EQILPAC Municipal Endorsements

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

CHICAGO (February 16, 2015) – The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) today endorses the re-election of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the February 24 municipal election. The Equality Illinois PAC also endorses the re-election of four incumbent LGBT aldermen in Chicago and Springfield.

“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.”

Other candidates for mayor and Chicago aldermen have thoughtful LGBT platforms, and Equality Illinois PAC, the political affiliate of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, appreciates that they are part of the constructive dialog in the municipal elections.

“Equality Illinois PAC endorses the re-election of incumbents who are strong advocates of the issues and policies important to LGBT Illinoisans and their allies,” said Nicole Bashor, Chair of Equality Illinois PAC. “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.”

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.

The Equality Illinois PAC also made endorsements of four openly LGBT aldermanic incumbents: Chicago aldermen Deb Mell (33rd Ward), Tom Tunney (44th Ward), and James Cappleman (46th Ward) and Springfield Alderman Cory Jobe (6th Ward). Aldermen Mell, Tunney, and Cappleman are running for re-election in the February 24 municipal election while Alderman Jobe is seeking a second term in Springfield’s municipal election on April 7.

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.

“We are fortunate to have three LGBT people serving on the Chicago City Council. Aldermen Mell, Tunney, and Cappleman have been strong advocates for the LGBT community, and we want to ensure they have the opportunity to continue working on behalf of all Chicagoans,” Bashor said.

“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.

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