Newsletter - June 2024

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Newsletter Highlights

Forest Preserve Walk in Deer Gove East June 23

State's Attorney Kim Foxx to speak at August 13 Food for Thought

Forest Preserve Interest Group Event

Sunday June 23

Deer Grove East, Palatine

Ecological Restoration

Learn about this relatively new field of science and how it has been applied to 180 acres of former farmland, dried up wetlands and unmanaged savannas and woodlands, join us for a walk in Deer Grove East Forest Preserve in Palatine IL. A Cook County Forest Preserve Steward involved with the volunteer group from the beginning of the project will share how the different facets of restoration ecology have been successfully applied to transform this acreage. The quality of some parts of the preserve are high enough to have been enrolled in the Illinois Nature Preserve System.


Sunday, June 23 - 9:00 to 11 am  

Deer Grove East, Palatine, IL

Steward led walk limited to 25 people

Approximately 3 mile walk

The trails are paved, gravel and some dirt but nothing very strenuous. At most, they may be uneven/ruts on some of the dirt trail due to some erosion. We'd meet at the far west end of the main parking lot off Dundee RdDeer Grove East far west end of parking lot.

Registration Required

Register at

State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx

“Food for Thought”

August 13, 2024


State’s Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx has accepted the Cook County League’s invitation to be our guest speaker on Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at our annual Food for Thought fundraiser. The money raised will be used for the League’s voter service efforts.

DePaul Club room in the DePaul Center

1 E. Jackson

11:30 am to 1:00 pm. 

Cost: $40 will include lunch. 

Look for registration information in your inbox in July.

Illinois General Assembly Acts on TTO's

You received an action alert on May 21st to contact your State Senator in support of legislation that would allow school districts to withdraw from their Township School Treasurer Office (TTO) without the need of a referendum or special legislative action.

HB 305 sponsored by Representative Tracy Katz Muhl passed both houses on May 24th and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

TTOs were originally created in Illinois in 1819 to provide financial services to elementary and high school districts. In 1962 the State Legislature determined that they were not needed any more and dissolved all the agencies except in Suburban Cook County. After study of this issue in 1983 the LWVCC adopted a position that the TTOs should be eliminated in Suburban Cook County as well. It was recognized that most school districts have business managers with sufficient qualifications to manage the districts funds and that in many instances the TTO was an unneeded level of government.  Since 1962 a number of school districts in Cook County did leave their TTO, but it required that their local State Representative pass specific legislation. 

The new legislation would allow a school district to withdraw from the services of their TTO if their School Board approves the withdrawal and they have a treasurer on their staff to manage the finances. If they want to combine with another district to share a treasurer that also is possible,or they can elect to stay with their TTO, or enlist the services of another TTO. The legislation will also phase out the elected TTO Trustees and requires that the TTO board have a representative on their board from every school district that utilizes their services. The present elected Trustees will be allowed to serve out their terms but the position will no longer be a publicly elected office once their terms expire. This new legislation was designed to accommodate those districts that are still wanting the services of a TTO but would require that oversight be provided by the districts whose money is being managed.

LWVCC Interest Groups report on important news in Cook County Government

Criminal Justice Interest Group

  • The Group was tracking two pieces of legislation in the General Assembly. The Pretrial Success Act which will fund more diversion services such as mental health and addition clinics passed. The Fair Act which would create a statewide public defenders office did not pass.
  • In June, he Group will be visiting the Arlington Heights Police Chief to discuss his new policy of using psychologists to ride along with police on their calls. In August they will visit the new Restorative Justice court in Avondale.
  • The next regular meeting of the Criminal Justice Interest Group will be July 30th at 9 am via Zoom. The group will discuss a report by the Appleseed lawyers on the role of the prosecutor. A visit to the newest Restorative Justice Court in Avondale will be planned.
  • The next book discussion will be on Ben Austen's "Correction: Parole, Prison and Possibility of Change". The date will be August 30th via Zoom.
  • If you would like to participate in any of these activities please contact Jan Goldberg

LWVCC observes and reports on board and committee meetings of Cook County government entities to provide our members with an understanding of current issues. To read more: LWVCC Observer Reports

Highlights from Observer Reports

Cook County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners Meeting

May 14, 2024  

Diversity Committee Report:

The CCFP exceeded their 2023 set goals. In 2023: 

  •  42% of all contracts were awarded to minority and/or women owned businesses
  •  52% of contract payments for primary or subcontractors went to minority or

women owned businesses

  •  15 outreach events took place in 2023 to publicize contract opportunities


The Cook County Forest Preserve District approved the purchase of two properties in the southeast area of Cook County near Sweet Woods close to Homewood and South Holland.

  •  Property 1; 46.44 acres for $1,520,000
  •  Property 2; 42.09 acres for $1,680,00
  • Totals: 88.53 acres for $3,200,000
  •  Purchase will increase the CCFP to a total of 69,893 acres
  •  The properties were agricultural and unincorporated
  •  The acquisition advances the goals of the Southeast Cook County Land Acquisition Plan, Next Century Conservation Plan, and Acquisition and Disposition of Land Position Paper. 


June 6, 2024

  • Michael Malatt, CPA, gave the MWRD a clean bill after the annual audit. He stated that the audit results were free from misstatement and that the firm was able to issue a “clean opinion” which is the highest rating possible. No weaknesses and deficiencies were found. He described the report as “boring” because nothing of concern was found.

  •  The MWRD Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Steven J. Lux as Treasurer of the MWRD of Greater Chicago.

  •  Commissioner Davis questioned an item concerning the rejection of bids. His concerns are related to the ongoing history of rejecting bids because of such things as missing signatures and other minor omissions. He stated that this type of rejection discourages bidders. Bidders spend a good deal of time preparing their bids, and taxpayers lose when there are delays for months. Commissioner Davis said that this has been an ongoing issue, for which the department has yet to find a solution.

Local League Upcoming Event

Monday, June 17, 6 - 7:15 pm

Chicago LWV

Moving Forward Together: Community Legal Needs Assessment 2022

Speakers: Kulsum Ameji & Barbara Bertini, Legal Aid Chicago

Virtual Presentation

Open to the Public, Registration Required

Register Here

2024-2025 Cook County League Board Members 

OFFICERS: President: Cynthia Schilsky, LaGrange Area; Vice-Presidents: Pris Mims, Chicago, Kathi Graffam, LaGrange Area; Secretary: Carolyn Cosentino, Homewood/Flossmoor; Treasurer: Trudy Turner, Evanston.

Board members: Victoria Cerinich, Palos-Orland Park Area; Laura Davis, Palatine; Jan Goldberg, LaGrange Area ; Sue Gregory, Glenview-Glencoe; Betty Hayford, Evanston; Sandra Slayton, Homewood-Flossmoor


The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization whose mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government; to increase understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to anyone regardless of gender, race, or ethnic group.


League of Women Voters of Cook County

332 S. Michigan Ave. Suite 634, Chicago, IL 60604