Newsletter - January 2023

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Cook County League Starts its 103rd year!

Criminal Justice Interest Group Focus on the Illinois SAFE-T Act

Municipal Elections Feb. 28 & April 4

Why Cook County ?

The Cook County League was formed in 1920 to focus on Cook County Governments. Why? Because these government offices have a direct impact on our daily lives and our taxes.



Vital Records



Forest Preserves



Cook County League Advocacy

We had our wins this past year, where our actions did affect and improve Cook County Government.  On several issues, the Commissioners took our comments into account in their actions.  We also had our losses.  Here are some of the highlights.

Cook County League members helped to pass the Forest Preserve tax increase referendum in the Nov 8th election  A group of interested members formed a special Forest Preserve interest group to promote the needed tax increase for our Forest Preserves.  They held guided walks in the Forest Preserves throughout Cook County and provided speakers and information to all the local leagues.   The increase will go to protecting wildlife habitat and native flora and fauna, as well as minimizing flooding.

The Budget and Structure Interest Group recommended to the Commissioners that the process of filling vacancies for Commissioners be changed to provide an election if the remaining term of the office was more than 28 months, rather than an appointment for the whole term. The Commissioners enacted the legislation in September.

Read more on our website.

Let your voice be heard. Contact your representative. Find contact information on our website for:

Cook County President and Board of Commissioners

Forest Preserve District

Cook County Elected Officials

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD)

Cook County Health Board

LWVCC Interest Groups

Members of Cook County Leagues come together to study

and advocate 

Criminal Justice Interest Group

  The Criminal Justice Interest Group has been concentrating on the Cook County Court system with an emphasis on pre-trial services. With the passage by the Illinois Legislature of the Illinois SAFE-T act their focus in 2022 became the implementation of the Act within Cook County. Members of the Interest Group participated in a Bond Court Study with the Civic Federation to compare pre-trial hearings before and after the Act is implemented. 

The Act was supposed to take effect on January 1, but at the 11th hour, a district judge in Kankakee agreed with the 60-plus state's attorneys who sued to stop the SAFE-T Act's elimination of cash bail.   On 12/31/22 the Illinois Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the new law's elimination of cash bail until the case could be heard  in the high court. States Attorney General Raoul has already filed an expedited appeal. Oral arguments are set for March.

    This Interest Group also hosts a bimonthly Book Discussion on books related to Criminal Justice. The next Book Group will be on Feb 24 at 9 am on Zoom. The book is Gunfight by Ryan Busse.

All are welcome to join this Interest Group (IG) if you would like to increase your knowledge of the criminal justice system. Their next meeting will be on January 24 at 9 am on Zoom.

For more information about the IG or the Book Group send an email to Jan Goldberg at


Photo by Travis Rupert

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Municipal Elections

Tuesday Feb 28

Tuesday April 4

Suburban Cook County

Tuesday Feb 28

Dolton, Riverdale, and Harvey will have primary elections

Tuesday April 4

Consolidated elections for the many different governmental bodies (such as municipal, school district, library, park district, townships)

More Registration and Voting Information

Cook County Clerk Website


Tuesday Feb 28

Initial election for Mayor, Clerk, Treasurer, and Alders in each of the 50 wards. To avoid a run-off on April 4, the top vote-getter must receive at least 50% plus 1 of the total votes for that office. ·        In addition -- new this year – Police District Council Members are to be elected (3 from each of 22 police districts); the top 3 vote-getters in each district will win. 

Tuesday April 4

Runoff elections of the top 2 vote-getters on Feb. 28 as necessary.

More Registration and Voting Information

Chicago Board of Elections Website

See the Voter Info Page on our website

Be an election judge

Help make democracy work

Suburban Cook County See the Clerk's Website

City of Chicago

See the Board of Elections Website

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

LWVCC Observer Highlights


  • The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District elected Commissioners Kari Steele as President, Kimberly Neely Du Buclet as Vice President, and Marcelino Garcia as Finance Committee Chair at the Jan. 5 Board meeting. They will serve through 2025.  Click here  to read more about what the League Observer said happened at the meeting.
  • The Cook County Board continues to make supplemental payments for its pension funds. To date, the County has contributed $2 Billion over and above what is required, increasing the fund so it is 67% funded.  Click here to read more about what the League Observer said happened at the Dec. 15 meeting.
  • Cook County Health is working to increase the number of people who have received the latest COVID-19 booster.  Click here to read more about what the League Observer said happened at the Dec. 9 meeting.
  • Utilizing funds from the federal American Rescue Act (ARPA), the Forest Preserve District is expanding the popular Conservation Corps programs.  Click here to read more about what our League Observer said happened at the Dec. 13 meeting.

Local League Upcoming Events

Wed January 25 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Via Zoom

LWV of the Palatine Area

The Money Behind Our Politics

Join Julie Strauss, Ph.D., for an in-depth discussion of the way money flows through our political system

Register Here

2022-2023 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Secretary: Carolyn Cosentino, Homewood/Flossmoor; Treasurer: Nancy Clark, Oak Park/River Forest.

Board membersLaura Davis, Palatine; Diane Edmundson, Chicago; Jan Goldberg, LaGrange Area ; Georgia Gebhardt, Wilmette; Betty Hayford, Evanston; Karin Hribar, Arlington Heights


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