Newsletter - April 2022

Newsletter Highlights

LWVCC Annual Meeting Information and Registration

Criminal Justice Group Starting a Bond Court Watch Program

2022 LWVCC Annual Meeting

  • The LWVCC 2022 Annual Meeting will be held on May 2, 2022 via Zoom. 
  • All members of Leagues in Cook County are invited to attend.  To register send an email to Include name, email, and local League.
  • The business meeting (9:30 – 11 am) will include all business that needs to come before the membership. See the LWVCC Website for the proposed slate of officers and directors, 2022-23 budget, bylaws changes, and 2022-23 action program . 
  • The Program featuring Cook County Commissioners will be from 11 am to 12 pm.

 Three “Retiring” Cook County Commissioners Being Featured at the LWVCC Annual Meeting on May 2

Cook County and Forest Preserve Board Commissioners Deborah Sims (5th), Peter Silvestri (9th), and Larry Suffredin (13th) may not be running for re-election in 2022, but the word “retiring” is not applicable to them. The Commissioners will reflect on their years of service and answer questions. This will give League members new insight into the Cook County Board, both historically and looking into the future.

Deborah Sims was first elected to represent the newly formed 5th District in 1994, the first year that the 17 members of the Board were elected by district. (Prior to that, 7 Commissioners were elected “suburban-wide” by the suburban voters and 10 Commissioners were elected “city-wide” by the Chicago voters.) The 5th District encompasses portions of the south side of Chicago and suburban Cook County.


Currently, Commissioner Sims chairs the Tax Delinquency and Transportation Committees, and also serves as Vice Chair of the Finance and Labor Committees of the County Board. She also is Vice Chair of the Forest Preserve Board’s Capital Development Committee. 

Peter Silvestri was also first elected in 1994 as the first Commissioner for the 9th District. That district includes the northwest side of Chicago and the western and northwest suburbs. 

Commissioner Silvestri is Chair of the Zoning and Building Committee, as well as the Litigation Subcommittee of the Cook County Board. He also is Vice Chair of the Emergency Management and Regional Security and the Law Enforcement Committees. On the Forest Preserve Board, Commissioner Silvestri chairs the Litigation Committee and is the Vice Chair of the Law Enforcement Committees.

Larry Suffredin has represented the 13th District since 2002. The 13th District includes the far north east side of Chicago, along with suburbs running north from there up to the County line border.

Commissioner Suffredin chairs the Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs Committees on both the Cook County and Forest Preserve Boards. He also chairs the Botanic Garden and Rules Committees on the Forest Preserve Board.

Recent LWVCC Action

LWVCC continues to be vigilant regarding ethics and transparency.

  • The League sent a letter to Cook County President Preckwinkle and the Board urging that the Board take appropriate steps to see that departments respond promptly to recommendations made by the Independent Inspector General following an investigation.
  • The League provided examples contained in the 4th Quarter Report where departments had failed to respond timely as required by County ordinance. 
  • The League noted that the Inspector General's investigation of the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District and the findings of conflict of interest, waste, and institutional mismanagement demonstrates the importance of the office of the Inspector General. 

Cook County To Get A New Flag

As the county approaches its 200th anniversary in 2031, the Cook County Board established a contest to replace the existing County flag adopted in 1961. Cook County’s high school students answered the challenge to design a flag for the 21st Century that connects our past and present together. “As we approach Cook County’s bicentennial, we look forward to presenting a flag that will represent the County for the next 200 years,” said President Preckwinkle. “Our gratitude goes to the Cook County youth that put their minds and hearts into their designs. Their work will serve generations of Cook County residents to come.” 

 The finalists were determined by a Flag Advisory Panel, and the new flag will be selected by that Panel and the County Board President with the advice and consent of the Board.

The finalists are:

  • Freedom: Jaime Joshua Fregoso (Ray Graham Training Center) 
  • Harmony: Alex Tomy (Maine East H.S.) 
  • I Will Banner: Andrew Duffy (Glenbrook South H.S.) 
  • New Century Flag: Tim Mellman (Oak Park H.S. and River Forest H.S.)  
  • Our Star: Sofia Hogue (Evanston Township H.S.) and Ryan Bradley (Disney II Magnet H.S.) 
  • Strides for Cook County: Charlye Hunt (Alan Shepard H.S.) and Rayn White (Providence St. Mel) 


Voter Information

June 28 Primary Election

Help Make Democracy Work by Serving on Election Day

Be an Election Judge 

For more information, including an application form, go to

Cook County Clerk’s web site 

Chicago Board of Elections 


There is also a program for high school juniors and seniors to serve as election judges. They must have a 3.0 out of 4.0 average, have permission from their principals and parents or guardians, and complete the training. 


Primary Election Updates

  • CHECK YOUR DISTRICTS. As a result of the redistricting in 2021, you may now be in a new district for State Senator, State Representative, and Cook County Commissioner.

  • For the primary, you must select a single party ballot-Democrat, Green, Libertarian, or Republican.


