Cook County Board of Commissioners Approves Ordinance Amendment Protecting Housing Choice Voucher Holders
-May 8, 2013
Chicago, IL – Today the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved an Amendment to the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance introduced by Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García (7th District), Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13th District) and Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Today’s historic vote comes after a long battle to protect individuals with Housing Choice Vouchers (previously known as “Section 8”) from discrimination. The passage of this amendment ensures that Housing Choice Voucher holders enjoy the very same protections against discrimination in Cook County that Fair Housing Ordinances affords, such as that of the City of Chicago.
“Today is a great day in the history of Cook County Government,” said Commissioner Garcia. “After many years and a long battle we have done away with one of the legal methods of discrimination in our county. It means that people down on their luck, trying to provide the best for their families, can have the same access to safe, decent, affordable housing as anyone else. We are talking about veterans, the disabled, single-parent heads of households, senior citizens.”
“I think that this will stabilize many of our suburban neighborhoods and it is a positive step for affordable housing,” said Commissioner Larry Suffredin.
Responsible landlords already screen tenant applicants fairly, without regard to applicants’ race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and source of income (i.e. child support, social security), among others. And, now, they would be required to extend this same fair treatment to those applicants whose source of income is a Housing Choice Voucher.
The loophole that today’s amendment closes has been received with great enthusiasm by affordable housing advocates across Cook County. “Today we celebrate another step in the struggle to end discrimination. I want to thank Commissioners Garcia and Suffredin, President Preckwinkle, and all of the other Commissioners who stood bravely with all Housing Choice Voucher holders,” said John Bartlett, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization.
Report Lost, Stolen, Destroyed Or Transferred Firearms Ordinance Passed!
- February 5, 2013“As Chief Sponsor of Cook County’s new “Report of Lost, Stolen, Destroyed or Transferred Firearms Ordinance,” I am proud to report that today, the Board of Commissioners took an important step toward protecting the lives of County residents from the senseless gun violence that is plaguing our communities. Practically speaking, this new law will deter straw purchasers, protect rightful owners of firearms from being implicated in crimes, and prevent these deadly weapons from getting into the wrong hands by requiring anyone who possesses a firearm in Cook County to report to the Sheriff’s office within 48 hours if the firearm is lost, stolen, destroyed, or transferred, or face a minimum fine of $1,000 for failing to report. But this commonsense legislation is just one of the many steps we need to take to ensure that our residents are protected. As an elected official, I am sworn to protect the lives of County residents, and I will continue to work with experts, community leaders, and other elected officials to develop a comprehensive public safety and anti-violence action agenda in Cook County that addresses unemployment, lack of youth programming, and access to mental health services. Listening to the testimony of mother after mother at yesterday’s Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee meeting who had lost children to gun violence was heartbreaking. When a bullet takes the life of an innocent person, all of us feel the pain and all of us pay the price. We have to get back to the days when losing a child to gun violence was not just another risk you ran by living in Cook County.” ### English and Spanish Versions below
Commissioner Garcia is the Chief Sponsor of a New Ordinance that Requires Gun Owners to Report Lost, Stolen, Destroyed Or Transferred Firearms
- January 16, 2013
“We are facing an epidemic of gun violence and our community’s need to mitigate this carnage has made public safety a central focus of my office,” said Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-7th), who is the chief sponsor of the legislation. “Today, we took our efforts one step further by introducing an ordinance requiring individuals to report lost, stolen, destroyed, or transferred firearms. This is just one of many steps that will have to be taken to address gun violence on our streets.”
Pressident Preckwinkle Urges Illinois House to Pass Legislation Allowing Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Driver’s Licenses
- January 3, 2012
“Licensing and insuring all motorists, regardless of immigration status, is smart and commonsense legislation that will help make the road safer for everyone,” Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia said. “This would free up resources to tackle issues like violent crime and growing health disparities in our communities.”