Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

Social Media home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES                DOWNLOAD PDF ISSUE

ELECTIONS 2015 Openly gay candidate challenges 35th Ward's Colon
By Matt Simonette and Lauren Childers
2014-09-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has said that, if he's elected to represent the city's 35th Ward, he would be an "organizing alderman."

Ramirez-Rosa, who would be the city's first openly gay Latino candidate to run for alderman, said, "I am tired of the direction our city is going in. I see our public dollars handed out to private pockets while our potholes aren't being fixed and our schools are neglected. I also see the need for elected officials who are accountable to the community, and that are working closely and building relationships with community and advocacy groups."

He is challenging incumbent Rey Colon to represent the ward, which is comprised of areas in Logan Square, Avondale, Irving Park, Albany Park and Hermosa.

Ramirez-Rosa, who officially announced his candidacy Sept. 6, is a community organizer is currently a deportation defense organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. He also worked as a congressional aide in the office of U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

Colon has not taken a proactive stance in making sure constituent services have been widely available, nor in responsibly developing resources throughout the ward, he said.

"Folks feel [Colon's] office is not responsive to the needs of the community, and he has completely sold out to developers," Ramirez-Rosa noted. "When he was elected as a 'progressive' candidate, he pledged to turn over zoning and development decisions over to the community. Shortly thereafter, he reneged on that promise. The community has seen families evicted from their homes, and it's seen developments it didn't want come up."

In July, Colon was pulled over on the Eisenhower Expressway and arrested for driving under the influence.

"As elected officials, we're held to a higher standard, and that's something that should concern residents," Ramirez-Rosa said. "But I would be running even if that hadn't happened. I'm more concerned about how decisions are being made in our community—decisions that are not in the best interest of the people in my ward—and the way services have been mismanaged. I will not sit back and just let things happen in the community. I'm going to get out and speak with my neighbors."

He emphasized the importance of having these conversations be about development, so residents will have a larger say in what does and does not get built.

"I'm not going to be spending all my time at City Hall cutting deals," Ramirez-Rosa added. "I'm going to spend time canvassing and knocking on doors, and tell residents that they have the ability to decide how to spend the ward infrastructure funds, and the ability to decide what zoning and development decisions are going to be made. That means they have to step up, be present and make their voices heard."

He hopes that those discussions will eventually grow into a model of community engagement that can be used across the city. "We're engaging leaders in every single precinct that are then talking to their neighbors and are then determining policy in the neighborhood," he said. "I'm going to present a vision and ask, is this the vision you agree with? If the leaders I'm working with say the residents that they're engaged with say that that's not what they want to see, then I have to take a step back."

In June, barriers were erected beneath a highway overpass in the ward, in order to make the space uninhabitable for homeless residents. Colon, for his part, said that the operation did not start at his behest.

"We spent tens of thousands of dollars on creating an inhospitable area, for folks without a home, and creating a public safety risk, because now you have that tunnel effect that's there," Ramirez-Rosa said. "That money would have been better spent uplifting the people out of poverty—not a handout but a hand-up, and that's something as alderman I would strive to do: creating an equality of opportunity.

As such, he supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage. "Currently we have working poor. If you're working a full day, you should be able to provide for your family and pay the rent," he said, emphasizing that he'd also work to bring in small businesses that paid living wages to community members.

"I grew up at the intersection of 'Latino' and 'gay,' and that's informed my view of the world," Ramirez-Rosa added. "In many ways that's why I am a progressive. I can't deny that there are things that are fundamentally wrong with our society and our laws, and the way that our economy is structured. … LGBTQ issues are more than marriage equality. There are poor LGBTQ people and there are undocumented LGBTQ people. As a member of that community, I want to make sure that everyone is included in that struggle and that no one is left out. That includes queer folks and trans folks—everyone who falls under our umbrella."

Declares candidacy

Community residents gathered in Fireman's Park Sept. 6 for Carlos Ramirez-Rosa's announcement of his candidacy.

Calling upon his slogan, "Putting the neighborhood first," Ramirez-Rosa asserted stances in his campaign declaration on issues that he said directly affect individuals within the 35th Ward.

"I'm going to tell you something revolutionary today," he said. "Something that's going to put a bull's-eye on my back and that's going to get people in city hall very angry: Chicago belongs to the people!"

At 25, Ramirez-Rosa said he is running for alderman to "invest in our public schools and city services, raise the minimum wage and keeping housing affordable, and strengthen democracy and fight corruption." The latter is a call to put residents in charge of local zoning and budgetary decisions, to fight to institution of corporate handouts for schools, fight deportations of immigrants, and issues of plowing and pothole repairs.

