During the last 12 years, I've witnessed too many health-related inequities suffered by our most vulnerable populations. I believe that the first step in achieving healthcare equality is to ensure that our elected officials understand that many people in Chicago avoid going to a doctor for basic healthcare. Lack of insurance, inability to pay a co-pay, taking time off from work are a few common reasons for this. But add this to the mix; undocumented immigrants face the threat of deportation, non-binary individuals face disrespect & refusal of care, the homeless population suffer from a myriad of treatable illnesses and people with mental illness are watching their clinics close. As to the last item, when our elected officials contemplate a crime sentencing bill, it’s my hope that they will consider how the lack of funding for mental health services has contributed to the crime rate.

We have an important election coming up on February 26, 2019. We Chicagoans are electing a new Mayor who should represent all of us and I set out to ensure healthcare equality is part of that conversation.

In order to do so, I asked many people in our diverse community about the mayoral candidates who will not only advance healthcare equality, but would be most capable in rooting out the corruption in our city government. One recommendation came from a friend who is very active in LGBTQ political, cultural and healthcare causes. She emphatically recommended that I meet Lori Lightfoot.

I did just that. I learned that among other professional accomplishments, Lori is a former Assistant United States Attorney and as well as the former Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force. Upon meeting Lori in person, I immediately recognized her compassion, authenticity and bravery. She is a woman who is serious about reform. She’s a badass with the political know-how and support to create a city government that serves all its people.

I am enthusiastically casting my vote for Lori Lightfoot as Mayor of Chicago. I hope you will join me to elect a tough, honest and smart-as-hell Mayor!

If you’d like to learn more about Lori, please go to LighfootforChicago.com