46th Ward ) and the Chicago ...


 



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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
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      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.