CHICAGO — Lori Lightfoot, the only LGBTQ candidate for Chicago mayor, announced her LGBTQ on Thursday, Oct. 11, which was also National Coming Out Day.
Lightfoot made the announcement with a press release posted on her website. Some of her planned initiatives include:
- City government: Actively recruit LGBTQ+ staff to serve in her administration, including appointing three mayoral LGBTQ+ liaisons who will work directly with communities on the South, West and North sides. Liaisons will hold regular meetings with community members and LGBTQ+ groups in their neighborhoods and coordinate with city departments including the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Department of Public Health.
- Transgender community: Set standards for how police officers treat members of the trans community, improve police training, institute safeguards to ensure that hate crime incidents and complaints are properly investigated, provide support for victims and witnesses of hate crimes, and create a task force to investigate the recent murders of two transwomen of color.
- LGBTQ+ youth: Launch anti-bullying campaigns including an LGBTQ+-inclusive curriculum in Chicago Public Schools and work to establish 24-hour drop-in centers to provide LGBTQ+ youth places to sleep, lockers to store their belongings, and access to social services.
- Health and wellness: Directing the Chicago Department of Public Health partners with local institutions to complete a detailed study of healthcare outcomes for LGBTQ+ Chicagoans, ramps up efforts to effectively eliminate new HIV infections by 2027, and increases collaboration with local healthcare providers, community groups, and state and federal health agencies.
- LGBTQ+ seniors: Required that city staff and vendors providing services to LGBTQ+ seniors receive specialized training, conduct outreach and training at senior care facilities to ensure that facility managers and staff as well as residents understand all applicable anti-discrimination regulations, and work with community groups across Chicago to identify and create more affordable housing options for LGBTQ+ seniors.
- LGBTQ+ veterans: Working with the Chicago Office of Veterans Affairs to provide culturally appropriate services and accurate information for LGBTQ+ veterans, including information about benefits, social support programs, legal resources, and mental health counseling. She said she would also work with the legal community to assist veterans who were discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in upgrading their separation paperwork.
If elected, Lightfoot would be the first black woman and first lesbian elected to the Chicago mayor’s office.