All posts by arianapuzzo2019

Chicago LGBTQ advocates document serious life risks for trans homeless youth

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

“The average life span for a black trans woman is 35-years-old,” said Mariah Emerson, the public relations manager for Center on Halsted. “It’s a reality and it’s a disproportionate access to health [and] it’s disproportionate access to housing.”

It is understood that disproportionate access here means a lack of access and the one of the highest risks of death is murder.

Organizations such as the Center on Halsted try to mend the gap. The center is an LGBTQ community center in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, founded as Gay Horizons in 1973. It offers LGBTQ people programming and resources, including dance performances, HIV testing, volleyball, and GED classes.

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Chicagoans rejoice at LGBTQ mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot’s historic victory

Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

Cheers erupted as supporters embraced each other on election night whenever the statistics showed mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot in the lead as the top voter-getter in a field of 14 candidates.

The former federal prosecutor made history when she, along with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, became the candidates for the April 2 runoff. The election will produce Chicago’s first black female mayor.
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Chicago mayoral candidates criticize “the Chicago way” and vow to eliminate corruption

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

“We have candidates on this stage right now who are not corrupt,” said attorney and mayoral candidate John Kozlar.  He and others took swipes at  accusations that have surfaced during the race for mayor and aldermen.

“The people who got us in this mess are not going to be the ones who get us out of it,” Kozlar said.

Other candidates at Saturday’s mayoral forum at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple added that voting for a new type of leader in the mayoral election would bring citywide improvement.

Garry McCarthy, the former Chicago police superintendent, said the problems that affect Chicago today are based on decades of political corruption in the city, state and county.

“Concepts like ‘the Chicago way,’ concepts like, ‘Well, I gave the money back,’” McCarthy said. “Well, if you rob a bank and give the money back, you’re still guilty of bank robbery, folks.”

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Chicago mayoral candidates demand voter access and equity for upcoming election

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

“If we’re going to get the confidence of the people of Chicago, what we have to do is do everything legitimate,” said the former Chicago police superintendent and mayoral candidate Garry McCarthy.

The opposite is done in Chicago to promote voter turnout in some areas, McCarthy said at Monday’s mayoral forum. He said the city’s February election is demonstrative of the issue of legitimacy, citing low voter turnout and how it is an effort to “swing the election.”

“The voters don’t have the rights that they need because of the way that the system is designed,” McCarthy said. “So, this goes way past just what happens inside with those machines and to the entire system at the same time.”

Seven of the 14 mayoral candidates at the forum spoke about voting access at the forum at Northwestern University School of Law. The forum focused on other topics including education equity in Chicago Public Schools and police accountability. Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights co-hosted the event with the National Lawyers Guild at Northwestern.

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Eleven Chicago mayoral candidates stress LGBTQ issues and positions

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

Eleven Chicago mayoral candidates stressed the importance of an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in city schools and the elimination of workplace discrimination. They spoke at a public forum on Saturday at the Second Presbyterian Church, one of several mayoral forums on city policies.

LGBTQ community organizations invited the candidates to speak so residents are educated about each candidate’s position and platforms regarding LGBTQ Chicagoans, said Anthony Galloway, the director of civic engagement for Equality Illinois. Equality Illinois was among the organizations involved in the forum, along with others including the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois and Pride Action Tank.

The candidates focused first on how to address high LGBTQ unemployment rates. Attorney John Kozlar said, as mayor, he wants to hire people on his staff who are part of the LGBTQ community to address such challenges since they are aware of the issues.

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Youth-led Chicago women’s rally gathers a warm reception despite snow and frigid cold

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

More than 1,100 Facebook users responded to Jazmine Cruz’s call to march for gender equality Saturday despite the absence of a Women’s March in Chicago this year. Some 300 people showed up for the rally that also focused on human rights, health care, social justice, and empowering women and girls.

Cruz, 19, said her disappointment that Women’s March Chicago was cancelled led her to organize the Young Women’s March Rally 2019 at the Chicago Federal Center Plaza so that young people could speak about equality. Cruz said she did not expect the turnout, but hopes it “shows Chicago’s diversity and inclusivity.”

“I do want this to inspire other young women and girls and activists to make their own rallies, to become activists themselves,” said Cruz, a freshman at Roosevelt University in Chicago. “I think it’s important that the next generation of girls are empowered and inspired and are able to make noise and make change.”

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Annual anti-abortion rally “dignifies life” – Abortion-rights advocates protest

By Ariana Puzzo
Medill Reports

Anti-abortion advocates pushed for the overturn of Roe v. Wade during a rally at the Chicago Federal Center Plaza on Sunday to say human life should be protected from conception. Abortion-rights advocates marched in protest across the street to defend the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling.

The event took place a week before the Jan. 22 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The decision held that a woman’s access to abortion relates to the 14th Amendment’s protection of a person’s right to privacy. Speakers and organizations attending the event said life begins at conception.

“The most important right we all have is the right to life,” said Illinois Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski (3rd District) after his speech. “We need to work every day to help women who have unplanned pregnancies. We also need to work to change laws to protect all life.”

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