Newsletter - May 2022

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Newsletter Highlights

Election Judges Needed

LWVCC sends out an Action Alert to members regarding the Cook County Board's plan to raise salaries

Commissioner Suffredin tells the annual meeting audience that the LWVCC should focus on passing the Forest Preserve Referendum.

Volunteer to be an Election Judge

The Cook County Clerk has told the League that many more election judges are needed for the June 28th Primary.  Go to the Clerk's website to sign up to be an judge. High School Juniors and Seniors can also serve

              Recent LWVCC Action

Member Action Alert On County Officials Salary Increase

On May 8, LWVCC sent out an Action Alert to all League members in Cook County to act on a proposed ordinance (22-2825) that would raise the salaries on County officials and institute ongoing annual cost of living increases for all Cook County offices. While LWVCC supports the initial salary increases, it does not support ongoing cost of living increases. Members were asked to contact their Commissioner to ask that any cost of living increases must be reviewed and voted on at least every four years. LWVCC was also concerned that the timing of the ordinance did not allow for sufficient review and comment by the public.

May 9: The League sent a letter to the members of the Cook County Finance Committee (1) supporting the proposal to increase salaries of all the elected officials, (2) opposing the inclusion of a sentence in the proposed Substitute which would continue adjusting the salaries each year beyond 2026 in perpetuity via a cost of living adjustment without any further votes being taken by the Board, and (3) urging that no vote be taken on the matter at the May 11 meeting, but that the vote be delayed to a later meeting to provide the public with more notice and an opportunity to comment. 

May 11: The League testified at the Finance Committee meeting emphasizing the main points of the letter sent on May 9. The Finance Committee delayed the vote on the salary ordinance until a Special Meeting that will be called later in May.


Cook County Equity Fund Management

LWVCC sent a letter to the Finance Committee urging that the materials for Board review prior to the authorization for spending money from the Equity Fund include:

  (1) the expected specific outcomes the County is looking to achieve through these monies

  (2) how the outcomes/effectiveness will be measured and when.

  (3) who will do the measurement 

 On May 6th,Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle initiated a 50-member taskforce to advise her administration on strategic investments from the new Cook County Equity Fund, which addresses historical disparities and disinvestment in Black and Latinx communities. The Cook County Equity Fund was established by President Preckwinkle in the County budget approved last November with an initial investment of nearly $100 million. Combined with other equity-focused initiatives, the County will invest roughly $120 million in in FY21 and FY22.

County’s Use of ARPA Funds

 The League sent a letter to members of the Cook County Business & Economic Development Committee on May 9th seeking confirmation that the expected outcomes and ways to measure whether those have been achieved were identified for the Commissioners as they are being asked to approve spending some of the American Rescue Plan Act funds on specific programs under the “Vital Communities” category. 

2022 LWVCC Annual Meeting

Retiring Commissioners laud LWVCC members on their past efforts and urge continued efforts on budgets and public health 

Retiring Cook County Commissioners Deborah Sims (5th District), and Larry Suffredin (13th District) were the guest speakers at the Annual Meeting held May 5th. Commissioner Peter Silvestri (9th District) provided written comments that were shared verbally as he was unable to attend.


The Commissioners reflected on their decades of service to the Cook County Board. All lauded the League for its vigilance on behalf of citizens. Commissioner Suffredin, in particular, noted that “we have a stealth government” and that currently only the League observers are regularly reporting on Board and Committee meetings. Local media no longer routinely send reporters to the county government meetings. Commissioner Sims strongly emphasized the necessity of oversight to ensure that funds are spent wisely.


Commissioner Sims and Suffredin pointed to their accomplishments during their tenure including creating a health clinic in the South suburbs, codifying county legislation, instituting an assault weapons ban, establishing a health and hospital board, passing a $15 minimum wage, and creating an Inspector General to be a watchdog.


When asked what the League should focus on, Commissioner Sims urged members to continue to scrutinize the budget process. Commissioner Suffredin said two issues should be focused on: the Forest Preserve referendum and ensuring that public health is adequately preparing for the next crisis.

