Longtime LGBTQ-rights- and environmental-activist Precious Brady-Davis was appointed by Gov. JB Pritzker as a Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) on July 5. Brady-Davis is the first openly Black transgender woman appointed to public office on Cook County history. She is also the first openly Black trans person to serve on a water reclamation board in the United States.
Brady-Davis mounted an unsuccessful run for the MWRD post in 2022. She is replacing MWRD Board Commissioner Kim DuBuclet, who has been appointed to the Illinois General Assembly.
Brady-Davis is currently associate regional communications manager for the Sierra Club, where she has been a principal in that organization's Beyond Coal campaign to promote clean energy. She also oversaw youth outreach for Center on Halsted.
"I'm honored to join the board and serve the nearly 13 million people who access MWRD services every day," said Brady-Davis in a statement. "MWRD has a responsibility to lead in environmental problem-solving while protecting the most vulnerable members of the Chicagoland region. These are both missions I have worked for throughout my life, and I look forward to continuing that work with MWRD."
Brady-Davis was at one point expected by political insiders to run for 5th Ward alderperson in the 2023 municipal election, but that run did not come to fruition.
Brady has also kept a high profile outside activism and politics. In 2016, she was the first trans woman to appear on the TLC program Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. Her biography, I Have Always Been Me, was published in 2021.
"The appointment of a lifelong advocate and trailblazer like Precious Brady-Davis will bring another fierce voice in defense of environmental justice and equity to the MWRD board," said Pritzker in a statement. "I am proud to appoint her to this essential role and hope that Black, trans youth across Illinois see a role model for civic engagement and service to others that reflects their own identities and experiences in her work."
Equality Illinois CEO Brian Johnson said of the announcement: "Over the years, Precious has been a dedicated public servant who brings out the best in us all and has never backed down from advocating in what she believes in passionately. Now more than ever, we need Trans voices in rooms of power. Precious will be a powerful voice for change in protecting Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water, and will inspire more Trans people across the country to run for public office.
At a time when entities are attempting to roll back civil rights and erase Trans people from existing, Equality Illinois celebrates today's historic appointment and looks forward to working with Commissioner Precious Brady-Davis."
Also see www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/Equality-Illinois-celebrates-Precious-Brady-Davis-historic-appointment-to-Metropolitan-Water-Reclamation-District/75252.html