Rick Garcia was born in St. Louis, moved to Chicago in 1986, and has resided in Edgewater since 2004. He has persistently sought passage of laws to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation. In the late 1980s, he was one of the “Gang of Four”, a group of activists who successfully engaged in a 15-year struggle to pass a Chicago ordinance against sexual-orientation discrimination. The Human Rights Ordinance was finally enacted in 1988. Rick has been a member of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame since 1999. He was the founding executive director of Equality Illinois and their policy director until 2010. Shortly after the formation of EQIL, he spearheaded the movement to get the first nondiscrimination act passed in Illinois.
According to Rick, Edgewater residents have left their mark on every major LGBT human right initiative in Illinois. During his journey he has helped develop local lobbying units, forged alliances with Democratic and Republican legislators at all governmental levels, and has made countless appearances in mass communications media to reach new levels of visibility and credibility.
“It’s not a matter of if;
it’s a matter of when it’s going to be done.”
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