Equality Illinois PAC endorses Rahm Emanuel's re-election

Mon. February 16, 2015 4:30 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

mayor rahm emanuel with wife amy rule at eqil's gala

photo credit // anthony meade

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

Chicago, IL - The Equality Illinois Political Action Committee (Equality Illinois PAC) on Monday endorsed the re-election of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the Feb. 24 municipal election. Equality Illinois PAC also endorsed the re-election of Chicago's three incumbent LGBT aldermen.

"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."

The endorsement comes two days after Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest civil rights advocacy organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Illinoisans, hosted its annual gala, where Emanuel shared Valentine's greetings with the cheering crowd of 1,200. His opponents, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti, were also present at the Feb. 14 event.

Garcia, who is considered a top contender against Emanuel, last week received the endorsement 30 prominent LGBT activists. Garcia has promised to reinstate the full-time position of a liaison between the Mayor's Office and the LGBT community, a position eliminated by Emanuel. 

While endorsing the re-election of incumbents, the Equality Illinois PAC recognized the "thoughtful" LGBT platforms of the other candidates.

"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."

The Equality Illinois PAC also made endorsements of three openly LGBT Chicago aldermanic incumbents: Aldermen Deb Mell (33rd Ward), Tom Tunney (44th Ward), and James Cappleman (46th Ward). Each running for re-election in the Feb. 24 municipal election.

"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.

Tunney, the first openly gay alderman in Chicago's history, faces two opponents: businessman Mark Thomas and consultant-activist Scott Davis. Cappleman is in a race against Former Ald. Helen Shiller aide Denice Davis and openly lesbian business attorney Amy Crawford. Mell, daughter of longtime Ald. Dick Mell and sister-in-law of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, faces two challengers: Roosevelt High School teacher Tim Meegan and Peace Corps veteran Annisa Wanat. 

Last week, Windy City Times, Chicago's LGBT weekly newspaper, released its ratings of mayoral and aldermanic candidates in the Feb. 24 elections. Garcia ranked highest, with an A+ rating, and Emanuel and Fioretti each received an A-. 

Emanuel has received the endorsement of Chicago TribuneCrain's Chicago Business and Chicago Sun-Times.

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