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 2019-08-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Standing room only for COH post-election meeting
by Matt Simonette
2016-12-06

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Both Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theater and its lobby were filled to capacity for a community meeting Dec. 5 addressing civil liberties in the face of a Trump presidency.

The theater space quickly filled to capacity for the meeting, which was organized by state Reps. Ann Williams, Sara Feigenholtz and Kelly Cassidy ( Cassidy was unable to attend ). The overflow crowd watched the panel on a monitor in the lobby. The event was sponsored by Equality Illinois, ACLU of Illinois, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Center on Halsted.

Williams said that she and colleagues in the House had received hundreds of questions from concerned constituents since Nov. 8, adding, "We were shell shocked at the results of the election."

Feigenholtz said, "We are still trying to wrap or heads around what happened on Nov. 8... Then we had to go down to Springfield which was a very toxic and sullen environment."

But panelists joining the legislators, all representing statewide activist organizations, said that they were ready for any fights ahead. Rianne Hawkins, director of legislation at Planned Parenthood Illinois, said, "Through every attack we have come out stronger, and we plan to use that strength in the coming years … We don't know what's to come but were all prepared for renewed threats."

Hawkins noted that Planned parenthood has seen a 450 percent increase in IUD appointments since the election, and that "tens of thousands of dollars" have been donated in the name of Mike Pence.

Khadine Bennett, associate legislative director for ACLU of Illinois, said her organization has a historical record of suing presidents and would not hesitate to do so if Trump made it necessary. She said organization officials were especially concerned about the implications of the shift at the Department of Justice, which had been working on police reform; Trump has said he favors stop-and-frisk, and the ACLU expects that aggressive policing and government surveillance will be issues. Bennett echoed Hawkins in asserting that her organization was prepared.

"We don't know what the first fight will be, but we're ready to take it on," Bennett said.

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Senior Policy Counsel Fred Tsao noted that immigrants likely have the most to fear under a Trump presidency, given the rhetoric from the president elect and his supporters during the campaign. He noted that activists must leverage their strength and attention across many realms, such as protecting individuals who are beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, which Trump could repeal. Those individuals' information is accessible to the government, making them "sitting ducks," Tsao said.

He also warned that a beneficiary of Trump's proposed round-ups of "criminal" immigrants would likely be the private prison industry, whose stocks went up the day after the election. That industry "sees what's coming, so we should see what's coming as well," Tsao said.

Equality Illinois Director of Public Policy Michael Ziri emphasized that activism was going to be needed at the state and municipal levels since several locales can put laws on the books that protect against discriminations that could conceivably be repealed at the federal levels. Illinois, for example, has robust anti-discrimination protections.

Williams added that many Illinois lawmakers would do "what we can do on a state level to inoculate ourselves against what might go down on the federal level."

Bennett mentioned the opposite side of that point, however: Work is still needed to make sure the state's resources are strong. "It's really important to remember that we don't have a budget in our state," she said.

Center on Halsted Chief Operating Officer Kim Fountain urged for community members to know what resources they have available to them. Noting that the Center is space people use "when things go wrong or when things go fabulously," she added, "You are at a place where we get it. That's what's so amazing about being in a community center, we're everywhere … We're going to keep pushing forward while embracing our community, because that's what we do."

All the panelists emphasized contributing to organizations and causes, signing up for action alerts, supporting fact-based journalism and communicating—on the phone or in person, if possible—with elected officials.

The panelists were asked whether current activist organizations were equipped to handle the work ahead or if new organizations would be needed to navigate through it. Bennett answered that established organizations like those represented on the stage best knew the nuances associated with the work.

Activism, she said, "takes place on many different levels, and these organizations know all of those levels."


facebook twitter 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

Grayson Alexander talks history-making role, politics, future plans 2019-08-23 - When Grayson Alexander was growing up he never dreamed he would make history as the first out transgender person to become an Illinois ...


Gay News

Conservative donor David Koch dies at 79 2019-08-23 - Conservative billionaire David Koch—who became a household name through the policy and political empire he created with his older brother, Charles—has died at ...


Gay News

Harris, Steans talk legislative session over coffee 2019-08-22 - Two General Assembly members met with their constituents at Andersonville's First Slice Pie Cafe to discuss this year's legislative session. State Rep. Greg ...


Gay News

Powerful AIDS group may be examined for use of federal funds 2019-08-21 - California state Sen. Ben Hueso ( D-Chula Vista ) has asked state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to investigate if the AIDS Healthcare Foundation ...


Gay News

HRC releases HEI; 16 Illinois hospitals cited as leaders 2019-08-21 - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation ( HRC ) released its 12th annual Healthcare Equality Index ( HEI ), which scores healthcare facilities on ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois looks ahead with more diverse board 2019-08-21 - LGBT-rights advocacy Equality Illinois recently began its new fiscal year with a board of directors organization officials say better reflects the diversity of ...


Gay News

Michael Bauer reflects on a life of activism 2019-08-21 - Activist Michael Bauer, originally an attorney and executive who has been active in fundraising in local LGBT, Jewish and womens' communities since the ...


Gay News

WORLD Fleeing Russia, Cuban activist, UNAIDS, Magnum ad 2019-08-21 - Gay married couple Andrei Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev were forced to flee Russia over concerns their adopted children could be taken away, NewNowNext.com ...


Gay News

Pritzker bolsters Illinois Human Rights Act 2019-08-20 - On Aug. 20, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed several measures—including HB 252—which strengthens the Illinois Human Rights Act to protect employees against discrimination ...


Gay News

Mayor of Canada's capital comes out 2019-08-18 - Jim Watson—the longtime mayor of Ottawa, the capital of Canada—came out as gay in a column in the Ottawa Citizen, writing that the ...


 



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


 



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.