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Sneed exclusive: Officials urged take pay cut to fund youth jobs

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Chicago Sun-Times
by Michael Sneed

Cook County CommissionerRichard Boykinis running with scissors.



• Translation: Watch for Boykin to propose a $10,000 a year pay cut for each Cook County Board commissioner — including PresidentToni Preckwinkle.

Sneed is told he wants the money to fund jobs for youth in hopes of preventing a summer of violence.

“In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, members of Congress voted to reduce their own salaries by 10 percent,” he said.

• The shocker: “In Cook County, we have the great depression of unemployment in many of our communities; 25.8% in West Garfield Park; 22.5% in the Austin community.”

• The kicker: During the Great Depression, when everybody seemed out of work, the unemployment rate was 16 percent to 25 percent.


“Except for Preckwinkle, who makes $170,000 a year, we work part time for $85,000 a year,” said Boykin, who plans to introduce his bill at a 10 a.m. press conference Thursday at the Cook County Building.

• The rationale: “If I’m asking people to pay more at the pump for youth jobs, then as a government we need to practice shared sacrifice,” said Boykin, who introduced a plan to curb the city’s gun violence with a new tax on motor fuel to pump $50 million into a new jobs program for at-risk youth.

“The $180,000 that we would be able to save by cutting salaries could be put into a youth summer jobs program immediately; we would be able to hire 75-80 jobs for youth this summer with this money, at the very least.”

So will Boykin take a pay cut, even if his legislation doesn’t pass?

“You bet,” he said.

“It’s the right thing to do.”

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