After paying homage to his activist forefathers, Ramirez-Rosa acknowledged, "I have been a beneficiary of movements. I'm standing here today as a Latino that can run for alderman because people have fought." Ramirez-Rosa is very aware and connected to those activist roots and seeks to build off that platform.

The gathering had a community and familial atmosphere. Ramirez-Rosa's sister introduced him, followed by the aldermanic candidate encouraging the crowd to come closer before delivering his campaign speech. Ramirez-Rosa then invited his grandmother to conclude the event with a closing prayer given in Spanish.

Ramirez-Rosa said he has worked to stop school closings, expand access to education, and create equal opportunity for women, immigrants, the LGBT community and working people. He proclaimed his dedication to helping the "everyman" of the 35th Ward and actively encouraged a dialogue between himself and community members.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

City Hall, Cook County Building closed Jan. 20 for safety reasons 2021-01-19
- Chicago's City Hall (121 N. LaSalle St.) and the Cook County Building (118 N. Clark St.) will be closed to the public Wed., Jan. 20 as a precautionary step to ensure public safety on Inauguration Day, ...


Gay News

National COVID-19 Memorial Service Jan. 19 to remember lives lost 2021-01-19
- CHICAGO, IL— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City of Chicago, in partnership with the incoming Biden-Harris Administration, invite everyone in Chicago to take part in the National COVID-19 Memorial Service to remember the lives lost ...


Gay News

Steans resigns from Illinois Senate; tenure marked by advances in women's, LGBTQ rights 2021-01-19
--From a press release - State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) today announced her resignation after 12 years of service, declaring "it's time for fresh faces and new energy" in Springfield. "It's been the privilege of a lifetime to represent the most ...


Gay News

Biden nominates Dr. Rachel Levine, first trans person nominated for Senate-confirmed position 2021-01-19
--From press releases - From Victory Institute: Washington, DC — President-elect Joe Biden nominated Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine to be the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health — a historic nomination that makes her the first out trans ...


Gay News

Biden picks transgender assistant health secretary 2021-01-19
- President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health—positioning her to become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, a Seattle Times ...


Gay News

Lightfoot and city leaders lead MLK interfaith event 2021-01-18
- Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot virtually gathered with civic, business and religious leaders this weekend to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the City of Chicago's 35th Annual Interfaith Celebration. This year's ceremony ...


Gay News

WORLD Global Fund, Croatian case, Poland items, Hillsong 2021-01-17
- In 2020, the Global Fund signed 157 grants for a total of $8.54 billion for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programs and to strengthen systems for health—and this is the highest number of grants the program ever ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Defamation case, inauguration items, PrEP, Capitol riot 2021-01-17
- A New York appeals court ruled that falsely accusing someone of being gay is no longer considered defamation per se, NBC News reported. Defamation is a false statement that damages someone's reputation. "It meant that it ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Three regions to end Tier 3 mitigations; IRA responds to dining changes 2021-01-15
- Following a decrease in COVID-19 test positivity rates and hospitalizations throughout Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker announced regions across the state are now eligible to move out of Tier 3 mitigations—the ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker activates Illinois National Guard for security of state buildings 2021-01-15
- SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker has activated 250 members of the Illinois National Guard for State Active Duty in response to the warnings issued this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) regarding threats to ...


Gay News

Research on military trans ban shows urgency of Biden acting on pledge 2021-01-14
--From a press release by The Palm Center - President-elect Joseph Biden has promised to reverse the military's ban on service by transgender Americans on "day one" of his presidency. Research recently released by the Palm Center explains why lifting the ban is an urgent ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker releases statement on impeachment of President Trump 2021-01-14
--From a press release - Springfield — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following the second impeachment of President Trump. "For the first time in United States history, a sitting President has been impeached on two separate occasions by the ...


Gay News

40+ national LGBTQ and movement leaders call for removal of President 2021-01-14
--From a GLAAD press release - GLAAD and more than 40 national LGBTQ and movement leaders have signed onto a statement calling for the removal of Pres. Trump from office: "Our nation's security and the personal security of every American is in ...


Gay News

U.S. House votes to impeach Trump again 2021-01-13
- On Jan. 13, a majority of the U.S. House has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time. Trump would be the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. This development occurred a week ...


Gay News

Welch set to be new Illinois House speaker, ending Madigan era 2021-01-13
- State Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch is positioned to become Illinois' speaker of the House, ending Mike Madigan's decades-long occupation of that role, The Chicago Tribune reported. Welch will also be the state's first Black speaker ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.