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LGBTQ political action group starts in northwest Chicago suburbs

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Northwest Suburban Pride Action Fund (NWSPAF), a non-partisan political action committee in Chicago’s northwestern suburbs, organized earlier this month.

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and resident of the Northwest Suburbs, I know how crucial representation and support from our local officials is,” said Austin Mejdrich, founder of the NWSPAF, said on the groups website. “The disappointing and sometimes hypocritical actions of too many of our local officials banning or tucking away symbols of support for the LGBTQ+ community is just a recent example of the need to elect true leaders in our communities.”

The push for the organization came from the fight over flying a LGBTQ Pride flag over the Arlington Heights town hall this past summer, according to Journal & Topics.

“The Arlington Heights flag ordinance was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Mejdrich told the newspaper. “The LGBTQ+ (lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer) community and our ever-growing number of supporters vote, and it’s high time our elected officials remember that.”

Journal & Topics reported that the group formed to support LGBTQ candidates and allies running for seats on village, park, library, and other boards and commissions and push back against opponents. A statement or organization and fundraising report was filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections last month.

“True representation means following up our words with actions,” said Arlington Heights Library Board Trustee and Chairperson of the NWSPAF Debbie Smart. “As the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to public office in Arlington Heights, I know firsthand how much change we can make when our leaders reflect the makeup and needs of our communities. I have always served with pride and encourage others to do the same.”

The group also plans to serve as an addtional resource for the LGBTQ community in the suburbs.

The Pride Action Fund has established a Crowdpac page that, as of Friday afternoon, has raised $1,263 towards a $5,000 goal.

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