Justice and Inclusion for Transgender Chicagoans
When Toni is mayor, she will work with Cook Co. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and the proposed Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to prioritize investigating the many unsolved murders of transgender women of color and designate the cases as suspected hate crimes. She’s also committed to reforming the Chicago Police Department’s policy on interactions and detainment of transgender individuals, in line with proposals by the ACLU, the Transformative Justice Law Project, and many others. In addition, Toni will require that there is transgender representation on the city’s Civilian Office and Police Accountability board.
While improving the criminal justice system is critical, we also need to be a welcoming city and take steps to address alarming suicide, HIV, unemployment, and violence rates in the transgender community by becoming actively inclusive and integrating transgender people into our communities. Through Toni’s proposed citywide LGBTQ strategic plan we will specifically address how we will expand health, workforce development, housing, and other social services designated for transgender individuals. In addition, we will institute transgender cultural competency training, transgender-specific anti-discrimination policy requirements, and transgender-inclusive health insurance requirements for all city agencies and contractors. The time is long overdue for Chicago to show dignity and respect for transgender lives.
The time is long overdue for Chicago to show dignity and respect for transgender lives.
Equity for All LGBTQ Chicagoans
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, and we are proud of our vibrant LGBTQ communities from Boystown to South Shore and from Humboldt Park to Rogers Park. One of Toni’s first acts as mayor will be to create a city-wide (including sister agencies) commission tasked with building a strategic plan to equitably and comprehensively address the needs of LGBTQ Chicagoans, regardless of the neighborhood in which they reside. We know the community needs more affordable housing options, culturally-competent health, housing, and social service providers, and access to affirming schools and workforce development programs; the strategic plan will provide the roadmap to make it a reality.
LGBTQ Health and Wellness in Every Neighborhood
The City of Chicago and local health and social service providers have made strides in expanding LGBTQ and HIV-specific health care to more neighborhoods in the city but more needs to be done. As mayor, Toni will champion, just as she has as Cook County Board President, the Getting to Zero program to eliminate new HIV infections by 2030 through expanded HIV testing, treatment, and prevention options.
She will work with the Chicago Department of Public Health and local health and hospital systems to increase health care providers’ LGBTQ health knowledge and cultural competency; she will take a zero-tolerance approach to anti-LGBTQ discrimination from any city agency or city contractor who is providing health and social services. She is also committed to rebuilding and expanding the city’s mental health services, and supporting drug treatment programs geared towards the LGBTQ community.
As mayor, Toni will champion, just as she has as Cook County Board President, the Getting to Zero program to eliminate new HIV infections by 2030 through expanded HIV testing, treatment, and prevention options.
Support for LGBTQ Youth and Elder Chicagoans
Both LGBTQ youth and elders can face unique challenges as they move through life, and as a city, we need to do all that we can to lift them up. Toni strongly supports an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum in Chicago Public Schools, and commits to having LGBTQ representation in CPS leadership. She’s also committed to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Bring Chicago Home initiative to greatly increase housing resources for communities in need, especially LGBTQ youth, and will also institute new standards for youth homeless shelters to ensure LGBTQ safety and inclusivity.
For Chicago’s LGBTQ elders, Toni is dedicated to investing in expanded senior housing options and will champion innovative housing solutions for LGBTQ seniors like the Town Hall Apartment Complex and the Under One Roof initiative. She will also ensure that the city’s senior services, living facilities, and nursing homes are safe and affirming spaces, free from harassment and dedicated to serving all Chicago’s elders.
City Government that Works for the LGBTQ Community
The city government needs to be a national leader when it comes to LGBTQ inclusivity. Toni will require that all city and sister agencies, and all city contractors have transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage in accordance with the ACA.
Toni also commits to hiring LGBTQ individuals throughout our city government and agencies, including in key staff positions. Lastly I will require LGBTQ cultural competency training, anti-discrimination policies, and equal opportunity hiring requirements for all city agencies and contractors, and I will take a zero-tolerance approach to agencies and contractors with documented patterns of discrimination.