Chester GSA Participates In Advocacy Day

Meets With Governor, Other State Officials


Chester GSA members meet with Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.

Julia Nicole Venus, Sting Reporter

Chester High School’s GSA group got the opportunity to participate in an advocacy day event at the Capitol building in Springfield. The group was invited by the Rainbow Cafe organization to team up with Equality Illinois to advocate for three bills affecting L.G.B.T.Q+ related rights.
The Chester students were able to speak with news reporters, government officials and GSA members from other schools about the bills they hoped to be passed. The bills included the healthcare cultural competency bill, which would give medical professionals more training on how to treat patients of more marginalized communities; the equitable restrooms act, which has the goal of providing gender neutral bathrooms in all public place including schools; and the HB 3067 & SB 1428 bill, which suggests grants of large sums should be given to schools to teach updated sex education of varying degrees for the different school grades.
The students did not have luck in trying to speak with State Sen. Terri Bryant and State Rep. David Friess, among others who were out of the office that day. Juliana Stratton, the lieutenant governor, did speak with the Chester group personally, however, and she seemed to support and agree with all the points that were made with the bills. The Chester GSA members, along with the rest of the Equality Illinois group, were even able to have their pictures taken with the Illinois state governor, J.B. Pritzker and the recent Miss Illinois, Monica Nia Jones.
The trip was overall successful and very enlightening for the students involved, so Chester GSA is looking forward to see what the advocacy day next year has in store.