Chicagoan Brian Richardson, who for several years had been a deputy commissioner with Chicago Department of Public Health, recently said that his entire career has been about "making our community's lives better."
Richardson in March will begin a new position as Midwest Director for the Lambda Legal advocacy organization. His main responsibilities will center on managing the organization's Chicago office and engaging with constituencies across the Midwest; Lambda Legal has litigated numerous high-profile LGBT-rights cases over the years.
"Our responsibility is making sure that every person who is queer, or LGBT, or has HIV, or is related to or connected with a person in the community, has the rights and opportunities that they deserve," Richardson explained, adding that his new job is "about talking to community leaders and residents of every political background and letting them know what Lambda Legal is all about."
Activist James Bennett had long held the post Richardson is taking over. Bennett was recently named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to become director of the Illinois Department of Human Rights.
Lambda Legal has endured organizational difficulties the past few years, culminating with the resignation of its CEO last August. But Richardson said that the organization has been in good hands under Interim CEO Richard Burns as board members carry on a search for a full-time replacement: "The entire board and the staff want to ensure that Lambda maintains its relevance to the LGBTQ movementLambda gets the job done."
Richardson's duties will center around helping to "make sure that the good bills pass and the good bills fail. It's also about raising money. We've got a phenomenal groups of attorneys doing phenomenal work, but the only reason we have them is community support, and we have to make sure that that continues to grow. We've seen from President Trump that he has zero interest in protecting and supporting LGBTQ community members and has consistently attacked all of us. We need to come together and make sure that we are supporting each other."