Fifty-eight percent of Cook County Health employees were vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of February, according to a meeting of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System Board of Directors. CEO Israel Rocha Jr. said he was also encouraged by the acceleration of vaccinations in suburban Cook County, noting that nearly one in four residents had at least one dose as of a couple of days before the meeting.
Officials reviewed a proposed update to the Ethics Ordinance at the Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The update builds on changes recommended by the Cook County Board of Ethics in January 2020, and it would clarify the County’s sexual harassment policy and impose new restrictions on nepotism. Its revision to conflict-of-interest rules would weaken the Board of Ethics’s original proposal, however. Amid conflict between the Board of Ethics and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle over the board’s recommendations, Preckwinkle last year chose not to renew the appointments of two board members.
Efforts to build greater awareness of the Chicago Community Land Trust (CCLT) were highlighted at its board meeting. “CCLT is a secret in Chicago,” said Kimberley Rudd, president of Rudd Resources LLC, a certified Minority/Women-owned/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise communications firm contracted to do marketing and branding for the Land Trust. The contract comes as CCLT is creating a stand-alone website, expected to launch May 1.
Following the killing of thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo, the City Council’s Latino Caucus voted to endorse an ordinance backed by the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) and the coalition for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) that would give community members the ability to sit in a civilian commission that has oversight of the police and a decisive voice over CPD policy.
At their meeting, members of the Task Force on Infant and Maternal Mortality Among African Americans Systems Subcommittee discussed how the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services can best implement the task force’s recommendations to improve insurance coverage of the different stages of pregnancy. A bill to expand Medicaid coverage of prenatal and postpartum doula care in Illinois has passed the state legislature and is on Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
The Cook County Democratic Party’s Central Committee voted to endorse a resolution supporting an Elected Representative School Board in Chicago Public Schools, following the passage of related state Senate and House bills on March 22. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has opposed the legislation that would make the currently appointed board elected and more democratic.
Cook County commissioners approved two contracts for work on redrawing the maps for the county’s legislative districts at the meeting of the 2020 Census Redistricting Committee. Delays in census data are expected to create major complications for redistricting at the state level, but consultant Peter Creticos said that preliminary data will enable the county to get started.
Olive-Harvey College will launch a “career in cannabis” certificate after the City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the City for nearly $1.7 million to support the program. At the meeting, Chancellor Juan Salgado also reported a July 6 target for expanding in-person instruction at CCC.
An ad hoc committee on hate crimes against Asian Americans will be formed by the Chicago Commission on Human Relations in collaboration with the mayor’s office. At the Commission’s meeting, members discussed involving representatives from Chicago Police Department districts that cover Chinatown and Uptown, as well as the business community and legal services providers.
Olivia Stovicek and Jacqueline Serrato for City Bureau’s Documenters & South Side Weekly