Longtime Chicago political adviser, community leader remembered

Chronicle Media

Desiree Tate (Photo from Breakthrough Ministries)

Desiree Tate, a political adviser to everyone from Chicago Mayor Harold Washington to President Barack Obama, is being remembered as a champion for various causes.

Tate, 62, of Chicago, died May 28 en route to Rush University Medical Center after being stricken with a cardiovascular issue.

Tate was a public relations professional with more than 20 years in government and community relations. She was president of Tate & Associates, specializing in consulting services, including grassroots organizing, marketing and developing community consensus for government agencies, non-profits and corporations.

She was an adviser to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on issues related to the black community.

“I join family, friends and loved ones of Desiree Tate in mourning the loss of a great Chicagoan and a dear personal friend,” Emanuel said in a statement. “As an aide to Mayor Harold Washington, senior adviser to U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun, and part of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, Desiree always answered the call to serve and never hesitated to fight for what she believed in.

“Desiree was a loving and supportive mother to her daughter, Ashley Tate Gilmore. Our city and our country are better because of her unflinching desire to uplift communities, roll up her sleeves and make a difference. Desiree Tate led an extraordinary life, and her legacy will forever be part of the fabric of Chicago.”

Tate was a member of the National Association of Public Relations Professionals, National Association of Black MBAs, director of the Women’s Board of the National Urban League and a member of the board for Breakthrough Ministries, a nonprofit geared to help the next generation of leaders.

Tate also worked to bring the Obama Presidential Library to Chicago.

“We are heartbroken by the news of Desiree Tate’s passing,” David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation said in a statement. “As a longtime member of the Obama Foundation family, Dez was a Chicago businesswoman and community leader who was a force behind the bid to bring the Obama Presidential Center to Chicago and worked closely with the Obama Foundation from the day we started.

“We mourn her as colleagues and friends. She was the embodiment of the Obama Foundation’s mission — a leader in her community who sought to lift others up as well. She was a mother, a dedicated mentor to young black professionals, an entrepreneur. She led with compassion, smarts and a sense of humor that will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the Chicago community we share.”

A celebration of life was held June 4 at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St., Chicago.


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— Longtime Chicago political adviser, community leader remembered —-