Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

County commissioners rip minority hiring level

Friday, January 06, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Cook County commissioners are demanding improvements in hiring at the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Botanic Gardens and Forest Preserve District, saying minorities are "severely and pathetically under-represented" in the work- force.

A report released Thursday shows that while 52 percent of county residents are minorities, only 26 percent of the full-time workers at those publicly funded agencies are minorities.

The forest preserve is the most diverse among them, as 36 percent of all workers are minorities, while the zoo is the least diverse, with only 14 percent minority workers.


A report presented to Cook County commissioners on Thursday details the racial makeup of full-time employees at the forest preserve district and the Chicago Botanic Gardens and Brookfield Zoo, which will receive $81 million from the district this year:

Forest Preserve
Brookfield Zoo
Botanical Gardens
Cook County population


"They might claim to be equal-opportunity employers, but it's not working -- look at those numbers," said Commissioner Roberto Maldonado. "Obviously, there's discrimination, otherwise the numbers wouldn't be the way they are."

Working with schools

And while he said blacks and Hispanics are "severely and pathetically under-represented," Board President John Stroger said "you just can't fire anybody and just decide you're going to start with Hispanics and blacks."

"Getting minorities out to the Botanic Gardens is not the easiest thing to do with the type of salaries they pay," Stroger said.

Though he said he was "on the same wavelength," Stroger cut off Commissioner Bobbie Steele when she asked him to develop a strategy to hire more minority workers to combat the "troubling" numbers.

"I'm not going to work out a strategy," he snapped, saying he fills positions as they come open.

Stroger controls the Forest Preserve District and Brookfield Zoo, while the district gives $26 million to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Officials there said they're well aware of the figures and are working with local schools to draw more minorities toward science careers.

The zoo's problem is part of a broader one, as the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges said 91 percent of all current vet school students are white.

Botanic Gardens spokeswoman Sue Markgraf said they also struggle with achieving diversity among experts or even entry-level staff because of the limited number of students who are studying horticulture.

But Steele wants to see Stroger do more to demand change.

"He can't just say he improved diversity at the forest preserve and not hold the zoo or gardens accountable," she said. "Every year, we give huge donations to them, so I'd like to see a more accurate representation of Cook County there."


Recent Headlines

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.