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One wrong vote and Conyears-Ervin is on the outs

Friday, Dec 7, 2018

* Politico

Equality Illinois is making the unusual move to endorse a candidate for the city treasurer’s office. The gay-rights advocacy group has long endorsed in legislative and mayoral races. This time, it’s getting involved in the treasurer contest because of “concerns about a candidate’s commitment to the LGBTQ community,” Brian Johnson, the group’s CEO, told POLITICO.

He was referring to state Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, one of four candidates running for treasurer. Equality Illinois, which tracks voting records, says Conyears-Ervin hasn’t taken a stand on two particular pieces of legislation.

On HB1875, the birth certificate-sex designation bill (which allows trans folks to change their gender on their birth records without having surgery), Conyears-Ervin was the only lawmaker to vote present (instead of yea or nay). And Equality Illinois says Conyears-Ervin hasn’t committed to SB3249, which would add LGBTQ issues in school history books. That bill was just placed on the calendar for a second reading.

Conyears-Ervin, who this week was endorsed by SEIU 73 and Chicago Teachers Union, responded to POLITICO about Equality Illinois’ concerns. In an email sent through a spokesman, she wrote:

“My record on issues of fairness and equality is second to none and I will continue to work with anyone promoting these causes. I support teaching LGBTQ history in schools and I will work with my colleagues to achieve this measure as it comes up for consideration and a vote in the General Assembly. Finally, I did not oppose legislation changing the criteria medical professionals require to change the gender on a person’s birth certificate, and in hindsight recognize the value of a law that relieves the burden put on transgender men and women to be recognized by the state as the gender that they identify. I support this law.”

The bill number in the story is wrong, it’s HB1785. She did indeed vote “Present.” SB3249 passed the Senate with 34 votes.

* But I went to Equality Illinois’ website to check on her other votes. From the group’s 2017 legislative agenda

* HB1785: Voted “Present”

* SB1761: Voted “Yes”

* SB1670: Voted “Yes”

* And here’s the group’s 2018 agenda and her voting record

* SJRCA4: Voted “Yes”

* HB5544: Excused absence but she co-sponsored the bill

* HB4469: Excused absence

* HB4572: Voted “Yes”

* HB4281: No vote taken by General Assembly

* HB5191: No vote taken by General Assembly

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments »
  1. - anon - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    so who is Equality endorsing then?


  2. - statehoss - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Strange for Politico to write an article on an endorsement without saying who was endorsed.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    Statehoss, there are only two candidates. Click the link.


  4. - CDurk - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    Hey Rich, I believe there are three candidates - Conyears-Ervin, Pawar, and Gariepy (a fourth candidate withdrew).

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/three-look-for-support-in-city-treasurer-race/


  5. - Just Me - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Minor issue to get hung up on, but Equality Illinois wants to become a bigger player. Good for them.

    A lot of Democratic legislators have never taken the LGBTQ agenda seriously, but yet they scream and whine when other liberal-leaning interests aren’t a #1 priority.


  6. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    LGBT history?.


  7. - Fav Human - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    “LGBT history?.”

    Let’s hope it’s better history than claiming Julius Caesar was gay….


  8. - SAP - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    I have criticized the Governor for failing to understand the 80-20 rule. Same principles apply here. This whole purity test thing is why politics are so divisive now.


  9. - Yiddishcowboy - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Yes, LGBT history. The Stonewall Riots in 1969(?) come to mind. Plenty of history in this area.


  10. - Fav Human - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    “This whole purity test thing is why politics are so divisive now.”

    Aren’t they just following the lead of Personal PAC??


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 12:02 pm:

    There is a big difference between a whole party and any one interest group.

    There are groups and voters that are single issues partisans, and that’s part and parcel of voting and support.

    A party that is solely “single issue”… on all issues… 100% these issues only, no wavering… that is unhealthy to party politics.

    Now, within that partisan group, or one vote over a history… that’s on that group, and setting a precedent for their support…

    I’ll leave it to all involved here to make the case(s) to this rationale here.


  12. - Contract disputin' - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    The Representative’s vote of present was to the right of Bruce Rauner, who signed the bill. That same Governor won just 15.19% of the vote in the City of Chicago. The Representative seeks to be elected by those same voters. Nice to see that the Representative changed her views “in hindsight”. But on this particular issue her record is second to Rauner.


  13. - hot chocolate - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    Usually the whole one wrong vote and you’re out thing is reserved for hard right Republicans


  14. - Antonio - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 1:29 pm:

    Question: how many of the dozen or so Dems who voted against marraige equality are still there? How many GOP members who voted for it are still there?


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===How many GOP members who voted for it are still there===

    There were only 4 of 66 total GOP GA members that voted for SSM.

    1. 2. 3. 4.

    Out of 66

    I dunno what your point is, the significance of 90%+ voting against SSM is probably most damaging, not who is still there or not.


  16. - Earnest - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    I can see why these non-votes/positions would be important to Equality Illinois at this time.

    As noted in the Illinois Republican platform in the story above, overturning the right of LGBTQ citizens to marry is a priority. In the context of supreme court appointments at the national level this threat must feel very real, and votes at any level of government take on a bigger picture. Same goes for the right to adopt.

    Related to feeling threatened in this climate would be the potential for the supreme court to allow foster care and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ people in name of “religious freedom.” Equality Illinois may be remembering this issue and fear it being revisited: https://capitolfax.com/2011/08/19/judge-schmidt-no-citizen-has-a-recognized-legal-right-to-a-contract-with-the-government/

    When you’re a one-issue rights advocacy group, the level of importance you attach to each individual vote, or not-vote, or non-position, is directly related to how threatened you feel the rights for which you advocate are.


  17. - SAP - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==Aren’t they just following the lead of Personal PAC??== Don’t know who started it. Don’t really care either. My point is that, whoever you are, it is short-sighted foolishness to shun somebody who is with your 80% of the time.


  18. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    So much for diversity of thought. Equality is demanding just as much purity as is the Conservative Republican wing.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Dec 7, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    ===So much for diversity of thought. Equality is demanding just as much purity as is the Conservative Republican wing.===

    (Sigh)

    ===There is a big difference between a whole party and any one interest group.

    There are groups and voters that are single issues partisans, and that’s part and parcel of voting and support.

    A party that is solely “single issue”… on all issues… 100% these issues only, no wavering… that is unhealthy to party politics.

    Now, within that partisan group, or one vote over a history… that’s on that group, and setting a precedent for their support…===


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