Property Tax Reform

The property tax system in Cook County is broken. Corruption and nepotism rule an assessment process that hurts working families. We must reform our property tax system, first by fixing the dysfunctional assessment process that is fueled by pay-to-play politics. Multiple investigations have shown that Cook County’s assessment process is egregiously unfair, hurting working Cook County residents while providing big corporations and owners of downtown skyscrapers with major property tax breaks.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Fight for a transparent and accountable property tax system that ensures those who truly need reassessments receive them, and that wealthy corporations pay their fair share.
  • Develop and implement measures to streamline the property tax system, saving time and money while also ensuring that people receive the services and relief they need in a timely and effective fashion.

Health Care

Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. The Cook County healthcare system provides healthcare to countless Cook County residents who have nowhere else to turn for medical treatment. With affordable insurance and healthcare under attack, it is more important than ever that our local health care systems thrive.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Fight for full funding for the Cook County Health and Hospital system–including ensuring that our system is equipped to handle the mental health needs and services of all Cook County residents who need them.
  • Work to address the opioid epidemic in Cook County. In 2016, nearly 950 opioid overdose deaths were reported in Cook County, a staggering 95% increase over 2013. Cook County must work diligently with the State of Illinois to responsibly address all aspects of the problem, from over-prescription to addiction services.

Standing Up For Workers

Working Cook County residents continue to struggle to make ends meet while corporate profits soar. Cook County voters lent overwhelming support to a referendum to increase the minimum wage and to grant workers earned sick leave. I will work to protect and strengthen the financial health of working families by ensuring that corporations and employers are paying living wages and providing meaningful benefits to their employees.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Support a $15 an hour minimum wage so that all Cook County residents earn the living wages they need and deserve.
  • Protect working families with common sense measures such as paid sick leave and family leave.
  • Fight alongside union workers to protect their rights and jobs against anti-union measures being brought down by Governor Rauner and other anti-worker politicians.

Good Government

Illinois has more than 8,000 units of local government—the most in the country—costing millions and confusing residents. It is time to consolidate and eliminate wasteful, redundant agencies and direct the money to education for our children and to rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure which will create dependable, good-paying jobs essential to the economic health of the County.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Continue to make common-sense changes to create more efficient, cost-saving government offices. In my time at the County Clerk’s Office, I worked to consolidate the Clerk’s Office with the Recorder of Deeds, saving taxpayers at least $20 million over ten years.
  • Where possible, eliminate empty positions at the County level to free up funds for positions that the government truly needs, creating a higher functioning government, while also providing consistent, dependable government jobs that provide meaningful benefits to employees.
  • Insist on transparency and accountability at every level of government, so you know that your government is working for you and not for private interests through back-room deals.

Environmental Protections

Cook County and Illinois have made big changes toward protecting our environment, which is more important than ever as federal deregulations threaten to take away public lands, poison the health of our children and create costly problems that our children will have to clean up and pay for down the line. Even at the County level, we can take steps to protect our environment in ways that will save money through energy efficiency and betterment of public health.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Fight to shut down the Sterigenics plant to protect families from the cancer-causing toxin ethylene oxide, and advocate for Illinois to enact legislation banning the use of ethylene oxide 
  • Work with utilities and energy providers to create efficiency-based cost saving and relief to individual families.
  • Demand that corporations are held responsible for their environmental footprint and pay for environmental remediation costs, as well as costs to public health as it is impacted by pollution.

Criminal Justice Reform

Cook County is primarily responsible for the administration and operation of many aspects of the criminal justice systems, including operations of county courts and the second largest prison system in the country. It is also home to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, which is the second largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States. As your Commissioner I will work alongside our law enforcement bodies to ensure that they are operating the highest functioning offices of the utmost integrity.

As Commissioner, I will:

  • Be a voice for reforms to the training and operation of law enforcement officers to maintain a relationship of trust, support and stewardship between law enforcement and the public.
  • Fight to protect the rights of all community members, including immigrants, to ensure that sanctuary and due process are protected for all.
  • Work to reform costly and ineffective systems such as the bail bond system and civil forfeiture that are detrimental to the system as a whole.
  • Work with the State’s Attorney to promote reforms that strengthen the system, while also protecting and serving the rights and safety of our communities.