With the terrible tragedy that occurred in Orlando last week, it is even more important that we all stand up against intimidation, hatred, and violence toward any person or group. This incident was especially painful because it served as a reminder to me and others in the LGBTQ community that we must always be "on guard" about threats to our lives. As a City, we mourn for all the victims of this tragedy, their parents, family members, and friends.
As your alderman, I will continue to work with elected state and federal leaders to ban the use of military assault weapons and other sensible gun control measures. Those types of guns have no place in our society and only serve to cause the loss of human life. For information about how you can fight for sensible gun laws, click here
In my conversations with many people, especially those of the LGBTQ community, the conversations center on not allowing this tragedy to intimidate us from celebrating at Pride events starting this weekend with the Pride Fest on Halsted and Waveland. The Pride Parade will begin in the same location as last year in the 46th Ward (Montrose/Broadway) on Sunday, June 26 at noon. Our community and allies will come together to celebrate pride and show our strength and love for all of our comunities. For information about Pride festivities, click here
We are currently taking steps to make all Pride celebrations safer. Since the beginning of this year, the 19th Police District has gained 45 more officers with a commitment for more to address the problem areas within the 19th Police District. During Pride festivities, the Northalsted Business Alliance is using additional funding to increase security around the parade route including the area bars along Halsted and Broadway. Per Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, “Visitors can expect to see an increased presence of uniformed Chicago police officers at these events patrolling the 19th District, surrounding neighborhoods and at the CTA transportation hubs. Additionally, CPD will have officers on bike, civilian-dressed officers throughout the event, specially trained canines and we’ll set up a joint agency information center.” The FBI has confirmed that there have been no credible threats surrounding this year's Pride festivities, but people are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and call 911 when indicated.
While our guard is up, we will not allow what happened in Orlando to intimidate us. Even in the face of hate, we will celebrate and we will be proud.