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Cook County

A Century of Progress

Marcel Pacatte | Posted 06.06.2015 | Chicago
Marcel Pacatte

Ever hear of Oscar DePriest? He made history a hundred years ago Monday. Few today remember him, but a hundred years ago, on April 6, 1915, Oscar DePriest made history, becoming the first African-American elected alderman in Chicago.

Chicago Voters Can Strike Blow Against Big Money in Politics

David Orr | Posted 04.22.2015 | Chicago
David Orr

Our democracy is built on the core principle of a government of the people, by the people and for the people, where all of us get an equal say over who gets elected and the government decisions that affect our lives.

Healing the Criminal Justice System

Robert Koehler | Posted 03.31.2015 | Crime
Robert Koehler

What we're doing isn't working, justice-wise, order-wise, sanity-wise. The state of Illinois is bankrupt and yet its jails are full to bursting, at a cost, per occupant, equal to or greater than the cost of luxury suites at its ritziest hotels.

Illinois home foreclosures among the highest in the nation

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.24.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Homes in Illinois were foreclosed on at double the national rate in June, a study from RealtyTrac found. The country's foreclosures were down in June ...

Our Fearful Inheritance: What the Case for Reparations Means for Jail and Prison Reform

John Maki | Posted 08.12.2014 | Chicago
John Maki

In the story of North Lawndale and what it represents, the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center stands for more than the bleak prospects of the neighborhood's young people. The facility is at once a product of the history that Ta-Nehisi Coates chronicles in "The Case for Reparations" and one of most perversely effective methods we use to avoid acknowledging it.

Is Illinois Raking in Taxes from Your County?

Reboot Illinois | Posted 07.22.2014 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

It's budget time right now in Springfield, and this year lawmakers are arguing over whether to make permanent the temporary tax increase passed in 2011. The tax debate makes this year's budget talks all the more contentious.

Here Are the 25 Illinois Counties with the Highest Average Home Values

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 07.06.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Do you live in the Chicagoland area in Illinois? Odds are you have a much higher home value than the rest of the state. When taking a look at the 25 Illinois counties with the average highest home values, the majority of them are in the northeastern quadrant of the state.

In One Illinois County, Gay Couples Don't Have To Wait To Get Married

The Huffington Post | Paige Lavender | Posted 02.21.2014 | Politics

Same-sex couples in Cook County, Illinois -- which includes Chicago -- don't have to wait to get married, thanks to a Friday ruling by a federal judge...

Crushed by Property Taxes? Betcha You Live in Northern Illinois

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 04.09.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

If you're an Illinois resident with a high property tax bill, chances are strong you live in one of the collar counties surrounding Chicago. That's not an end-all-be-all statement, but based on data from Tax-Rates.org, it's a pretty safe assumption.

Judge Laura Liu Slated as 1st Asian-American Appellate Court Justice

David Ormsby | Posted 04.03.2014 | Chicago
David Ormsby

A former president of the Chinese American Bar Association, Liu credits the efforts of earlier Illinois Asian-Americans, who broke professional barriers, for laying the foundation of her ascension to the Illinois appellate court.

Confession Contamination in Cook County: Demonizing Youth in False Confession Narratives

Steve Drizin | Posted 01.25.2014 | Chicago
Steve Drizin

In Cook County's juvenile false confession cases, police officers and prosecutors have taken confession contamination to a new level. Not only did they feed facts to suspects, they scripted entire narratives for them.

So Light 'Em Up But It'll Cost You Money Here

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.28.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to add 75 cents to the city's tax on a pack of cigarettes. This would make Chicago the most expensive place in the country to smoke, surpassing New York.

Term Limits and Unintended Consequences

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 11.19.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner backing a well-financed effort to put a term limits constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot, the issue has more momentum today than it's had in 20 years -- since then-Treasurer Pat Quinn nearly got term limits onto the 1994 ballot.

Legislators Doubling as Lobbyists? No Shortage of Work to Be Done

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 11.04.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

Part of our problem in Cook County and Illinois is that the stories come so fast and furious and so frequently, that they no longer are eye popping. Too often, we're doing some eye rolling and clicking and scrolling to find some good news.

When Who You Know Just Won't Work

Madeleine Doubek | Posted 09.28.2013 | Chicago
Madeleine Doubek

Taxpayers who are footing the bills want to know and trust that people are being hired on skill and merit, period. That they're being given promotions based on performance. And too often in Illinois government it does work that way.

The New 'Black Death': Why Are Black People Dying at Record Rates in Chicago?

Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston | Posted 09.08.2013 | Chicago
Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston

They say that no man knows the number of his days and that death comes like a thief in the night. However, for the black men and women in Chicago, death can seem less like a faraway event and more like a day-to-day certainty.

The New Minority: From My Cold Dead Nicotine-Stained Hands

Matthew Bailey | Posted 05.01.2013 | Chicago
Matthew Bailey

Buying cigarettes feels like a monetary punch to the gut. This feeling of worthlessness and persecution increases today to more than $11, what it will now cost a freedom-lover to buy a pack of squares in Chicago.

Restoring Sanity: A Desperate Need for Ammunition Control

Sanjay Sanghoee | Posted 01.12.2013 | Politics
Sanjay Sanghoee

If medicines and even tobacco are regulated, why is ammunition sold without any type of control?

Swing-State County With Bad Voting Rep Still Can't Get It Together

The Huffington Post | Daniel Lippman | Posted 11.02.2012 | Politics

A Florida county that was the focus of national attention for ballot-counting issues in 2000 is back under the spotlight with electoral problems this ...

Chicago's Finest: Kurt A. Summers, Cook County Chief Of Staff

Iman A. Jefferson | Posted 10.21.2012 | Black Voices

Chicago may be known as the “City That Works,” but that’s because the county -- Cook County that is -- works. In this day and age, reform (e...

Dancing With the Stars: Rahm and Toni Step to a New Tune in Chicago

Keith Koeneman | Posted 12.12.2012 | Chicago
Keith Koeneman

Sometimes when you see two people out on the dance floor, it is clear that they are partners. They move in sync, with energy and an unspoken discipline. Such is the case now in Chicago with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Cook County Bond Court Overlooks Critical Information

Katy Welter | Posted 04.03.2012 | Chicago
Katy Welter

In less than the time it takes to make an ATM withdrawal, Cook County Bond Court judges make decisions affecting individual liberty and the public safety. This way of transacting justice exacts a dear convenience fee.

Preckwinkle's Plan To Shrink The Jail Population

Chicago Reader | Posted by Moises Moy Moreno | Posted 02.22.2012 | Chicago

Toni Preckwinkle wants to get people out of Cook County jail. She also wants to keep them from going there in the first place. And in the cases whe...

The Next Blagojevich...

Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston | Posted 02.15.2012 | Chicago
Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston

Why does corruption seem to thrive in our wonderful state (and my native Chicago!), and what can citizens do to stop it?

Smart Criminal Justice Policies Gain Momentum in Chicago, Cook County

Katy Welter | Posted 01.03.2012 | Chicago
Katy Welter

More than funding or legislation, we need our officials to work toward common goals. A fair, cost-effective criminal justice system can be achieved through a cooperative effort among city and county administrators.