Commissioner Bridget Gainer - January 8 2013 newsletter
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Commissioner Bridget Gainer - January 8 2013 newsletter Commissioner Bridget Gainer - January 8 2013 newsletter Document Transcript

  • News from Commissioner Bridget Gainer Cook County Board – 10th District Cook County Land Bank Update │Pension Reform & Upcoming Town Halls│ Establishing an Advisory Group for Juvenile Temporary Detention Center│ Property Tax Exemptions due February 9 th 2013│Toy Donation to County Health & Hospital System│10th District Donation Drive│Stay ConnectedDear Friends and Neighbors,As we begin a New Year, I want to take a moment to share some updates from the TenthDistrict. As many of you know, since I have been on the Board (almost four years now) I havefocused my efforts in three areas: leading the Countys efforts on foreclosures andvacant/abandoned property; solvency of the pension fund and retirement security for Countyworkers and the growing number of women and young people in jail for non-violent offenses. Asyou will read below, we made great strides in 2012 and I am looking forward to keeping up thesame momentum up in 2013.Establishing a Cook County Land Bank What started as our effort to help individuals navigate the Court system developed into the 2011 Vacant Building Ordinance to increase accountability for banks and improve security and maintenance of vacant buildings, quickly became a County-wide effort to change the focus to economic development using the strategic tools of a land bank. I am happy to announce that after a year of work, outreach and research, President Preckwinkle and I introduced an ordinance creating a Cook County land bank on December 18, 2012. The ordinance was crafted based on the recommendations from the Urban Land Institute, a diverse Land Bank Advisory Group chaired by MarySue Barrett of the Metropolitan Planning Council and guidance from national experts who run land banks in Cleveland, the Twin Cities, and Detroit. In addition, we received feedback from the entire real estateand development spectrum - housing advocates, City of Chicago, suburbs, realtors, banks,servicers and developers - more than 100 stakeholders in all. You can read the ordinance andrecommendations from ULI and the Advisory Board here. The Cook County Finance Committeewill discuss the Ordinance on January 15, 2013 at 11:30 am. To learn more and to monitorprogress of the ordinance, visit the "Land Bank & Foreclosure" by clicking here. 1
  • News from Commissioner Bridget Gainer Cook County Board – 10th District Cook County Land Bank Update │Pension Reform & Upcoming Town Halls│ Establishing an Advisory Group for Juvenile Temporary Detention Center│ Property Tax Exemptions due February 9 th 2013│Toy Donation to County Health & Hospital System│10th District Donation Drive│Stay ConnectedOpenPensions.org: Using Transparency to Find Pension Reform Solutions &Upcoming Neighborhood Pension Town Halls As Chairman of the Countys first Pension Committee I’ve launched OpenPensions.Org, the only open data website on Pensions in the State. The information about the state of our Fund, how we got here and how we move to a solution is available to all: retirees, current employees and taxpayers. Since its launch, OpenPensions.Org has been visited by over 1,000 people allowing a real virtual conversation as we track the States Veto session and possible pension reform. Visit OpenPensions.Org today and follow OpenPensions.Org on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, and with the help of my colleagues throughout the district, we will be bringing the conversation to you with two upcoming City, County, & State Neighborhood Pension Town Halls:  Join me, Alderman Ameya Pawar and Representative Ann Williams this Thursday, January 10, 2013, 6:30pm at St. Benedict High School (1st Floor Library, 3911 N Bell Ave).  Join me, Alderman Harry Osterman, Representative Kelly Cassidy and Senator Heather Steans on Wednesday, January 16th 2012, 6:30pm at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church 5649 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago IL. 2
  • News from Commissioner Bridget Gainer Cook County Board – 10th District Cook County Land Bank Update │Pension Reform & Upcoming Town Halls│ Establishing an Advisory Group for Juvenile Temporary Detention Center│ Property Tax Exemptions due February 9 th 2013│Toy Donation to County Health & Hospital System│10th District Donation Drive│Stay ConnectedEyes & Ears at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center On October 2, 2012 I successfully passed an ordinance to establish an advisory board that will provide oversight and recommendations on the polices and operations of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. There are between 300 and 400 young people resident at the JTDC on any given day, some as young as 10 years old. Since 2007, when the County was sued by the ACLU and others for deplorable conditions at the detention center, the JTDC has been under the auspices of the Federal Court. It will remain under the stewardship of the Court until thefacility