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.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Lincolnwood OKs sick days for workers but rejects minimum wage
Lincolnwood Review

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune
by George Castle

Workers at businesses in Lincolnwood won one benefit, paid sick days, and lost another, an increase to the Cook County minimum wage of $12 per hour, at a recent village meeting.

At the Jan. 7 meeting, Lincolnwood Mayor Barry Bass’ pro-business stance proved the difference in the village board again not opting back to the county’s $12-an-hour minimum wage ordinance.

Advertisement

In the board’s first meeting of 2020, Bass’ vote against opting back in created a 3-3 tie when four votes were required to pass the resolution. However, the board also voted 4-2 to adopt the county standard of five annual sick days for workers.

The board originally voted in July 2017 to opt out of the county minimum wage ordinance. But momentum had been building ever since to reconsider that decision. In 2018, voters overwhelmingly voted for the county minimum wage in a non-binding referendum, and the issue has received the consistent support of three board members and advocacy of residents at board meetings.

Bass has been a consistent advocate to attract and retain businesses within Lincolnwood’s geographical confines, and even supported a marijuana dispensary for the village. (The board voted down the concept last year.) He has said frequently any action to discourage businesses would be borne on the backs of Lincolnwood taxpayers.

Citing recent industrial layoffs in Skokie and their “ripple” effect, Bass said “Lincolnwood can’t afford it. We need revenue to deal with future projects. That’s where the ‘nay’ vote came in.

“The last thing I want to do is hurt homeowners and residents of Lincolnwood. A fiscally responsible person sometimes has to make a tough choice. I don’t want to be the guy who makes or breaks someone going into foreclosure.”

Bass’ vote forged the deadlock along with ‘no’ votes from trustees Ron Cope and Georgjean Hlepas Nickell. Trustees Jean Ikezoe-Halevi, Jesal B. Patel, Sr. and Atour Sargon – all longtime supporters – voted to opt back in.

“While I'm proud that the Board of Trustees voted in favor of paid sick days for workers, I'm very disappointed that we were unable to do the same regarding raising the minimum wage, especially since our residents voted in favor of both in a 2018 referendum,” said Ikezoe-Halevi.

"Everyone who lives in Lincolnwood has been fortunate enough to afford living here. For many it took years of hard work and saving their money. You can’t afford to live here on minimum wage.

“It’s not right when people can work in Lincolnwood, but not afford to live here. That’s why we voted (in favor of raising) the minimum wage.”

Sargon said a minimum-wage hike benefited more than it hurt.

"The Village Board was presented with overwhelming data and information indicating the positive impacts that raising the minimum wage and having paid sick leave would have on the workers, public health and businesses in Lincolnwood,” she said.

“My vote and advocacy represent both my personal opinion -- that it is a moral obligation for us to raise the minimum wage, as well as the opinion of a majority of our community who have spoken loud and clear in favor of the Cook County Opt-In.”

The pro opting-in trustees were backed by about a dozen activists, several of whom had spoken at previous meetings on the issue. Only two representatives of businesses, Food For Thought catering and R.F. Mau, a precision screw-machining company, showed up to oppose the minimum-wage increase. Few local businesses have appeared at previous meetings.

Resident Ray Grossman said another rejection of opting-in would bring “embarrassment and shame” to the community.

Advertisement

Caren Ex, an activist leader and 50-year resident of Lincolnwood, said trustees who opposed raising the minimum wage acted against the will of residents. She pointed to the 79 percent vote backing the wage increase in the 2018 referendum.

“If this is a democracy, our officials are confused about who they serve -- businesses or voters,” Ex said. “The voters overwhelmingly supported raising the minimum wage.”

Ex said no hard evidence has been brought up by trustees or companies that a business exodus would commence if the minimum wage was increased.

But Cope said extra costs to small businesses operating on low margins could be very detrimental.

