Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


Social Media home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



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

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


Gay News

U.S. House passes resolution urging Griner's release 2022-06-26
- The U.S. House passed a bipartisan resolution calling on the Russian government to immediately release WNBA star Brittney Griner, CNN reported. "Not a day goes by that we aren't thinking of Brittney and working to get ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Ald. Pat Dowell talks congressional run, Brittney Griner, LGBTQs 2022-06-26
- At the beginning of this year, Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush (D-1st District) announced that he was retiring from federal office. Almost immediately, several people announced their intentions to succeed him. (The total number is now at ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Biden's proposal, VP Harris, Elizabeth Taylor, outbreak, candidates 2022-06-26
- Lambda Legal issued a press release lauding the Biden administration for issuing proposed regulations that will help protect LGBTQI+ youth against unlawful discrimination. The proposed rules, issued by the U.S. ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Judicial candidate Brad Trowbridge on a repeat run, objectivity, Kyle Rittenhouse 2022-06-25
- If Brad Trowbridge's face looks familiar from Windy City Times' election-related articles, that would make sense. The openly gay attorney has run in local judicial races three times, narrowly losing in 2020. Trowbridge recently talked with ...

Gay News

Maggie Trevor among latest group of Victory Fund-endorsed candidates 2022-06-25
- Cook County Board of Commissioners candidate Maggie Trevor is included in the most recent group of political incumbents and candidates with the backing of LGBTQ Victory Fund. LGBTQ Victory Fund endorsed 23 more out LGBTQ candidates, ...

Gay News

Preckwinkle unveils preliminary budget forecast for fiscal year 2023 2022-06-25
-- From a press release - (COOK COUNTY, IL) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today released the preliminary forecast for the County's Fiscal Year 2023 showing a projected gap of $18.2 million. This represents the County's smallest budget gap sinc ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2022 Activist Rick Garcia talks about MWRD race 2022-06-24
- Longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Rick Garcia is among those who entered the June 28 primary to win a seat on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's (MWRD) board of commissioners. Longtime Commissioner Debra Shore, who is a lesbian, ...

Gay News

Gov. Pritzker expands state license plate options to include Chicago Sky, Red Stars and Fire 2022-06-24
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker signed HB4434 into law today, expanding the options of professional sports team license plates Illinoisans can choose from at the Secretary of State. The change, which adds the Chicago Fire, the ...

Gay News

Illinois' Kwame Raoul joins VP Harris, other attorneys general to discuss reproductive rights 2022-06-24
-- From a press release - Washington — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined Vice President Kamala Harris as well as Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and California Chief Deputy Attorney General Venus Johnson for a roundtable discussion ...

Gay News

Controversial pastor Rev. James Meeks announces retirement 2022-06-20
- Salem Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. James Meeks announced he is retiring next January. The church has more than 9,000 members, according to its website. The vision statement is that Salem is "a multi-generational church focused ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS Guide to the LGBTQ+s 2022-06-19
- This year's primary elections—taking place Tuesday, June 28, although people can vote now—will feature many openly LGBTQ+ candidates throughout Illinois. (However, one notable name will be missing as longtime state ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Sec. of state; Palm Center; judicial nominees; Detroit bar 2022-06-19
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a roundtable with six LGBTQI reporters at the State Department, according to The Washington Blade. It was the first time a secretary of state sat down with a group of ...

Gay News

IML mentioned in CDPH monkeypox release 2022-06-16
- On June 13, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) stated that it continues to investigate reports of monkeypox cases in Chicago residents and is asking people to take proper precautions when in spaces or situations ...

Gay News

Biden signs executive order advancing equality for LGBTQI+ Americans 2022-06-16
- On June 15 (and during Pride Month), President Joe Biden signed an executive order advancing equality for LGBTQI+ U.S. residents. In part, Biden's order reads, "It is … the policy of my Administration to combat unlawful ...

Gay News

Russia extends Brittney Griner's detention again 2022-06-15
- On June 14, prosecutors in Russia were granted another extension in the case of U.S. women's basketball player Brittney Griner, ESPN reported. The extension is a procedural move that was expected and should have little effect ...


Copyright © 2022 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.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots     
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     
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.