Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
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.

   
  The first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



County health cuts hit poor youths where they need most help

Sunday, February 04, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
by MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist

Isn't this the way it always happens? A politician begs for your vote while promising to provide every service imaginable, then turns a deaf ear when it is time to deliver on those promises. It's even worse for African-American voters.
 
As a voting bloc, blacks are so distrusting of Republicans that a cow could win an election if it was being led by a Democrat.
 
But this steadfast political loyalty hasn't significantly improved the lives of people who are clinging to the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. In fact, poor urban blacks with their bad schools and high crime statistics are often depicted by powerful people as the scourge of the black middle-class.
 
Bill Cosby, the Social Critic, disparages them for the way they walk and talk. Oprah, the Queen of Luxury, condemns them for wanting iPods and designer clothes.
 
So it should come as no surprise that Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is ignoring his poorest constituents. Despite the overwhelming support blacks gave him, there isn't even the pretense that these impoverished black people will get anything for their votes besides a harder way to go.
 
Tremendous challenges
As noted in the introduction to the "Black Youth Project," a research survey by the University of Chicago that was released last week, black youths across the Midwest are facing tremendous challenges:
 
•  At 34 percent, the poverty rate for blacks is nearly twice what it is for whites.
 
•  In 2005, nearly 20 percent of blacks 18 years and older had not completed high school.
 
•  In 2004, black youths comprised 55 percent of those ages 13-24 with HIV and accounted for 53 percent of HIV infections among young people ages 20-24. And black youths account for the largest number of new HIV-AIDS infections.
 
Yet Stroger's proposed cuts to fill a $500 million hole will hit these young people the hardest.
 
Shutting down health clinics won't hurt committeemen or elected officials, like U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, both of whom supported Stroger's dubious candidacy.
 
The massive cuts will push low-income people in Cook County off the ladder altogether by closing down community health facilities and other services this population is dependent upon.
 
University of Chicago researchers found that while 59 percent of white youths reported receiving medical care from a private doctor, only 40 percent of black youths and 39 percent of Hispanic youths reported receiving such medical care. Indeed, most blacks responding to the survey said they receive their medical care from emergency rooms and clinics.
 
Only 16 percent of white youths said they access health care in this manner.
 
Letting young people down
Given this disparity, it is not surprising that the majority of black and Hispanic youths said they believe blacks are treated less fairly than whites in the health care system, compared with 32 percent of white youths who agreed.
 
"This is the generation that saw the [mostly] black Katrina victims being left to 'rot' for a week in the same way another generation saw the videotaped Rodney King beating," says Cathy Cohen, a professor and lead researcher on the project.
 
"We have to understand the connections. We are asking young people to make healthy sexual decisions, but in in-depth interviews, these young people are asking us to give them the information and the services."
 
She pointed to the plan to close community health centers as an example of how adults let down young people in poor neighborhoods, then bash them as being the source of all our problems.
 
"You can't complain if you cut out the education and services, and people make decisions about sex and health and reproduction that you don't agree with," she said.
 
Dr. Clarissa Couch, a dentist who works for the Cook County Health Department, called the proposal to close public health clinics that provide dental services in places like Ford Heights "insane."
 
"Today I've already seen two new patients who need six months to a year worth of treatments. I am not going to be able to tell them that there is someplace else for them to go," she said.
 
But young black people who live below the poverty line don't have to continue to be used and abused.
 
Cohen noted that although black youths faced "political alienation," the majority of them still wanted the country to work for them. "They still believed that it can be a fair country," Cohen told me. "They still believe that by participating in politics they can make a difference."
 
They can. But not if they are silent.
 
Everyone who will be affected by these cuts should call Cook County Board President Todd Stroger at (312) 603-6400 and let him know they are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore.


Recent Headlines

Illinois Dept. of Revenue Releases Final 2018 Cook County Equalization Factor
Thursday, June 06, 2019
JD Supra

At Cook County Jail, Inmates Relax Their Minds, Bodies With Yoga
Thursday, June 06, 2019
Prison Mindfulness Institute

Skokie drops recent proposal to opt out of Cook County minimum wage ordinance
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

JAMA examines rising drug costs • CVS' ambitious transformation • Cook County extends Medicaid contract
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County judge, ripped for ‘insensitive’ racial comments, dumped from bench
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Offers Low Cost Rabies And Microchipping Clinic
Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Patch

Masturbating Cook County Jail inmates could cost taxpayers $2 million-plus in legal fees
Tuesday, June 04, 2019

New training and protocols needed at Cook County, task force says after sexual harassment scandal
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County assessor's tax reform bill skids in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi's property tax reforms stall out in Springfield
Friday, May 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District has found the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in the District this year.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County to Address Perinatal Health Disparities with $4.8M Grant
Friday, May 24, 2019
WTTW News

Audit Recommends Ways To Overhaul Cook County Property Tax System
Thursday, May 23, 2019
WBEZ News

Cock-a-doodle-deferred? After ‘urban farmers’ cry foul, county tables rooster ban
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

From green screen computers to staff shortages, a new audit says Cook County's property tax system needs more resources
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

all news items

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