“The State of Illinois is increasing the minimum wage,” he said. “The state law applies to all businesses in Illinois and gives our businesses an even playing field in which to operate…Without our businesses there are no jobs. The amount of the minimum wage becomes an empty exercise if businesses close down or if employees are laid off.”

Cope also said economic inequality will continue no matter what the level of the minimum wage.

“I have been told that it will alleviate poverty, but that is obviously not true since minimum wage laws have been in existence for decades and substantial poverty is still with us,” he said.

The ongoing Lincolnwood wage battle attracted the involvement not only of city advocacy group Arise Chicago, but also obstetrician-gynecologist Cheryl Axelrod, a member of the Midwest Center for Women’s Healthcare at the Old Orchard shopping center.

Although a Wilmette resident, Axelrod has several Lincolnwood patients. She said she felt strongly about attending to speak out.

“It is important to pay a living wage, especially big businesses,” Axelrod said. “We know when people are underpaid, they need government assistance like food stamps. Paid sick leave and better pay is vital to the economy.”

Calling Bass’ warning of property tax increases if businesses leave a “straw man,” Axelrod said a business exit is “not borne out” in surrounding communities where the wage has increased.

“Plus the cost of moving is incredible,” she said. “For most businesses that would outweigh the cost of higher wages.”

While backing the higher minimum wage, Ikezoe-Halevi held nothing against the two businesses that showed up to oppose her stance. In fact, she advocated using their services.

“This doesn’t stop with a vote,” she said. “In order for workers in Lincolnwood to receive higher wages, all of us who live here must help local businesses succeed. That means each of us must patronize Lincolnwood businesses. Every dollar you spend in Lincolnwood helps businesses and their workers.

“Recommend a business to a friend. For example, if you or someone you know is getting married or having a party, consider Food For Thought for catering. If you know of a business who can use quality brass screw machined component parts, recommend R. F. Mau.

“Everyone knows someone. Reach out and help make this work."



Recent Headlines

A Naturalist’s 2020 Quest: Find 2,500 Living Things In The Wilds Of Cook County
Thursday, August 13, 2020
WBEZ News

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 1,645 new known COVID-19 cases reported as state releases $46 million from federal relief act to 2,655 small businesses
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Chief Judge Orders Cook County Courtrooms Closed After Looting
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Coronavirus trends in Illinois not looking good: ‘My concern is growing each day,’ says public health director
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County's Travel Quarantine List Updated to Include 20 Locations
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

Looting has city, county, state officials pointing fingers in all directions
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
The Daily Line

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 3 states removed from Chicago’s travel quarantine list; 1,549 new confirmed cases, 20 deaths reported
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

County, federal courts closed today
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx bristles at insinuation her office’s handling of earlier cases emboldened looters
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Foxx bashes ‘dishonest blame games,’ calls for ‘honest conversation’ after night of looting
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago needs leaders, not elected officials looking for scapegoats
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Foxx Pushes Back on Criticism From Lightfoot, Brown After Looting
Monday, August 10, 2020
WTTW News

New Cook County ethics rules due for September resurrection as appointed board nears 6-month hiatus
Monday, August 10, 2020
The Daily Line

Kim Foxx drops more felony cases as Cook County state’s attorney than her predecessor, Tribune analysis shows
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

How we analyzed Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s record on dropped cases
Monday, August 10, 2020
Chicago Tribune

State offering $5,000 grants for tenants struggling to pay rent amid pandemic. Here’s how to apply
Monday, August 10, 2020

Preckwinkle: Dramatic rise in suicides among Cook County's Black population
Sunday, August 09, 2020
Daily Herald

1,382 New COVID-19 Cases in Illinois, 8 Additional Deaths
Sunday, August 09, 2020
WTTW News

‘The need remains critical’: Rent and mortgage relief arrives as state, county announce $320 million in grants
Saturday, August 08, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle Announces COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance Program
Saturday, August 08, 2020
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

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