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.

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

Beavers' words harsh, but not without merit.

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times

He says out loud what some have been thinking privately

Leave it to Beavers. In an undeniably crude way, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers has raised an issue that polite politicians have tip-toed around for years. When a white man was head of the Cook County Board, there may have been scandals and budget battles, but nothing like what we've seen since a black man has been at the helm.

"If Todd was a white man, he wouldn't have half these problems," he said Tuesday during a tense Cook County Board meeting. "This is a remake of the Harold Washington days. . . . Who's gonna control the county -- white or black -- that's all this is," Beavers said.

Beavers doesn't believe in pussyfooting around.

Beavers is credited with orchestrating the coup that put former Cook County Board President John Stroger in charge. On Tuesday, he blasted Commissioner Anthony Peraica, Stroger's most vocal critic, saying Peraica "hates everybody who's black . . . all black elected officials."

"Are you surprised by those accusations?" I asked Peraica.

"Yeah, I thought we were beyond that in our development of political culture," Peraica said. "Apparently, Beavers is a throwback to the old-style politics. He's back in a dinosaur era. He is an anachronism in today's political landscape. He's been about the concept of using race for his own political purposes."

Peraica maintains that his opposition to Stroger's proposed budget fix has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the numbers.

"This is not about personalities and not about race," he said. "What this is about is protecting the Cook County taxpayers who are being taxed out of their homes and out of their cars."

Still, there is a longstanding perception that what Beavers said is a sad fact -- that if a white man were sitting in the president's chair, commissioners would have passed the 2 percent sales tax increase without a ruckus rather than force Stroger to take a meat cleaver to the departments funded by the county.

As ridiculous as Beavers' accusation may sound to some people, more than a few people -- many of whom are astute about the political shenanigans within city and county government -- have said as much to me off the record.

Some of these people reluctantly supported Stroger although they didn't like that he was handed his father's seat after the elder Stroger suffered a debilitating stroke in the middle of a re-election campaign.

Frankly, I thought the handoff was a scandalous abuse of the political system even though that same system has been manipulated for the benefit of other political families.

As my mother would say, two wrongs don't make a right.

Still, the perception that race is relevant when it comes to who heads up local government didn't start with Beavers or
Todd Stroger. It was no secret that the elder Stroger, who supported the regular Democratic Party in the face of a steamroller like the late Mayor Harold Washington, was installed in the top slot at the board because he was a loyal Democrat.

But contrary to off-repeated criticisms, patronage didn't start with John Stroger, either. Black politicians didn't invent patronage. They inherited it and learned how to make it work for their own constituents.

Interestingly, when the political pie was carved up, one of the region's most powerful black politicians got the branch of government that primarily provides services used by people in the lower-income brackets.

Now, the old rules don't apply -- at least when it comes to the County Board.

So while Beavers' comments were rude, he likely struck a chord with some blacks. After all, isn't this the type of thing that happens all too often? As soon as a black person is in charge of something, the scope of his or her authority is challenged.

What's going on at the Cook County Board is that kind of power grab. Stroger may have won his father's seat, but his foes will be darned if they let him have even the amount of power his father had -- or his clout.

The fact that many of Stroger's harshest critics are angry white men has given Beavers' outlandish remarks room to fester, and that will make it even harder for Stroger to pass a budget.

That's unfortunate, especially since it will be Beavers' constituents who will suffer.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

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

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

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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