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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released her Policy Roadmap on November 15. The Roadmap is a strategic plan that sets the vision of the Offices under the President and outlines direction and key policy priorities for the next five years. It focuses on six broad policy areas (including criminal justice, economic development, health, sustainable communities, smart infrastructure and open government) that are part of the mandate of the County as well as those that are important to improving the quality of life for all residents.
The theme of racial equity is woven throughout the Roadmap. Chicago is one of the most segregated of the largest metropolitan areas, and a focus on racial equity in local government is critically important to getting to better outcomes in our communities.
The Sustainable Communities goal is to “Support healthy, resilient communities that thrive economically, socially, and environmentally.” In keeping with the Roadmaps’ focus on equity, the sustainable communities section highlights the need to ensure environmental justice for all communities and how to capture the economic potential of sustainability. Key strategies include incorporating environmental impact as a key criterion when making economic development decisions and attracting quality green sector jobs to the region.
Its objectives build on the accomplishments of President Preckwinkle’s administration to date, including:
- Reduced harmful greenhouse gas emissions from County facilities 32% since 2010.
- Created the Green Leadership Team, chaired by staff in the County Board President’s Office, as well as appointed the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer and first Energy Manager.
- Designed Community Solar projects and policies.
- Received the highest total federal brownfield grants amount in the nation in 2018.
- Saw over 1 million tons of construction and demolition debris recycled or reused after passage of Cook County’s Demolition Debris Diversion Ordinance.
- Received awards for environmental leadership, including:
- Environmental Leadership Award from the Illinois Environmental Council, 2017,
- Governor’s Sustainability Award from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, 2015, and
- Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award, 2014.
The Roadmap was created through a public process involving community input meetings and surveys, gatherings of policy experts, and public comment on drafts. The Sustainable Communities chapter was crafted by a large group of experts from both inside and outside County government, co-chaired by Sarah Cardona of the Metropolitan Planning Council and Laura Oakleaf of the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability.
Next steps for the Roadmap include action plans to implement the roadmap, metrics to measure and publicly report progress, and building the County’s capacity to advance racial equity.
A Message from the President
I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. We are working not only to boost sustainability practices throughout County government, but also to join forces with local governments, nonprofits and business, to accomplish more than we could separately in making each of Cook County’s communities sustainable. To further this work, I appointed Deborah Stone as the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and as Director of the Department of Environmental Control. I also recognize that Cook County needs to share ideas and collaborate with a diverse group of community leaders and sustainability experts. In March 2012, I appointed the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council to help lift our vision higher and give us access to best practices. You can meet the Council members and read more about their mission in the “Advisory Council” section of this website. Toni Preckwinkle,Cook County Board President
What is Sustainability?
" Ensuring that there is enough for today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."Deborah StoneChief Sustainability Officer, Cook County Government
Contact UsCook County Chief Sustainability Officer
69 W Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
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