Useful Voter Information Links

Check your districts, registration status, sample ballots, polling places. apply for a mail in ballot.

Suburban Cook County voters Cook County Clerk’s web site 

Chicago voters Chicago Board of Elections web site



Budget and Structure Interest Group

Cook County has or will receive $1 Billion from the Federal Government under the American Rescue Plan Act. The County plans to spread out the spending over this and the next 2 years. The County has budgeted $100 Million for fiscal year 2022 to cover the County’s lost revenues due to COVID. In addition, the Cook County Board has approved $320 Million more for programs to benefit communities and County residents for 2021 and 2022. 


These programs include those that will have short-term results, as well as those that are expected to have longer-term results or even be “transformative.” An example of a “transformative” program is to provide the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District funding to expand the existing stormwater management program to include responsibility for project implementation. 


The League has submitted comments to the Board urging that the County identify goals and ways to measure whether those goals are met for each funding proposal, and the Chief Financial Officer committed to do so at a Board meeting

Forest Preserve Interest Group

Vote Yes Coalition forms in support of the Cook County Forest Preserve Referendum.

See the Vote Yes website for more information about the referendum and opportunities to learn about the Forest Preserves.

The coalition includes the Local Leagues of Palatine Area, Chicago, Wilmette, LaGrange, Oak Park/River Forest, Glenview/Glencoe, and Evanston. Public education will begin after the June primary. . 

 LWVCC joins the Vote Yes coalition in support of the Forest Preserve Referendum

Last month, LWVCC endorsed the Cook County Forest Preserve referendum which will increase the tax levy in property taxes by 0.025% . A coalition of over 140 organizations has now formed to work for the passage of the referendum which is needed to support clean air and decrease pollution, protect water quality of rivers, lakes and streams, and provide natural flood water storage.

LWVCC will sponsor three Forest Preserve walks this year.

 The first walk will be: 

  • Wed. May 18, 10:30-11:30 
  • Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
  • 9800 Willow Springs Road Willow Springs
  • Registration information will be forthcoming

MWRD Flood Management

Improving Stormwater Resiliency


Through the help of US Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, the MWRD will receive $1.5 million to mitigate flooding, improve water quality, and reduce pollution in the City of Harvey and the three Villages of Dolton, Riverdale, and Stone Park. In addition, funds will also be used to identify areas where tree canopy is needed, with the goal of planting 100 trees in each of the four communities to reduce the impact of storms, provide shade, and improve air quality.


The goal of community equity for MWRD services has been incorporated in all areas of the MWRD's more recent Strategic Plan.

Criminal Justice Interest Group

  • The Civic Federation and LWVCC  are investigating a potential bond court watch project.
  • The Criminal Justice Interest Group has previously observed bond hearings at Central Bond Court at 26th and California and at the branches in Skokie , Rolling Meadows, Maywood and Bridgeview.
  • Observations were done both before and after Chief Judge Evans' Executive Order which lowered bail amounts and added a Public Safety Assessment to assess risks. 
  • The proposed project may continue to do a "before and after" approach as there are 5 new bond court judges on the bench now and monetary bail will be eliminated in  January of 2023. 
  • Observation may be virtual and/or in person. 
  • If you are interested in participating in the project send an email to including your name and contact information.

Observer Reports Highlights

Cook County Health Observer Report Board Meeting: March 25, 2022 

Big Financial Savings for Stroger Hospital Accompanies

Surgical Quality Improvements!

Enrolled in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), since 2014, Stroger is now winning big for patients by decreasing surgical site infection rate from 1.5 times the national (NSQIP) average in 2016 to 0.77 of the rate in 2022! Annual Stroger savings of $237,210 with avoidance of prolonged hospital & ICU stay and even death of patients who suffer from post-op wound infections is the bonus.  

LWVCC observes several of the Cook County Board, committee, and agency meetings each month. To read more: LWVCC Observer Reports

Upcoming Local League Events

Cook County Local Leagues invite you to their upcoming events.

LaGrange Area League

The Achievement Gap: What Are Our Schools Doing About It

Thursday, April 21st, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm via Zoom

Register here

Palos-Orland League

Fair Maps for Congress: The science and substance of creating a fair map.

Saturday, April 23 10 AM via Zoom

For Zoom Link information, email

Candidate Forums

7th Congressional District

Wednesday, May 4th, 7-8pm

Via Zoom

Sponsored by the LaGrange Area League and the Oak Park River Forest League

Register here.

2021-2022 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Karin Hribar, Arlington Heights; Secretary: Betty Hayford, Evanston; Treasurer: Nancy Clark, Oak Park/River Forest.

Board membersCarolyn Cosentino, Homewood/Flossmoor; Laura Davis, Palatine; Diane Edmundson, Park Ridge; Jan Goldberg, LaGrange Area, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Georgia Gebhardt, Wilmette; 


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government; to increase understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, or ethnic group.


League of Women Voters of Cook County

332 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 634, Chicago, IL 60604

312-939-5935 x127