Maggie Trevor is the Democratic candidate in the 54th district Illinois House race, facing Republican incumbent Tom Morrison in the general election. 


Trevor was born in the district before moving to California in 1999 to work as a market researcher, primarily in healthcare. Trevor’s back, of course, and the passion is evident in her campaign, as her vitality and experience brings an alternative perspective to what her district has become accustomed to.


#Boom recently interviewed Trevor as part of our "OUT on the Trail" series profiling Missouri and Illinois’ LGBTQ+ candidates in 2018.


Tell us about your district; where is it, what does it include? 


It’s the 54th Illinois House District and it is mostly Palatine township, which is northwest of Chicago. It includes almost all of the town of Palatine, most of Rolling Meadows, the western boarder of Arlington Heights, most of Inverness, the northern part of Hoffman Estates and a small quarter of Barrington.


What was the catalyst for you getting into this race?


This area has been traditionally Republican for decades. The 54th district was actually drawn to be a Republican district. When I moved back in 2014 [after living in California] I learned who was my representative and I was appalled by his use of the LGBTQ community to mobilize his base. I’m appalled with his stance on women’s issues and we had a 736 day stand off with no budget where he voted against every single budget compromise that was brought forward. He’s too extreme for this district and I think he’s too extreme even for the Republicans in this district. 


In 2016 it came to my notice that he was running without any competition in the general election and I actually tried to get on the ticket, [but] the state legislator has a two year residency requirement. Even though I was born and raised here, I hadn’t moved back in time for the 2016 race. I wasn’t going to let him go unchallenged again this year.


What are the most important issues that you have seen or heard from your district that are your priority?


The issues that I bring up at every household when I knock on the door is healthcare and education. My business background is in healthcare and I’m appalled at what is happening to the ACA. The Affordable Care Act is a flawed piece of legislation, but I think it’s critically important to provide healthcare to people who didn’t have access to insurance before. It is also important for the economy; allowing people to start small businesses, whereas before if you were older or had preexisting conditions you were tied to employer insurance. 


Another issue that is really important, particularly in the northwest suburbs, is property taxes. Property taxes here are very high, and they’re very high because of education. I’m a firm believer in moving to a graduated income tax and changing the way we fund education in Illinois so we can alleviate some of the property taxes, as well as equalize the quality of education in Illinois. I’m a product of the public schools here and I’m a firm believer in public education.


In light of the recent events (such as the recent SCOTUS fight), what are your thoughts on the #MeToo movement and women’s rights in Illinois?


I remember the Anita Hill testimonial with Clarence Thomas like it was yesterday. I think these issues have a tendency to cycle in and out of the public eye, and I think that we have to reach a point that they don’t cycle out anymore. We have to make sure that we have adequate protections for women’s rights and we need to make sure that we have enforceable measures to prevent discrimination of all kinds. Unfortunately I see some of that unraveling on the federal level.


I am a firm supporter of the Equal Rights Amendments and HB-40 (which expanded abortion rights). My opponent has actually supported a bill that would not only repeal HB-40, but it would make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest.


Illinois is one of a handful of states where it is illegal to discriminate against gender identity. With all that's going on nationally, what would you say to those Illinoisans who identify as transgender? 


There are people who want to protect your rights. I do not agree with what’s going on, on the federal level. I do not agree with legally defining gender as the genitalia you are born with. It’s incredibly damaging socially. We need to recognize the progress that has been made and we can’t go back. We can safeguard rights at the state level as best we can in light of what is going on with the federal level.


Despite the political climate that we are currently in, what are the biggest areas of agreement that you and your opposing party can achieve? 


I will say this, I am a small business owner, he was a small business owner. I do understand that we have to pay attention to regulations and how taxation effects businesses. We need to make sure that we provide key government services and tax fairly. In light of that, we need to make sure that we structure our taxes in a way that does not drive away businesses. One of the reasons I moved back to Illinois when I wanted to start my consulting business (Trevor Research Services, LLC, a market research and business consultation firm) was because the tax structure here made it possible for me to price my services more competitively.


A lot of our readers find coming out stories to be particularly empowering. Would you mind sharing yours?


The coming out process was very gradual and stretches out over the past 30 years. I came out in the 90’s and it has been a gradual process since then. I was a tomboy as a little kid and had short hair. I hit junior high school and I paid the price for that so my reaction was to grow my hair out and wear more feminine clothes. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that doesn’t work for me. It was some thing that came later on. I think for older generations, and in particular for women from my generation, it  was more of the gradual realization of “this isn’t working for me.”


Any final thoughts?


Pay attention to your local races. One of the struggles that I have had, even  with the LGBTQ community here, is getting them to really understand who is representing them and what his views are. People don’t pay attention and that's what allows people like my opponent to stay in office. This is someone who introduced discriminatory bathroom bills in two separate sessions  of the Illinois state legislature, he’s opposed marriage equality, he’s opposed women’s rights and people don’t know that because they don’t pay attention to local politics. I think that's hopefully changing now with the current climate, but I still run into so many people in the LGBTQ community who are so unaware they are represented by someone with these views. Pay attention.


In the northwest suburbs, this area is not socially conservative, and not only is it not socially conservative, there is a very vibrant, large LGBTQ community out here. Despite that, there is still ignorance on who our representative is and what he stands for. I think to some extent there is a generational aspect to that. People who are my age remember what the 70’s were like, what the 80’s were like. Remember what those fights were just to not be criminalized, and sometimes I see a complacency among young people and they don’t remember the old days. 


Stepping out of my own race, it is so important this time around. We really have to elect people in House seats who will stand up to Trump. Illinois is one of the most progressive states in women’s rights and LGBTQ rights and I refuse to let us go back.


"OUT on the Trail" is an ongoing series of profiles on out LGBTQ candidates in 2018. Check out our interviews with Kathy EllisTom HanneganMitch WeberIan MackeyPatrice BillingsGreg Razer , Ryan DillonMaggie TrevorGreg HarrisKelly Cassidy and Lamont Robinson.  



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