Twenty years ago, I announced my candidacy for 13th District Cook County Commissioner and Cook County Forest Preserve District Commissioner. With the support of a diverse constituency, I was successful in that campaign and in four more campaigns for re-election. Today I announce that 20 years is enough and that I will not be a candidate for re-election in 2022.
I still have over 1½ years left on this term and I look forward to using that time to work on redistricting, ethics reform, public health reform, and ensuring that our court system is just and that all who participate in the court system are treated fairly.
At the Forest Preserve, I will devote my energies to enact meaningful changes as outlined by the Next Century Conservation Council and passing a Referendum to stabilize the Forest Preserves finances.
As a County Commissioner, I have had the privilege of sponsoring ordinances and resolutions that codified the County laws for the first time, saved the old County Hospital Building from demolition, created the successful Independent Health and Hospital Board, gave Cook County an Assault Weapons Ban, raised the Minimum Wage, changed the leadership structure for the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, created an Independent Inspector General, and created an Eviction and Mortgage Foreclosures Court protocol to protect people’s homes.
As a Forest Preserve Commissioner, I have had the privilege of sponsoring ordinances and resolutions that required children to wear bike helmets, created the Next Century Conservation Council, expanded land restoration, encouraged an expansion of the Master Stewart program, and expanded the role of trained volunteers.
In addition, I wrote by-laws adopted by the Suburban Commissioners that reformed the procedures for selecting METRA, PACE, and RTA directors. This led to a Cook County resident becoming the METRA Chair for the first time.
As I finish my term, I am happy to say the County and Forest Preserve District Boards are in good hands because of the talents and vision of the current Commissioners. I am grateful for the support and encouragement my constituents and staff have given me. Finally, I am thankful for the many friendships that I have made at the County and Forest Preserve. I look forward to completing this term on December 5, 2022.