Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has been a dedicated community leader for over two decades, providing independent and progressive leadership founded on experience, know-how and a commitment to practical results.
Toni has the integrity and forward-thinking ideas that are needed to transform county government into a world-class institution of which the people of Cook County can be proud.
Toni stood up to the city’s political machine, and despite failed first attempts, she prevailed. She ran an improbable campaign against the political establishment and was elected 4th Ward Alderman in 1991.
In her 19 years as Alderman, Toni has improved the quality of life of her constituents by providing independent, transparent and accountable leadership. She ended the old patronage model in her ward that awarded jobs based on political clout. She has successfully fought for greater funding for education and affordable housing in her ward. She sponsored the Living Wage and Affordable Housing Ordinances, and was a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit to institute a more racially equitable map of Chicago's ward boundaries. Toni sponsored an ordinance that limits the establishment of payday loan stores and was a lead sponsor of the anti-smoking ordinance. She has not been afraid to stand-up to the status-quo, voting against the parking meter privatization and standing with a small minority in opposition to the 2008 tax increases.
Toni’s independent and progressive leadership earned her the IVI-IPO Best Alderman Award in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2005 and 2008, and the 1997 and 2009 Leon Despres Awards.
Toni was elected Cook County Board President on November 2, 2010. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She taught high school history for ten years before being elected to City Council. She is also a wife and a mother of two children and grandmother of three.