Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

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 Cook County Forest Preserve District maintains over 70 miles of bicycle trails.
   
     
     
     



Racial politics on display in County Board remap

Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by MARK BROWN

Veteran Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins told me Wednesday the same thing she has been telling her colleagues: She will not be running for re-election in 2014.

The funny part about that is how few of them seem to believe her.

“She’s been threatening to quit since she got there,” said one.

She got there in 1998. The reason it’s come up again now is that it’s redistricting time for the Cook County Board, and there’s a difference of opinion between Collins and fellow West Side Commissioner Robert Steele about the best way to redraw their district boundaries.

Both say it’s not self-interest motivating their disagreement, but rather concern for maintaining African-American political power in the county.

There are currently five African-American majority districts on the 17-seat County Board, and all expectations are that number will be preserved by the remap.

But Collins said she worries that if the map isn’t drawn properly, population shifts over the next decade will cause African Americans to lose one of those seats before the next redistricting. Prompting her concern is that the two West Side-based districts lost 50,000 black residents between 2000 and 2010.

The Austin-based Collins would move both districts to the south in the same path as African-American population shifts. Steele, already based south of Collins in North Lawndale with a district that stretches through downtown to the South Side, thinks it makes more sense to move her district west.

“I’m not running again, so it’s not a personal thing with me,” said Collins, 74, who has held public office since she became the first African-American woman elected to the state Senate in 1976.

Another school of thought holds Collins really does want to run for re-election but is concerned she could be vulnerable in 2014 if more white-populated areas are added to her district.

Collins currently represents three-fourths of Oak Park while Commissioner Peter Silvestri, an Elmwood Park Republican, has the rest. A proposed map thought to be favored by most commissioners would add the rest of Oak Park to Collins’ 1st District along with the Chicago neighborhood of Galewood and Forest Park.

Collins insists she’s not worried how the map would affect her.

“I could still win,” she said.

But another African-American candidate might not fare as well, especially if faced with a united Oak Park, she said.

“Yeah, I could win that district. Is it a winnable, sustainable district? That’s the issue,” she said. “ . . . You don’t think in that time we’re going to merge into the Latinos coming our way or the yuppies coming from downtown?”

From having written enough of these stories, I fully realize it seems very raw to most people to see redistricting discussed from such an overtly racial standpoint, but a primary requirement of the federal Voting Rights Act is that political districts be drawn to allow minority groups to have a fair opportunity to elect one of their own.

Because of that, the racial makeup of any district is the biggest consideration in a remap — that is, right behind partisan advantage and incumbent protection.

Speaking of partisan advantage, commissioners tell me any new map will likely retain the current Democrat-Republican split of 13-to-4.

And speaking of incumbent protection, commissioners also seem in agreement the new map will create three Latino-majority districts, up one from the current two. Slated to become a Latino district is the 16th, currently represented by Jeff Tobolski, a Democrat from McCook.

With a Latino voting age population of only about 53 percent, however, the expectation is it would still be several election cycles before a Latino candidate would have a real chance of winning the 16th.

Cook County’s population dipped 182,000 between 2000 and 2010 to about 5.2 million people. That includes 280,351 fewer whites and 107,193 fewer blacks, along with 173,722 more Latinos and 85,621 more Asians.

A proposed county remap is expected to be publicly released by May 31 with two public hearings, then a vote June 19.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart: “This has been a bipartisan disaster.”
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WGN Chicago

EDITORIAL: Don’t bungle MWRD’s plan for an independent inspector general
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart Pivots To Podcasting To Fight Opioid Abuse
Thursday, February 21, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Body found in vehicle at Cook County Forest Preserve near Hoffman Estates
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Daily Herald

Local legislators tout efforts to help those facing mental health issues
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Pioneer Press

It's time to modernize the assessor's office
Monday, February 18, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

EDITORIAL: We could have taken Gary Martin’s gun away
Monday, February 18, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Hours before Aurora mass shooting, former mayors met in Chicago to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence
Friday, February 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

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

EXPERIENCE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE FOREST PRESERVES THROUGHOUT WINTER
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

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

all news items

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