Springfield hosts Pridefest over the weekend

Springfield’s Pridefest Saturday was something for all ages. (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – At downtown Springfield’s Pridefest Saturday, there were as many stories as there were people.

Scott March, a teacher at Southeast High School in Springfield, said starting and sponsoring a Gay Straight Alliance was the correct thing to do. “My big brother, who is gay, was also a Southeast Spartan, and they didn’t have a club like that for him, or for my other gay friends.”

With the SIU School of Medicine chapter of the Gay Lesbian Medical Association, Caleb Lay said a focus on, as he put it, “queer health issues,” includes sexually transmitted infections and mental health problems. “Right now there is a kind of negative (attitude in state legislatures) on LGBTQ people,” though Lay – speaking two blocks from the statehouse –  added Illinois is a kind of “safe harbor.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…