EQIL PAC Urges Runoff Support for Emanuel

State’s leading LGBT political action committee also endorses
LGBT aldermanic candidates in Chicago and Springfield

CHICAGO (March 12, 2015) – With some voting beginning this week in the Chicago runoff election for mayor and the City Council, the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) today reminds voters of its endorsement of the re-election of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Equality Illinois PAC also recommends votes for Ald. James Cappleman (46th Ward) and candidate Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) in Chicago and Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe (6th Ward).

In reiterating the endorsement of Mayor Emanuel, Nicole Bashor, Chair of Equality Illinois PAC, said it is important for the community to stand with incumbents who expended personal and political capital to support significant issues that have improved the lives of LGBT Chicagoans throughout the city.

“Mayor Emanuel stood with us not only in the significant effort to achieve marriage equality but on other policies and initiatives that support LGBT Chicagoans,” Bashor said.

“We have been impressed that the candidate field in the city elections have thoughtful LGBT platforms. Mayor Emanuel has been a leader on LGBT issues in Chicago, and that’s why he’s the choice of Equality Illinois PAC,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois. “He has led the city forward and ensured Chicago is welcoming to LGBT families, seniors, workers, and immigrants. Mayor Emanuel was also a crucial ally in our successful fight for the freedom to marry in Illinois.”

Among the Mayor’s other major efforts and accomplishments on behalf of the LGBT community:

  • Secured funding and worked with the Chicago City Council to develop and complete the city’s first affordable housing complex for LGBT seniors.
  • Developed the LGBT Community Action Plan to enhance the health and access to services of Chicago’s LGBT community.
  • Under the Emanuel Administration, the Chicago Police Department established rules regarding how police officers should respectfully interact with transgender individuals.
  • Invested more resources to combat youth homelessness. About 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT.

For the April 7 runoff round of aldermanic voting in Chicago, the Equality Illinois PAC is reiterating its support of LGBT incumbent James Cappleman (46th Ward) and is endorsing the candidacy of Raymond Lopez for 15th Ward Alderman.

“With a demonstrated commitment to growing and strengthening the neighborhoods of the 15th Ward, Ray Lopez has provided solid leadership and constituent services as an advocate, candidate, and elected official,” Bashor said. “We especially appreciate and support his focus on building a community where all people feel safe and secure in being who they truly are.”

Lopez’s election would mark the first time an out LGBT candidate for any office has won on the South Side of Chicago.

“In Springfield, we are excited to endorse Alderman Cory Jobe for re-election. Alderman Jobe is the first openly gay member of the Springfield City Council, where he has been a forceful advocate for the LGBT community in central Illinois,” Bashor said.

As the only statewide PAC focused on LGBT issues, Equality Illinois PAC recognizes the importance of electing LGBT people to local governments so that our voices are part of agenda setting in communities throughout Illinois. Equality Illinois PAC had also endorsed the re-election of Ald. Deb Mell (33rd Ward) and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward), both of whom won in the first round of voting on Feb. 24.

For the runoff election, grace period registration and voting began this week in the municipal elections for those not previously registered, and applications for voting by mail are also now available.

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