More than $20K spent in school board race by Chicago transgender activists
In a high school district school board race in Palatine, transgender activists from Chicago and Maryland spent more than $20,000 to get specific candidates elected and re-elected to their positions.
Three candidates endorsed by Parents and Neighbors for Quality Education were elected to the Township High School District 211 Board of Education on April 4. D211 board Vice President Robert LeFevre and Anna Klimkowicz were re-elected. Voters also elected Edward Yung.
According to campaign finance disclosures the race, the Parents and Neighbors-backed candidates received a $23,864 investment donation from Trans United Fund Illinois, an independent expenditure PAC.
Trans United Fund Illinois appears to be a part of a larger network with a national organization headquartered in Washington D.C. The group "is committed to building the political power of trans and gender expansive communities and our allies to advocate for trans equality,” according to its website.
Vicki Wilson, a member of the D211 Parents for Privacy, told North Cook News that the entire campaign ran by the Parents and Neighbors for Quality Education slate was flawed and questionable.
“None of them bothered to set up a political committee to report to the state, none of their yard signs had a ‘Paid for By’ on it, and only now we are starting to find out where their massive funding came from — independent expenditure PACs,” Wilson said. “For a school board race? This should alarm everyone in our community.”
The Parents for Privacy endorsed Ralph Bonatz, Katherine David, and Jean Forrest.
“The D211 community would be right to question the ethics and integrity of Klimkowicz, LeFevre and Yung based on how they conducted themselves during this campaign,” Wilson continued. “Board members are tasked with representing and protecting all vulnerable children. How can they possibly do that when they were bought and paid for by radical groups with a clear agenda that neglects many children?”
Wilson and the D211 Parents for Privacy sent an email to voters calling the stances of their opposition are not empathetic to the privacy of students.
The email stated that the Board must “retain sex-specific areas while providing a third option for children not comfortable in their designated private area and anyone who needs extra privacy. This is our stance and protects all children.”
The Parents and Neighbors slate ran on platforms that included gender neutral bathrooms, equal access to education for LGBTQ students, and safe learning environments for students and staff.
The Parents for Privacy slate ran on a platform advocating for tax relief, better representation on the Board of Education, and to bring “new perspective” to the public body.
A look at the organization's website also suggests a case of exclusivity, in addition. For example, when going through the press releases that the organization publishes on their affairs, a password is required for its access.
State Board of Elections documents reveal that the Illinois chapter of the organization filed as a PAC on March 24th, 2017, weeks before the April 4th Consolidated General Election, with the majority of the funding of the organization coming from State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), $10,000, gay rights activist Clark Pellet, $5,000, and failed Maryland Senate candidate Dana Beyer, $1,000.
Funding for the Parents and Neighbors for Quality Education slate likely came because of the candidates' support for gender neutral bathrooms.
Upon the slate winning in Palatine, Trans United posted to Twitter that it was a, "Victory for #trans youth in IL School District 211! It's #Up2Us to protect trans kids. #lovewins."
Organizations in this Story
1750 S Roselle Rd
Palatine, IL 60067
1624 17th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
9820 South Avenue J
Chicago, IL 60617
5533 North Broadway Street
Chicago, IL 60640