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 2019-10-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay man talks about running for state rep
by MacKenzie Murtaugh
2019-07-15

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Every morning, Ken Meija-Beal awakes to his alarm at 3:30 a.m.

The first thing on his mind is to respond to each and every message he received overnight. After that, he heads to the gym. To him, his day is structured to communicate with people. He bases much of his productivity around his conversations and if he has invited people of color, different sexual orientations, races and socioeconomic backgrounds to the table.

When he announced his run for state representative for the 42nd District on July 15, Meija-Beal was not fazed by the lack of discourse the former representatives allowed in his community.

"I am running to be a representative who actually communicates with the community, and by the community, I mean the entire district," Meija-Beal told Windy City Times before the announcement. "There is no representation, no one is communicating with us, our voices are not being heard."

Meija-Beal represents more than a gay, Black man with a passion for representation—he said he attempts to respect and highlight every underrepresented group he can with his campaign.

"We are the middle class, poor people, people of color, the LGBT community, senior citizens," he said. "The opposite of that would be the folks with a lot of money. That's who our district is."

Before announcing his run for state representative, Meija-Beal was a community organizer for Chris Kennedy's gubernatorial campaign, and is a member of the Democratic National Committee and operates in DuPage County.

. Meija-Beal intends to apply what he learned in his past positions and utilize them to develop a relationship with his community that other politicians don't have.

"What I will do is exactly what I have been doing, which is talking to people and understanding what makes them tick," Meija-Beal said.

Meija-Beal's platform centers on three major issues he intends to change in his district. First, he promises to halt any revenue increases on alcohol, saying the increases tend to hurt small business and bar owners.

He also wants to help his community with a simpler distribution of affordable insulin and HIV medication. Mejia-Beal said that without insurance or an excess of funds, many low-income citizens and LGBTQ+ community members cannot afford the necessary medication for their illnesses.

His third promise is to end puppy mills in Illinois. The living situation that the mills supply for the animals is fundamentally abusive, according to Meija-Beal. "If the conditions are deplorable, it's disgusting," Meija-Beal said. "It's simply not okay in our state. We have so many animals that need to be adopted."

With these main issues, he hopes to be successful in placing a magnifying glass on underrepresented groups who may feel ostracized by their current and former representatives.

"I want people to know that I see them," Meija-Beal said. "We are in a culture, and not just in our state but the entire county, where so many people are fighting just to be seen. They're not being seen because of socio-economic issues. If you don't have enough money to take a trip to Springfield, how are you going to be seen here?"

He vowed to make himself as available to his community as possible by allowing them to call, text, email and message him through social media to address any issues they have. After a day at their nine-to-five, U.S. workers may not want to call their representatives. Knowing this, Meija-Beal has acknowledged the ease of sending a text message or an email, as opposed to a phone call. By making his personal information public, Mejia-Beal said he hopes to develop a more reciprocal relationship with his community than other representatives.

"That's the reason I'm running because I actually do care," he said. "I'm definitely not doing this for any other reason. I am someone who's just a normal guy who, for years, I felt like no one saw me. I took it upon myself to be seen, to get heard and to get those stories out there."

Using the adversity he has faced as an openly gay Black man prompted Meija-Beal to use his voice to uplift people in places he has experienced.

"[My experiences] affect the way I view government because a lot of people, especially in today's age, don't understand what it's like to have to wait for the government to say you can live your life. I do, so when I heard people say the government is stalling on X, Y and Z, I understand. I know what that's like."


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

LGBTQ HRC/CNN town hall watch party held at Sidetrack 2019-10-16 - The Chicago Reader hosted a discussion in advance of the HRC/CNN town hall Oct. 10. Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson stopped by the event. ...


Gay News

Supreme Court analysis: Probabilities in the Title VII rulings 2019-10-16 - U.S. Supreme Court observers are more reluctant than usual to try and predict how the court might come down on the always hot-button ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020, STATE HOUSE Ryan Podges, gay man challenges Feigenholtz for 12th Dist. 2019-10-16 - Ryan Podges is a political newbie—and his initial foray into the electoral arena may be a daunting one. That is because Podges, a ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Hillary and Chelsea disagree, coming-out study, Julian Castro 2019-10-15 - Hillary and Chelsea Clinton seemingly had a recent disagreement about transgender identity, The New York Post noted. In an interview with the Sunday ...


Gay News

WORLD Brazilian LGBT figures, 'Kill the Gays' bill, singer Hozier 2019-10-15 - The European Parliament announced the finalists for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought—and, for the first time in its 30 years of ...


Gay News

Kevin Hauswirth, an advocate committed to diversity 2019-10-15 - Since he was a child, Kevin Hauswirth knew he was destined to lead a life of advocacy. Speaking with Windy City Times, he ...


Gay News

HRC Chicago to honor Kim Hunt, Dane Hites 2019-10-14 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Chicago Gala will take place Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr., ...


Gay News

State treasurer's LGBTQ reception Oct. 16 2019-10-12 - Illinois state Treasurer Michael Frerichs will host a celebration on the concourse of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., 12-1 ...


Gay News

CNN LGBT-specific Town Hall filled with unexpected drama 2019-10-11 - The bar had been set pretty high for CNN's Oct. 10 town hall on LGBT issues for Democratic presidential candidates. It was ...


Gay News

Gay Fox anchor steps away from network 2019-10-11 - In a sudden move on Oct. 11, Shepard Smith said that after more than two decades at Fox News, he was stepping down ...


 



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


 



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.