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 2018-03-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



ELECTIONS Illinois' 4th Cong. Dist. Candidate Richard Gonzalez ON immigration, listenING
by Matt Simonette

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Richard Gonzalez—who maintains he is the only of the candidates vying to represent Illinois' 4th Congressional District who already planned to run before current Rep. Luis Gutierrez said he was stepping down—has been working two jobs for years. He's both a police official and executive director of a housing organization—and says this compressive background makes him a good fit to represent the 4th District in Washington D.C.

Windy City Times: What inspired you to run?

Richard Gonzalez: I'm the only candidate who decided to run in the [district] prior to Luis Gutierrez announcing his retirement. It's a position of great importance, can bring about change, and is not a position that someone can just decide overnight that, "Wow, I'm going to be a great congressman." The night before he announced his retirement, not of the candidates had been thinking about the office.

I sat down with my wife, family and friends and I really talked about whether I would be effective in joining this race and competing with Mr. Gutierrez for the seat. It took me about two months to weigh all the factors and decide that I indeed would make a great difference in this district.

There's only been one issue in this district that's been addressed and that's immigration, which I think is a very important issue that needs to be addressed effectively. Even the civil rights movement took less time than our current immigration reform. Today, immigration reform possibilities are worse than they were 25 years ago when Luis Gutierrez took the helm. But there are other issues that are very important, including education, jobs, economic development, crime, infrastructure; so much needs to be brought into our district.

WCT: What in your background speaks to your potential success taking on these issues in Congress?

RG: In order to be a Congressman, it's not really about governing. You're not there to tell the folks what they should and should not have. The job of a Congressman is to listen and represent the constituents of the district. I am great listener. I'm also a Chicago police sergeant for over 25 years, so I'm used to fighting for what needs to be done. That's something that is second nature to me. That's embedded in police officers, knowing there is a situation at hand and that you have to find a solution. I've worked with CAPS offices and for many years I led the CAPS offices in the 12th and 13th police districts. I needed to work with elected officials and listen to the concerns of the residents of those districts and I had to bring solutions to those concerns, otherwise I wouldn't be doing my job effectively.

I have a bachelor's degree in accounting from DePaul and a master's degree from Illinois Institute of Technology in Public Administration. I'm also the Executive Director of Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation. … I started with the company 25 years ago as a bookkeeper. I used to get out of work at the police department and work nights; I did that for my first four years. I'm now the president, so I worked my way up the ladder, and that came about because of the strong leadership qualities I possess.

We just did groundbreaking on a property that we have at Central and Diversey; we just closed it December 29th, and it was affordable units for members of the LGBT community. That was an idea that I thought we needed to bring into Chicago, into Bucktown, which is completely ridiculous [in price] to live there. We decided, we want affordable housing and we want it to be for the LGBT community, because we want them to feel comfortable.

WCT: How do you divide up your time between the two jobs these days?

RG: As human beings, we are creatures of habit. I've been doing these two jobs for the last 25-plus years. It's one of those things that I just don't think about and just do. I'm used to hard work and motivating myself to get the job done. The day that I only have one job will be like retirement for me.

WCT: What kind of work or engagement have you already had with the LGBT community? You've already mentioned the Bucktown housing project.

RG: On the Pennycuff-Castillo property, the reason I did that was that I have many members of my family who are gay. We made this very clear to them: It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is; you're our family and we love you. One of the things we do here in the city is that we make that into a taboo. A lot of people are afraid too express what they really feel because they fear people will make fun of them or that they will be alienated. I want to change that. I want to bring a comfort level.

My family is very important to me, and we all have that same mindset. We have to have an educational program for the city and state to make this the norm, not the exception. If there ever a time where the statement "it is what is" is appropriate, it's in this case, we should not make [being LGBT] an issue. It's one of the reasons I concentrated on LGBT community housing. I had a hard time selling that to HUD and I had a hard time selling it to the city. It took two and half years to do this. … But it's going to get to a point in Chicago, I'm hoping, where we're just not going to question it. It will be a normality.

WCT: What other issues are pertinent for the district?

RG: Jobs, jobs, jobs are important for the district. It is home to some of the poorest people in the entire United States when it comes to median income. It is such a large district with many people who are Hispanic. They are some of the most hard-working people. They are innovators. They want to come here and they want to work. We have to figure out a way that they have no fear of deportation. We can do something as simple as ensuring that here in Illinois there is a pilot program where you have a temporary visa that allows you to work.

We talk a lot about citizenship and the path towards citizenship, but I have talked to a lot of people and their main concern is, "Can I come to the United States and can I stay in the United States, and be a productive member of society without fear of being deported?" I think with initiating a temporary visa, Illinois could become a real sanctuary state with laws, rules and opportunities for people here to be productive and work. But the main thing is to be able to eliminate that fear of deportation.

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

Trump issues transgender military ban 2018-03-23 - President Trump issued orders March 23 to bar most transgender troops who need surgery or significant medical treatment from serving in the U.S. ...

Gay News

City, ACLU, groups enter agreement on police oversight 2018-03-22 - CHICAGO — In a major development in the fight for federal oversight of the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ), over a dozen ...

Gay News

LGBTQ Victory Fund Endorses 14 More LGBTQ Candidates Including Valdez for Texas Governor 2018-03-21 - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed 14 more candidates ...

Gay News

HRC Comments on Illinois' 3rd Congressional District Primary Result 2018-03-21 - CHICAGO — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil ...

Gay News

Title VII, Where and why "sex" matters to LGBT employees 2018-03-21 - Lori Franchina worked as a rescue worker for Providence, Rhode Island, and for four years, everything was fine. Then one day, she was ...

Gay News

In Eastern Caribbean LGBT People Face Bias, Violence Under Colonial-Era Laws 2018-03-21 - ( Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018 ) — Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) ...

Gay News

Pritzker wins primary; Robinson makes history 2018-03-21 - J.B. Pritzker is getting what he wanted—a shot at the Republican nominee for governor in November. Meanwhile, Lamont Robinson made history as ...

Gay News

LGBTQ town-hall meeting March 28 2018-03-21 - The Association of Latino/as Motivating Action ( ALMA ) will host an LGBTQ town-hall meeting on Wed., March 28, 6-7:30 p.m., at the ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Pre-teen suicide, drag-queen situation, Truth Awards, Stormy Daniels 2018-03-20 - A 12-year-old bisexual boy in Mississippi committed suicide after allegedly being bullied for coming out, Gay Star News reported. Andrew Leach was found ...

Gay News

WORLD Councilwoman killed, gay whistleblower, medicinal vending machine 2018-03-20 - Rio de Janeiro Councilwoman Marielle Franco was killed March 14 after attending and speaking at a Black women's empowerment event in the city, ...


Copyright © 2018 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 produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.