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Lesbian Considered for Chicagos First Ward

Latina activist Mona Noriega is being considered for a Chicago city council seat left vacant by outgoing alderman Manny Flores.

The appointment announcement could come as early as this week, according to the Windy City Times. Flores, the first ward alderman, has been nominated by Gov. Pat Quinn to be chief of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Noriega has been working on LGBT and Latina issues since the 1970s, with positions in local and national organizations like the Midwest arm of Lambda Legal. She also cofounded Amigas Latinas, a resource for empowering local LGBT Latinas. She is an honoree of the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

If appointed, Noriega would have to run for reelection in 2011. She has been considering a 2011 run anyway, with her decision to be determined by who Mayor Richard Daley appoints.

"I want this post because, first, I want good government, with everyone represented," she told the Times. "Second, because I was prompted by people calling me to say 'please do this.' The alderman's job is not glamorous. It is about real issues, basic issues, like making sure the system works for everyone." This includes issues of safety, the environment, and affordable housing, she said.

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