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Out Illinois official appointed to EPA regional office

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Debra Shore, an out lesbian commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, has been appointed as Region 5 administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As the administrator for Region 5, she will be leading EPA programs for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and with 35 American Indian tribes.

According to the LGBTQ Victory Institute, Shore is the latest high-level LGBTQ appointment in the Biden administration. The administration says about 14% of their appointees are LGBTQ.

“Debra is a longtime public servant who is deeply passionate about the connections between a clean environment and quality of life, especially for underserved communities who are most often affected by environmental laws and decision-making,” said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Institute. “With LGBTQ people facing higher rates of poverty than cisgender heterosexual people, the regulations and enforcement actions of the EPA have a greater impact on our community.”

Shore also served on the institute’s board of directors from 2009 to 2016, serving as board chair from 2012 to 2014.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago) welcomed the appointment.

“As someone who started their professional career as staff at EPA’s Region 5 office in the 1980s, I could not be more pleased to see Deb lead what I believe to be EPA’s most important regional office,” Quigley said. “I look forward to continuing to work with her to ensuring clean air, clean water, and healthy, productive ecosystems across the region.”

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