Rick Garcia for Commissioner

Meet Rick

A Civil Rights Activist


Established good working relationships between the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and South Suburban mayors. Led successful efforts to pass the Illinois Equal Marriage Act, Illinois Human Rights Act, City of Chicago and Cook County Domestic Partnership Ordinances, City of Chicago Human Relations Ordinance. Participated in efforts to pass strong anti-discrimination ordinances in 13 Illinois cities. Worked with various governmental bodies and businesses to implement policies protecting lesbian, gay and trans people.

  • Inter-governmental and legislative relations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Public policy background
  • Strong communicator
  • Culturally-sensitive
  • Constituent engagement
  • A renowned civil rights activist


Foremost Strategy – Partner

Chicago , IL

Serve as senior political strategists and liaison in planning and executing winning campaigns. I specialized in communication strategies for business and not-for-profits, political advocacy, campaigns, and public education. Using innovative digital strategies with new and conventional marketing tactics to ensure that target markets respond with the intended outcomes.


Cook County Sheriff’s Office – Policy and Outreach Coordinator

Chicago , IL

Served as liaison between Suburban Cook County mayors and the Sheriff’s Office and between Cook County Criminal Judges and the Sheriff’s Office. Part of the Sheriff’s Policy Team on legislative issues and serve on the Sheriff’s Inter-agency Committee on Transgender Issues.


The Civil Rights Agenda – Senior Policy Adviser

Chicago/Springfield, IL

Developed and implemented effective strategies to maximize support for gay civil rights issues and minimize opposition. Worked with governmental agencies, corporations and community groups. Organized and led successful efforts to pass the Illinois Equal Marriage Act, move pro-gay legislation through legislative bodies and stop anti-equality measures from passing legislatures. Served as organization’s spokesperson.


Equality Illinois – Founder and Director of Public Policy

Chicago, IL

Founded and served as principal of one of the Midwest’s most effective gay civil rights organizations. Developed and implemented successful strategies for the passage of numerous pro-gay pieces of legislation. Interacted with and served as a resource to federal, county, state and local elected and appointed officials. Developed close relationships with media throughout Illinois and the nation.


Catholic Advocates – Executive Director

Chicago, IL

Organized Roman Catholics in Chicago, Miami, New York, St. Louis and other locations to support lesbian and gay rights. Conducted talks and seminars for Catholic priest, Brothers, Sisters and laity.


  • Chicago Bar Association, Vanguard Award, 2010
  • Chicago Free Press “Best Activist Award”, 8 out of 9 years
  • City of Chicago Human Relations Commission Award, 1990
  • City of Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame Inductee, 1999
  • Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown Pride Award, 2006
  • Cook County Bar Association, Outstanding Contribution to Law Award, 1990
  • Cook County President John Stroger’ Martin Luther King Day Award, 2000
  • Edgewater Living Legend, Edgewater Museum, 2013
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Leadership Award, 2006
  • IVI-IPO Saul Mendolsohn Social Justice Award, 2011
  • Jon-Henri Damski Award, 2006
  • Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National Leadership Award, 2006
  • St. Joseph the Worker Award, Holy Family Parish, 2010

Other Service

  • United States Commission on Civil Rights, Illinois State Committee
  • Governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes
  • Governor George Ryan Transition Team
  • Governor Rod Blagojevich Transition Team
  • Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown Transition Team
  • Congressman Mike Quigley’s Advisory Council on LGBT Issues

Diversity Training

  • ATT
  • Blue-Cross Blue Shield
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pekin, Illinois
  • Eight Day Center

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Rick Garcia For Commissioner of the Metroplitan Water Reclamation District