Naperville Scores A First By Being Last

Naperville has become accustomed to being ranked in Top-Ten lists, from schools, to libraries, to restaurants, to best places to live, etc. My personal favorite is Naperville ranking as “One of the top 30 Best Beach Towns in which to live in the U.S.” Who would have guessed that one. Frankly that ranking makes the others suspect, but anybody can rank anything in any order they want.

It happened again just recently when the Human Rights Campaign Foundation ranked Naperville dead last in creating a friendly environment for LGBTQ inclusion  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer). Naperville scored a first by coming in last place for something. Coming in last place is not an easy accomplishment. Fortunately for Naperville it wasn’t all Illinois communities, just large ones. Chicago scored the highest in Illinois for LGBTQ inclusion, followed by Aurora and Champaign.

Chicago scored 100 points out of a possible 100, which means it doesn’t get any better than Chicago for LGBTQ inclusion. Naperville scored 42 (apparently a lot of opportunity for improvement) with the national average being 57 points. I say ‘apparently’ because what’s the problem?

Naperville resident Eva-Genevieve Scarborough, (active in the LGBTQ community) said she is not surprised by the ranking even though she has never had an issue in the city. She did clarify that by saying she doesn’t always feel accepted. Does anybody ‘always feel accepted’; it’s rather doubtful. I don’t always feel accepted. As a member of the OGWWH community (Old Guys With White Hair), I accept that I’m not always accepted. I’m OK with it, that’s life.

Naperville got dinged in the rankings for not having an LGBTQ police liaison or task force for reporting ‘hate crime’ statistics in 2015 to the FBI. Is this another classic example of a ‘solution’ looking for a problem? Apparently the fact that Naperville provides an environment of equality (being treated with dignity and respect) and inclusion works against Naperville in this ranking. If only we had some problems, we could rank higher. That’s a lofty goal.

Let’s hope that city officials don’t do with this ranking what they did with the one resident who was upset about a few bees in her birdbath, when the the city council felt compelled to pass an ordinance placing restrictions on beehives. Sometimes doing nothing this the best course of action. If it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it.

Show 5 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    Naperville prides (pun intended) itself on being family friendly and doing things that foster these ideals and goals. As to LGBTQXYZ causes like gay parades, school curriculums which advocate perverted sexual relationships and or acts not to mention unisex bathrooms and showers plus sanctuary city status it would seem we/they (city council) has lost its way.

    No doubt we will expect to see the council advocate hiring a 100k+ sexual perversion advocate for out police department so our status on this rating will significantly improve. Hopefully, smarter minds on council will squelch this inclination but based on past performance of ever increasing the bureaucracy I doubt it.

    • Stew Gilgis

      Government wastes enough money. Let’s not waste more.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Some of the benchmarks in these metrics are splitting hairs, but in some cases the only way to significantly differentiate between entities being measured is to split hairs. As the two factors that Naperville got ding on.

    Not having a task force to report Hate Crime Stats to the FBI. This is one the city should consider because it effect more groups then just members of the LGBTQ community. I know some will say Naperville does not have a hate crimes problem, but it you are not tracing it how do you know such a statement is true? As to cost of a task force, there is no establish size requirement or time requirement to constitute a task force, so one person spend an hour a day on this could be called a task force.

    On the LGBTQ police liaison, again this could easily be a person assigned this task as a collateral duty, which would mean no additional cost to the city. I do not, however, see any reason for the Naperville Police to establish such a liaison until members of the LGBTQ community in Naperville request one.

    It is nice to know we live in a city that strives to be the best, but we do not need to be the best at everything, especially if there is no benefit to members of our community (i.e. establish programs and liaisons for a group when no members of that group live in our community, thus incurring the expense for a program no one will benefit from.)

  3. Julie Berkowicz

    What about crimes committed by others towards seniors and lower income persons? Does that matter and where would Naperville rank? I have an elderly friend, whose family has demanded he leave his home. He is devastated and because he is a senior American citizen, even though he doesn’t receive enough social security benefits to live on, there is no help available other than possibly rotating nightly shelters. I have been calling senior affordable housing organizations all week, and there are yearly waiting lists throughout the suburbs. Where the heck are our priorities? I am disgusted. Don’t blame the government, local non-profits fork over many donated $ towards benefits for refugees and undocumented people. What about this population, who many have worked all their lives and never asked for help before? My friend has worked hard all his life and never imagined family would do this to him. Let’s talk about the concern and benefits we provide for them.

    • Jim Haselhorst

      Good points of concern. The city of Naperville has the highest percentage of low income and senior housing in DuPage county, much higher then the minimum required by statue. One of the reasons our community has such long waiting lists is because Naperville is ranked so high as a senior friendly community, which draws seniors.

      When you mention a waiting list it makes me think of senior living facilities rather then senior housing, Unfortunately the city can not require companies that own and operate senior living facilities to build and operate in our community. Finding placement in these facilities is a struggle for everyone I have talk to, some have place family members in facilities in Indiana or Wisconsin simply because they were not able to get them into a local facility. There are two new large facilitates under construction that I am aware of, the first is at the corner of 75ht and Rt 53 and the other is a little north of Rt59 and 95th, off of Leverenz road, which hopefully will help this situation. All of the existing facilities are going to have waiting lists, some so long it will take years to get in.

      An unfortunate development in the USA is the character of families no longer caring about their senior family members. To many seniors are talked into signing over their homes to family members that then decide to make them leave this home. Unfortunately I have witnessed this with some of my distant relatives (by marriage). They seem more concerned with protecting any inheritance then the well being of a relative. Once a person loses their home agencies stop thinking of them as a senior and consider them homeless, while it could be argued that there needs to be a special class of senior homeless there presently is not.

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