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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cuts LGBT Advisory Council

LGBT Council restructured, Bill Greaves out

Chicago, IL — Chicago's Advisory Council on LGBT Issues is being merged with the city's Advisory Council on Women's Issues into a new council on Gender and Sexuality, which has a lot of people upset and concerned.

Illinois' The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) Executive Director Anthony Martinez said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel's move – which he blames on the budget – is wiping out decades of progress in Chicago.

"The restructuring of the Advisory Council on LGBT Issues is just one more example of how the administration seems to not be interested in these hard fought gains," Martinez said.

TCRA is also concerned about the removal of the words "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Gender" from the Council.

"How is a young LGBT person who needs to turn to the city for help if say, they are kicked out of their house for being gay, to understand that they should contact the Council on Gender and Sexuality?" Martinez said.

The reorganization also means that LGBT director William Greaves is out of a job starting Jan. 1, said the Windy City Times. Overall, TCRA said the budget of the agencies under Chicago's "Community Services" are being cut 19 percent.

"Chicago is already far below what other major cities in the U.S. allocate to similar agencies. New York spends more than double what Chicago spends, and Washington D.C. spends over ten times that amount," Martinez said.
NYC is double the size of Chicago so sure they may spend double. Why DC spends 10 times the amount I have no idea. At the end of the day cuts need to be made in the city. As far as where young people can turn if they get kicked out, the city should easily be able to incorporate LGBT into the new council and it shouldn't cost a dime, whether it be on city websites, at city hall, or in official city publications. Merging two groups does NOT wipe out decades of progress. The progress is still present, just look around at the city and the people.
Posted by PaulBlackburn on Thu, 10/20/2011 6:46 PM
The cuts to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' budget are alarming. The commission provides essential services for the LGBT community. As an attorney who handles LGBTQ workplace discrimination claims, I know all too well that the Commission's investigative resources are already spread way too thin. In addition, our community will be losing one of our greatest assets in City government, Bill Greaves, the City's liason to the LGBTQ community. With Bill's leadership, our community has formed a city-wide coalition of nearly 30 LGBTQ organizations representing the full range of community interests. The elimination of Bill's position is tragic. As a community, we should all be alarmed that the Mayor did not consult with the City-wide Coalition before making budget decisions that effectively reverse two decades of progress.
Posted by JacobMeister on Fri, 10/21/2011 1:03 PM
Bill Greaves never did anyone any good. I tried to get him to help me once and he just ignored me. Greaves was always very interested in being photographed and attending high profile events but didn't have any time in his day to help the people he was paid to help.
Posted by JeffLynch on Sun, 10/23/2011 4:52 AM
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