Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ald. Shiller Receives Damski Award For Work With Gay Community

Helen receives a special award from Bruce Barnes.
He called it his star award to Helen  for her championing
of the AIDS crisis in the early 90s.
(Courtesy of Gay Chicago to Uptown Update)
On Wednesday, April 6th, Ald. Shiller was honored at Sidetrack with the Jon Henri Damski Award for her achievements and advocation on behalf of the LGBT community, particularly in getting the City of Chicago to provide funding for AIDS and HIV in 1992.  You can read about the work she did and the award she received in Gay Chicago.  (While you're there, check out Gay Chicago's new format.  Looking very spiffy, indeed.)


  1. Well on gay rights Shiller was out in front early and often.

    She was right on those issues.

    Now as to other issues.......well let's just forget that for the moment. Let her have her moment of deserved recognition.

  2. I agree with IP. I held the first LGBT fundraiser for Helen in my home in 1987, raising over $2,000 (a lot for her back then). Even then in my Bohemian "youth," I didn't agree with Shiller on quite a few issues, but I knew she would be an advocate for those who had little voice and no place at the table in city politics.

    I just did not know that, years later, as I became a homeowner and a little more prosperous, that my opinions and simple inquiries to the alderman's office I would be automatically rejected because I had outgrown what the people around Helen judged to be a politically and socioeconomically acceptable demographic litmus test.

    Still, I praise Helen Shiller for her work on AIDS and on gay rights (and a few other concrete improvements in the ward) - she was sincere on these issues, and she made a huge difference in many people's lives.

    As the pulitzer-prize winning composer Ned Rorem said, often the most important part of many undertakings in our lives is KNOWING When To STOP.

  3. That's one terrible tie my friend....

  4. You know, she was obviously not the best person to be alderman, but she's not the AntiChrist, people. God..

  5. As a 20 year gay resident of Uptown......I appreciate her early efforts. I guess the lesson is 'forgive and forget?'

    I'll try to forget, the lack of business development, rampant crime, etc etc.

    Thanks at least for this.

  6. I appreciate Ms. Shiller's efforts on gay rights. However, she should have retired 15 years ago. Her us v. them mentality caused a lot of unnecessary strife. Her staff could be extremely rude and unprofessional. Mary Anne Smith and another former alderman were on NPR the other day discussing how important it was to have a friendly staff to address their constituencies' concerns. Without naming names, they noted that some aldermen and their staff treated their residents like an annoyance. I can only imagine who they might have had in mind.

  7. I agree with c.p. We have to give credit where it's due.there's good in all of us

  8. I'll give her props for her EARLY work and involvement. Unfortunately, she hasn't evolved - regardless of issues...whether they be gay, straight or somewhere in between.

    Someone buy her some shampoo please.

  9. Anyone pick up a copy of Gay Chicago this week? If not, you'd better hurry, Irish Pirate may scoop them all up for his Parrot cage.

  10. Craigikins,

    why must you hurt? You should endeavor to be a fully self actualized pirate such as myself.

    Anyway what is the reason you ask if we checked out this week's issue? The Shiller "Damski" award coverage?

    Election special?

    A feature on how I've turned dozens of women from straight to lesbian in three dates or less? Like Earl Scheib "no ups or extras".

    Newt Gingrich talking about family values?

    An expose on spankings among the Congressional leadership?

    Do tell, Craigster, do tell.