is in substantial compliance with the Court order. Once the JTDC is deemed to be insubstantial compliance, the administration will transfer to the Office of the Chief Judge of theCircuit Court of Cook County. The purpose of the advisory baord is to ensure oversight exists sothat we will never again forget the purpose and mission of the JTDC: to act "in loco parentis" inplace of the parents, for young people awaiting trail, who may also need mental, physical andeducational services. There is safety in numbers when it comes to protecting young people in theCountys care. Creating an Advisory Board at the Juvenile Detention Center will not only preventbad behavior from again taking root, but it can bring the efforts of the best and brightest in ourcommunity to the Detention Center. If you are interested in serving on this board please contactour office for additional information. For more information or to read the ordinance, click here.Property Tax Exemptions due by Feb 6th 2013 – Reminder these must be filled Last year, my office assisted hundreds of constituents across the 10 th District with their property tax bills, by ensuring all homeowners were receiving exemptions they were eligible for. As we begin the new year, the Cook County Assessor’s Office will be releasing property tax exemption applications – the most popular of them being the Senior Citizen, Senior Freeze, Homeowner, and Long-Time Occupant. Remember, you must apply for every exemption youare eligible for every year. If your exemption application is successfully processed, the savingsin the form of a deduction on your second-installment property tax bill will be issued in thesummer. All completed exemption applications must be submitted to the Assessor’s Officeby Wednesday, February 6th 2013. You may access all exemption applications on the CookCounty Assessor’s website by clicking here. Need assistance or have questions? Please don’thesitate to contact my office at 312-603-4210 or email Info@BridgetGainer.com. Also, visit the“Property Taxes” page of my website where additional resources like the my “Citizens’ Guide toProperty Tax Bills” and “Citizens’ Guide to Appealing Property Tax Assessments” are available. 3
  • News from Commissioner Bridget Gainer Cook County Board – 10th District Cook County Land Bank Update │Pension Reform & Upcoming Town Halls│ Establishing an Advisory Group for Juvenile Temporary Detention Center│ Property Tax Exemptions due February 9 th 2013│Toy Donation to County Health & Hospital System│10th District Donation Drive│Stay ConnectedChicago Toy & Game Group Donation to County Health & Hospital System On Tuesday, November 13th 2012 - Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Health & Hospital CEO Dr. Ram Raju, representatives of the Chicago Toy & Game Group and the Cook County Pediatrics Department and I joined together to announce the donation of hundreds of toys to the young children and infants who were being treated at Stroger Hospital. As we celebrated the holidays with our family and friends, it was also the time to think of children more than ever and I am proud to be part of a group who wants to make a difference for these young children atCounty. I would like to thank President Preckwinkle for her leadership, Dr. Raju for leading thehealth system which is critical to so many Cook County residents and families and the Toy andGame Group for supplying the toys for these children. On the same day as the announcement, Ijoined President Precwinkle and Dr. Raju as we visited some of pediatrics departments patients -giving away toys to each child we visited.10th District Donation Drive for the Women’s Justice Services Program As I continue to work on larger policy changes at the County level, its important not to lose sight of the fact that there are many ways to help right now. One of the needs for Women’s Justice Service Program at the jail are travel size toiletries like shampoo, soap, lotion and toothpaste. So if you are like me and find these bottles in drawers, suitcases and around the house, please consider donating them. You may drop off your donations at any of the seven participating Aldermanic Offices and five Chambers of Commerce during normal business hours until January 31, 2013. For more information, click here. 4
  • News from Commissioner Bridget Gainer Cook County Board – 10th District Cook County Land Bank Update │Pension Reform & Upcoming Town Halls│ Establishing an Advisory Group for Juvenile Temporary Detention Center│ Property Tax Exemptions due February 9 th 2013│Toy Donation to County Health & Hospital System│10th District Donation Drive│Stay ConnectedStay Connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Everyblock One of the best ways to keep in touch and to learn more about what Im working on at the County Board is to follow updates posted on Facebook, Twitter, and Everyblock. Be sure to follow me today! Sincerely, Bridget Gainer Cook County Commissioner - 10th District (312) 603-4210 Commissioner@BridgetGainer.com www.BridgetGainer.com Facebook.com/CommissionerGainer Twitter: @BridgetGainer 118 N Clark St #567, Chicago IL 60602 5