CHICAGO — Mayor candidate Gery Chico on Saturday said he would fight even harder for the LGBTQ community than he did when he stood up in 2004 for same-sex marriages, during a time when the Bush administration was proposing a constitutional amendment against it.
“That was the right thing to do then, and I am going to make my administration the most LGBTQ inclusive that Chicago has ever seen,” Chico said. “This isn’t going to be a fly-by-night office that doesn’t care about the LGBTQ community. It will be part of my administration, and together we will ensure everyone has what they need to grow, thrive and feel safe in our city.”
In 2004, when Chico ran for US Senate, he came out in favor of same-sex marriage over a decade before it became federal law. As mayor of Chicago, he is ready to ensure continued equality.
Chico will expand the office of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations with liaisons who will work directly with LGBTQ agencies and organizations throughout the city to ensure issues are addressed, particularly teen homelessness, job assistance, and public safety against the LGBTQ community.
Those staffers will develop policies that will ensure the issues are addressed by the Chico administration, particularly police sensitivity training when it comes to the transgender community.
“When you’ve been abused, victimized, thrown out of your home, we need services in place to help. We need housing and services to help homelessness. It’s never just one thing,” Chico said.
Among some of the plans Chico mentioned at an Equality Illinois forum on Saturday:
- Appoint a monthly advisory board of representatives from the LGBTQ community that he will with meet monthly so that they can bring any concerns directly to him and his cabinet.
- Chico plans to immediately re-open shuttered mental health clinics and make it a priority that the community — particularly homeless teens — get the mental health services they need and deserve. To do that, he will use funding from the Chicago Infrastructure Trust that he plans to close immediately upon being elected. The trust has completed just one project in its existence — the installation of lightbulbs in municipal buildings.
- He will get our vulnerable citizens out from under Big Pharma, including Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of Truvada, which helps to reduce the risk of contracting HIV. Its expense has prevented those without insurance from taking it. Chico will incorporate a system into the Chicago Department of Public Health to help those people navigate the maze of big pharmaceuticals, health care providers, and insurance companies.
- Finally, Chico said he would make sure that Chicago remains a Welcoming City — for everyone.
“What’s going on at our border is an atrocity and a crime against humanity. No one should fear their own government. As mayor I will block Trump from deporting our citizens, no matter what community they come from,” Chico said.