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Suffredin Is Primary Sponsor of Resolutions to Effectuate Positive Change at the National, State and County Levels

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Special to

Chicago, IL. In recent weeks, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (D-13th) has spearheaded the effort for the Cook County Board and the Board of Commissioners for the Cook County Forest Preserve District to adopt resolutions that encourage legislative bodies such as the United States Congress and the Illinois General Assembly and elected officials, such as President Bush and Governor Blagojevich to enact legislation and policies which will protect and improve the lives of the citizens of Cook County.

Descriptions of such resolutions introduced by Commissioner Suffredin are detailed below and the full text of the resolutions can be found at

∑ On April 7, 2004, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County passed a resolution urging Governor Blagojevich to restore full funding for the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Fund (OSLAD) and the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF). "The zeroing out of these two funds' budgets as proposed in the Illinois 2005 FY budget effectively eliminate the staff responsible for protecting, maintaining and restoring open land and endangered species habitat in Illinois," said Commissioner Suffredin. "The loss of biodiversity and degradation of Cook County's natural areas and public open lands that would result from a year without protection and management would be extremely detrimental to local ecosystems would impact the well being of the residents of Cook County and Illinois," added the Commissioner.

∑ On May 18, 2004, the Cook County Board passed a resolution urging Governor Blagojevich to sign SB 2196 which gives the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District the much needed and important authority to implement a consistent stormwater management plan throughout Cook County. Commissioner Suffredin wrote the following to the Governor: "A comprehensive stormwater management plan is crucial to the protection of human life and property from the hazards of flooding and the degradation of water quality in Cook County. The recent flooding along the Des Plaines River and other smaller waterways points up the need for this legislation."

∑ On May 4, 2004, the County Board passed a resolution which urges the President and the United States Congress to renew the ban of military-style assault weapons. The ban of these lethal weapons is set to expire in September 2004. Commissioner Suffredin stated the following about the weapons ban resolution: "The E.R. of the County's Stroger Hospital treats more gunshot wounds than any other E.R. in the nation. For this reason, we view the important of the ban on military-style assault weapons to be an issue of public health. Closing the loopholes that have allowed gun manufacturers to continue to design, market and sell military-style assault weapons is paramount to keeping our streets safe and our citizens protected."

∑ Also on May 4, 2004, the County Board approved a resolution that urges Governor Blagojevich to reconsider his proposal to close the Tinley Park Mental Health Center. Cook County is opposed to the closure of the facility, in part because the center has provided safe and secure treatment for mentally ill individuals for Cook County citizens. The Governor's proposal to shutter the center would dismantle a vital community resource and eliminate over 300 jobs in our region.

∑ On March 23, 2004, the County Board reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to gender equality and human rights by passing a resolution which urges the Bush Administration to renew its support of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is an international treaty which strives to reduce gender discrimination throughout the world and promote the interests of women and girls. Upon the resolution's passage by the County Board, Commissioner Suffredin remarked that, "Its our understanding that the Bush Administration unfortunately views CEDAW as a low priority and we must do everything we can to encourage the President and the U.S. Senate to ratify CEDAW for the benefit of women around the globe."

∑ Also on March 23, 2004, the County Board approved a resolution that urges the Illinois General Assembly to pass and, in sequence, for Governor Blagojevich to sign HB 4100 which creates a Rental Housing Support Program in Illinois. This program is modeled after a very successful program in the City of Chicago and would result in at least 1600 new units of affordable housing in Cook County. The program would create a new $10.00 state surcharge on real estate recordings to fund the program. All the funds generated in Cook County from the surcharge will go to serve low income households in Cook County. Pleased with the support of the County Board of this measure, Commissioner Suffredin stated that, "HB 4100 and its underlying program will go a long way to improving the affordable housing crisis that now exists throughout Cook County. I am hopeful that the measure will pass and some relief for those in need will result from the program."

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