ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 3 - May/June

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 48 of 147

S uperlatives PEOPLE, CULTURE, TASTE, STYLE VIEW FROM THE TOP mr. illinois WHETHER LEADING THE CHARGE FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY OR WORKING TO CREATE JOBS, FOR GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IT'S ALL ABOUT SERVING THE PEOPLE OF THE PRAIRIE STATE. BY J.P. ANDERSON M arriage equality has never been a hotter topic—particularly in Illinois, which is on the cusp of becoming the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriage. For the state's LGBT community, that would make this June's Pride Month celebration the proudest ever; for Governor Pat Quinn, it's just the right thing to do. "It's a matter of fairness," Quinn said recently over tea at a River North restaurant. "It's a civil rights matter. My view is that it makes our society better, and I think we're on the right side of history.… As governor that's part of the job: to say, 'This is good for the state; it's good for the people; it's good for you.'" The idea of fighting for what's good for the people is deeply ingrained in the 64-year-old Quinn, who was born on the South Side and raised in suburban Hinsdale. A student-athlete at Fenwick High School in Oak Park who went on to graduate from Georgetown, the future governor wasn't a born politician—"I didn't have any particular vocational goals," he admits—but, growing up during the Civil Rights Movement and the start of the environmental movement, he became acutely aware of the importance of service. "[The year 1965] was an —GOVERNOR PAT QUINN eventful time, and I became a tutor and mentor to kids, which I still very much believe in." After graduating from college, he volunteered with a gubernatorial campaign that soon had the 22-year-old organizing seven counties in Southern Illinois, including East St. Louis. "I believed in volunteering," he recalls. "My parents weren't in politics; I had no friends or relatives in high places. I just believed in the principle of getting involved. That's the strength of America: that when thoughtful, committed people ban together for a cause they believe in, there's no more powerful force on earth." Over the intervening years, Quinn's passion for social justice has led him through various political spheres, both as a citizen Governor Quinn advocate with the petition group Coalition for greets Barack Political Honesty (which he organized in the '70s Obama in Chicago during the Moving with his brother Tom and several friends) to a public America Forward official, having served as commissioner of the Cook Rally in 2010. County Board of Property Tax Appeals, state treasurer, and lieutenant governor before replacing the impeached Rod Blagojevich as governor in January 2009 and then winning election to a full term in 2010. Since taking office, Quinn has been something of a polarizing figure— recent criticism has focused largely on the inability of state lawmakers to pass a desperately needed pension overhaul bill, and in the 2014 election the incumbent is expected to face a serious challenge from Attorney General Lisa Madigan if she chooses to run—but Quinn is determined to stay put in the state's highest office. "You've got to get your contract renewed every four years," he notes, "and I plan to run next year." Quinn continued on page 48 PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES (OBAMA). OPPOSITE PAGE: TIM KLEIN "Illinois is a family of 13 million people. So let's treat everyone in our family with dignity and fairness." MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 046-048_MA_SP_VFT_MayJune13.indd 47 47 4/16/13 5:40 PM

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