At the business meeting, the proposed officer slate, budget, program, bylaws changes, and $1 PMP were approved.   See the LWVCC website for details.

Voter Information

June 28 Primary Election

Cook County Voters Plan Your Vote

  • See the LWVCC website Voter Information Page for all the information about the upcoming primary election. 
  •  Voters can request to be put on the permanent vote by mail list. The option is on the vote by mail application.
  •   Legislative districts have changed. 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. 
  • WTTW Video Voter's Guide link will be sent out soon.
  • Use the LWVIL Illinois Voter Guide for non-partisan information.


Forest Preserve Interest Group

The LWVCC Forest Preserve Interest group is happy to meet with local league chapters and other community organizations to educate about the referendum.


Information is available on the Vote Yes website.  

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

A coalition of over 140 organizations have joined together to get the Cook County Forest Preserve referendum passed. League chapters who have signed up to be coalition partners in addition to LWV Cook County are Palatine Area, Chicago, Wilmette, LaGrange, Oak Park/River Forest, Glenview/Glencoe, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Winnetka-Northfield-Kenilworth, and Palos-Orland. Public education will begin after the June primary and ambassador training is beginning soon.

LWV Chicago sponsored FPD Walk 

  • Wed. June 8, 10 to noon
  • Dan Ryan Woods  
  • South Western Ave and 87th Street Chicago
  • Registration:

Criminal Justice Interest Group

   The Civic Federation and the LWVCC Criminal Justice Interest Group are proceeding with the bond court watching project.

  • June  13th through July 29th
  • It will be all virtual as the proceedings are streamed on You Tube. 
  • 3 or 4 hour commitment
  • Training session one hour June 8th, 10 AM and 4 PM
  • If you are interested in participating in the project send an email to including your name and contact information.


Freezing Efficiency

To meet new energy reduction goals, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) has developed a Climate Action Plan that prioritizes carbon reduction in support of the MWRD’s recently unveiled Strategic Plan 2021-2025. 

MWRD scientists will participate in an international competition known as the Freezer Challenge which focuses on reducing the environmental impact of cold storage. For the competition, the MWRD plans to review its laboratory practices to ensure the freezers and refrigerators are operating as efficiently as possible.

Observer Reports Highlights

      MWRD - April 7, 2022 

Board to hold study session on comprehensive Land Use Policy by mid-June 

 Com. Davis asked to discuss the merits of leasing individual parcels especially for long periods of time, (30 to 40 years) without having a comprehensive land use policy. All commissioners gave verbal assent they would commit to attending a study session on comprehensive land use of MWRD real estate. 


Joint Meeting of The Cook County Commissioners Finance and Technology Committees – April 25, 2022 

Commissioners Urge Stakeholder Unity not Finger Pointing to deal with August tax bill delay

The special meeting was held at the urging of Commissioner Sean Morrison to bring the key stakeholders together to get their commitment to work together on getting the 2nd installment tax bills out no later than mid-November 2022. Key were the chair of the Board of Review, the Chief of Staff of the Assessor’s Office, and the Chief Information Office, Bureau of Technology (BOT). The County Clerk’s Chief of Staff and Treasurer also provided comments.


Cook County Health Observer Report

Board Meeting: April 29, 2022 

Draft Strategic Plan Submitted to CCH Board 

Israel Rocha, CEO and Andrea Gibson, Chief Strategy Officer presented a draft FY23-FY25 Strategic Plan  for Board consideration and input.  In brief, the draft Strategic Plan was summarized by its shortened but direct Mission Statement, “Establish universal access to the world’s best care and health services for all Cook County residents, regardless of the ability to pay, so all may live their healthiest life;” Vision Statement, “To ensure healthcare as a human right;” and Values Statement “ICARE - Innovation, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence & Education.”



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

Upcoming  Events

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is launching a series of informational webinars about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact throughout the summer. The first of this series is titled, “The National Popular Vote: What, Why and How?" It is an introductory look at this legislation and how it can improve our democracy. Join the Wisconsin League at 6:30 p.m. on June 7 for this virtual event. 

2022-2023 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Secretary: Carolyn Consentino, 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