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 2019-05-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ELECTIONS, 40TH WARD. O'Keefe looks ahead to election
by Matt Simonette
2019-02-21

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Maggie O'Keefe is challenging incumbent 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O'Connor for his spot on the Chicago City Council. A digital marketer who identifies as queer, O'Keefe has worked to register voters locally. She spoke with windy City Times about issues in the ward, and why she threw her hat in the ring.

Windy City Times: What prompted you to run?

Maggie O'Keefe: It feels like the neighborhood has been uninformed and uninspired about the potential to change. Looking over my community and the whole Lincoln Square neighborhood, I have seen so many four-, and now six-, unit luxury developments go up in the past two years. It brings only a certain type of folks who are able to live in the neighborhood, and it starts pushing people out—including myself. I'm a renter, and I've seen my rent go up $200 a month in the last two years.

I know I'm not the only one who's suffered through things like that; that's happening to people all across our ward, and across the city of Chicago.

WCT: You said that the neighborhood was uninspired and uniformed for change—what is the cause of that?

MO: Like I said, lack of affordable housing options is definitely one, and a shortage of housing options in general. There's a shortage of rental options—we've lost so many four-flats and unfortunately, that pushed people and families out of our neighborhoods. It decreases our student population, as well as the diversity in our schools. It decreases the patronage of our small businesses.

When development comes into our ward, you can see a correlation between who's donating to the current incumbent and who is able to actually build in our ward. I think that the aldermanic prerogative has got to go. The privileges of being an alderman have got to go, and we need campaign finance reform; we've got to move forward on that. It's just about bringing the community into the growth and development of our ward—through participatory budgeting and a community zoning board.

WCT: What are some other priorities beyond the development aspect?

MO: Education is a number-one issue in the 40th Ward. I think parents are just overwhelmed —we saw a public school close in our neighborhood. While our schools are doing okay, we still have parents who don't send their kids to a neighborhood school. Every child deserves a quality, equitable education, that meets their needs in their own backyard.

WCT: How does your background tie into what you're hoping to achieve on the city council?

MO: I'm a small business owner. I started my business four years ago. I do digital marketing, and help other small businesses, not-for-profits and candidates explain to audiences their worth. For the past two years, I've been doing a lot of voter registration and education across Cook County. That was all volunteer-based. I got involved with that after seeing former Gov. Rauner being sworn in. Then the 2016 election was really a jumping-off point for me, where I felt like I had to do something. When I talk to younger people, or even people older than myself, about why their vote matters, that's democracy in action. We have to make options for people that are going to make democracy thrive. I went to all kinds of schools registering young people to vote; that was kind of my bread-and-butter, and I helped train over 500 people across Cook County to be deputy voter registrars. Together, we registered thousands of people to vote for the 2018 election.

WCT: What are some issues that are especially important for LGBT residents of the ward?

MO: We need a champion community representative, someone that is active and will listen to all people. That's something we haven't seen with our current incumbent. When I go door-to-door and tall to our current incumbent's supporters, they frequently say, "Well, everything is going good for me." But, what about what is good for "we"? We need to start getting back to having all people, all types of residents—know matter where they come from, their socio-economic status, or how they identify—[feel free to] come to the alderman's office, look to me as a friend and someone they can come meet with.

… Our marginalized communities need to be put to the forefront. Much of that goes to building jobs for folks, and job training and placement. When there are people who are disproportionately disadvantaged, Chicago and all of our economy suffers. We need to start thinking about our trans residents or our LGBTQ homeless population, so that we can start building for them, and building for people who might be less out in various types of programming.

WCT: You identify as queer—why is such representation important for the city council?

MO: I want to put the "Q" with the LGBT Caucus [laughs]. It's time for people to be able to feel that they are part of something, and that they don't feel like they have to continually rally for rights. It's important for folks to feel comfortable and connected with themselves, and feel comfortable and connected with their city government.

See maggie2019.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

Legislation to advance equity for LGBTQ older adults advances to Gov. Pritzker 2019-05-21 - SPRINGFIELD - Legislation to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) older adults has passed the Illinois General ...


Gay News

Lightfoot signs first executive order 2019-05-21 - In her first hours after being sworn in as the 56th mayor of the City of Chicago, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot signed her ...


Gay News

Lightfoot sworn in as Chicago Mayor 2019-05-20 - Attorney Lori Lightfoot became the 56th mayor of Chicago the morning of May 20. Accompanied by her wife and family, Lightfoot was sworn ...


Gay News

LGBTQ activists travel to Springfield for Advocacy Day 2019-05-19 - On May 15, Equality Illinois hosted the annual Advocacy Day in Springfield, Illinois, in partnership with other statewide LGBTQ organizations. The daylong event ...


Gay News

Lightfoot administration names City Council leadership 2019-05-18 - Recently elected Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced her proposal for City Council committee leadership, which now includes Ald. Tom Tunney ( 44th ...


Gay News

House passes Equality Act 2019-05-17 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act 236-173 in a May 17 vote. The legislation, which is H.R. 5 and was ...


Gay News

Hillary Clinton headlines Heartland Alliance benefit 2019-05-17 - Former senator, secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker at Heartland Alliance's annual Power of Healing benefit May ...


Gay News

Honorary Pride Parade grand marshal named 2019-05-16 - PRIDEChicago has announced that the honorary grand marshal for this year's Chicago 50th Annual Pride Parade will be newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori ...


Gay News

Lightfoot names senior staff, finance positions 2019-05-15 - Mayor-elect Lori E. Lightfoot made the first announcement of key members of her administration's leadership team. The senior staff announced May 15 ...


Gay News

Laquan McDonald doc '16 Shots' out June 14 2019-05-14 - Showtime Documentary Films announced it will premiere the new documentary 16 Shots, from Oscar-nominated director Richard Rowley ( Dirty Wars ), on Friday, ...


 



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.