Valerie Jarrett returns to Chicago to address Equality Illinois dinner

Wed. February 8, 2012 12:24 PM by News Staff

President's senior advisor to address Midwest’s largest LGBT dinner

Chicago, IL - Equality Illinois announced Wednesday that Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at their annual Justice for All gala this Saturday.

"We are excited to welcome Valerie Jarrett to our gala," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said. "President Obama has led the way on many fronts: Legislatively he achieved the repeal of the "don't ask-don't tell" policy for gay and lesbian members of the military and enactment of the Hate Crimes Act. In the courts, his Administration has argued that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Administratively, the White House and federal departments have taken many steps to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality and strengthen LGBT families and communities."

Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman and civil leader, is one of President Obama's longest serving advisors. She started in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington and served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley, where in 1991 she interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor's office. Jarrett has been connected to the Obama's ever since.

More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend the gala hosted by Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest LGBT civil rights organization.

Other attendees include Governor Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Senate President John Cullerton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a number of other political and community leaders.

The Justice for All gala held on Saturday, February 11, 2012 in the Grand and International Ballrooms of the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue. The gala begins with a silent auction at 6 p.m., and the dinner program begins at 8 p.m.


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