Michael Bauer
Categories:   Politics   Civic/Community   Legal  

Michael Bauer has been active in the Jewish, gay and women’s communities through a variety of political and charitable organizations and activities. All of these political activities revolve around the four key areas of interest to Mike: the U.S. Israel relationship, abortion rights, gay and lesbian rights and HIV/AIDS funding issues.

He was treasurer and finance chair for the first openly gay person elected to office in Illinois - Tom Chiola's successful election to Cook County Circuit Court Judge in 1994. In addition, he was chair and treasurer of Sebastian Patti's successful race in 1996 to become the first openly gay person elected countywide in Cook County. He served as campaign co-chair and finance chair of Tom Tunney’s successful campaign to be the first openly gay alderman elected to Chicago’s City Council in 2003. Most recently, he served as Finance Chair of Congresswoman Melissa Bean’s reelection campaign.

Bauer also has organized and served on the host committee for numerous political and charitable fundraisers including organizing and serving as one of the co-chairs of the United in Victory event at the Museum of Contemporary Art during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1996 and serving on the Finance Committees for Vice President Al Gore, Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Barack Obama, Governor Rod Blagojevich, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, State Controller Dan Hynes, Senator John Edwards’ bid to be the 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee and Senator Joe Biden’s 2008 Presidential exploratory committee. He also has served as the co-chair of the annual fundraiser for various political and charitable organizations, including Citizen Action Illinois ( 2003 dinner ) ; the New Israel Fund ( 2002 dinner ) ; the American Jewish Committee, Lawyers Division ( 2002 dinner ) ; Personal PAC ( 1998, 1999 & 2000 Luncheon ) ; and IMPACT ( 1995 & 1997 dinners ) . He also served as chair of the first and gay and lesbian mission to Israel in 1996 and the first and only gay and lesbian mission to the United States Holocaust Museum.

In addition, Bauer has served on the national board of directors of Lambda Legal Defense and Education, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the Global AIDS Alliance and on the steering committee of the Joint Action Council Political Action Committee. Locally, Mike served on the board of Personal PAC and as its treasurer and a member of its executive committee; on the boards of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, IMPACT and the Hearts Foundation and on the honorary board of Test Positive Aware Network.

He has been honored by the American Civil Liberties Union with its John R. Hammell Award in1998; the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization with its Edwin Astrin Special Service Award in 2002; the Hearts Foundation with its Jackson Service Award in 2003; Horizons Community Services with its Human First Award in 2003; CitiPAC with its Scoop Jackson Pro-Israel Advocacy Award in 2003; Chicago House with its Spirit Award in 2004 and the Anti-Defamation League with its Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Civil Rights Award in 2005.

After practicing corporate and employment law for ten years, then being an executive with Bell & Howell Company for ten years, and then owning the court reporting agency of Espiritu & Associates, Bauer served as the Midwest Regional Director of People for the American Way in 2005. He is a three-time alumnus of Northwestern University with an undergraduate degree in 1973, a law degree in 1976 and an MBA in 1991. The son of Holocaust survivors, Bauer and his partner of more than 23 years, Roger Simon, were married in Toronto in August 18, 2003.

  Video Interview Date: 2007-06-10 Interviewer: Tracy Baim

See Also:
  Michael Bauer & Roger Simon

Out and Proud in Chicago: An Overview of the City's Gay Community, the book is edited by Tracy Baim and features the contributions of more than 20 prominent historians and journalists. It is published by Surrey Books, an Agate imprint, and is hard cover, 224 pages, 4-color, with nearly 400 photos.
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