11th District: This Daley says he wants to continue to provide Cook County Board services
By Joe Boyle
John Daley, the longtime Cook County
Board commissioner from the 11thDistrict,
said he takes nothing for granted as he approaches an election on Tuesday, Nov.
“I’ve always had an opponent,” said
Daley, who has served as a board commissioner since 1992 and is currently the
chairman of the Finance and Audit committees. “So, this is not new. We have had
several challenges to the county, but we were able to pass a balanced budget
Daley will have a new opponent this
fall in Republican Steven S. Graves, a real estate broker who specializes in
investment and property taxation, as well as commercial and residential
Described as someone who can work
well with Republicans as well as Democrats, Daley, 71, said that it is the only
way to get things done. His previous experience as state representative from
1985 to 1989 and the Illinois Senate from 1989 to 1992 provided much needed
legislative experience when he became a member of the Cook County Board.
“It was very helpful working
downstate,” said Daley during an interview last Thursday at the 11thWard Democratic Ward
office. “I served under Michael Madigan, Phil Rock and Republican governors.
They had partisan objectives, of course, but they knew they had to get
something done. I also had a chance to work with (state Rep.) Mary Flowers and
Lee Daniels. We need to compromise and to work with everyone.”
While his years in the legislature
were an asset when Daley was voted into serve on the County Board after Charles
Bernadini resigned, his last name also carries political clout.
His father, Richard J. Daley, served
as mayor of Chicago from 1955 until his death on Dec. 20, 1976. His older
brother, Richard M. Daley, was elected mayor in 1989 and served longer than his
father, 22 years, before retiring in 2011. Before that, he served as Cook
County State’s Attorney for nine years as well as in the state Senate. Bill
Daley, 70, the younger brother, served as secretary of commerce in the
President Clinton administration and as chief of staff for President Obama.
Another brother, Michael, is a prominent attorney.
John Daley said that when his father
came home from work, conversations about politics rarely took place.
“We had a very private life and we
would walk to school just like everyone else,” he said. “My mother deserves
most of the credit for that. My dad would always tell us that don’t think you
are better than anyone else. Just try and help people.”
Daley did recall what was probably
the worst day his father encountered as mayor.
“The worst day when he was mayor was
the Our Lady of Angels School fire,” Daley recalled about the Dec. 1, 1958,
blaze that killed 92 children and three nuns on the city’s West Side. “When he
came in we were in the kitchen. You could smell all the smoke on his clothes.”
Daley said his parents never pushed
any of his brothers or sisters to go into politics. In Daley’s situation, he
said it was his decision to enter the political arena.
“I have three sisters who became
public school teachers,” Daley said. “Teachers are very important and they
affect everyone. We were driven by what our dad did. And for me, I was excited
to go into politics. I knew I would really enjoy this.”
And Daley said he still enjoys being
a Cook County commissioner. He has also served as the 11thWard
Democratic committeeman since 1980, a position he was appointed to when Rich
Daley ran for Cook County State’s Attorney.
Daley’s largest obstacle at times is
conveying to people what the Cook County Board of Commissioners do. Daley
reminds constituents that the board’s priorities are to assure residents to
have access to affordable health services and provide for highway and road
Board members were drawn more into
the spotlight after the ill-received beverage tax that Cook County Board
President Toni Preckwinkle was able to establish when she provided the
tie-breaking vote for its passage. However, many residents opposed the
ordinance and received support from some board members and unions. Due to the
growing opposition, Preckwinkle abolished the measure.
Daley was initially for the beverage
tax but his office soon received over 1,000 phone calls in opposition. He then
informed Preckwinkle that he no longer could support the measure. The decision
was then made that the commissioners look into other ways of cutting the
Looking forward to another term,
Daley said that plenty of work has to be done. To cut budgetary costs, Daley
looks at ideas to combine certain offices. He also likes to interact with the
public because that feedback allows him to look into specific projects.
Daley was given a lot of credit to
introducing turning lanes for traffic at heavily congested Central Avenue and
Southwest Highway in Oak Lawn, adjacent to St. Gerald Elementary School. Oak
Lawn Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd)
said Daley was able to get the funding to modernize the traffic lights at the
corner that was once dangerous for children walking home from nearby St.
Gerald. He was also able to secure funding for new landscaping along the
“We do a lot of county outreach
development like we did in Oak Lawn,” Daley said. “We worked with Alex and the
mayor (Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury). We have a great relationship with Larry
Deetjen (the Oak Lawn village manager) and (Evergreen Park Mayor) Jim Sexton,
too. You know everything is local. The county likes to work with the
And that’s why Daley usually answers
his own phone calls. “People are surprised about that,” he said.
Daley admits that the current
situation at the Cook County Board is “unique.” Preckwinkle has announced that
she is going to run for mayor of Chicago. Board Commissioner Jesus “Chuy”
Garcia is considering a run for mayor. And his brother, Bill, has also said he
is going to run for mayor.
Is having his brother running for
mayor going to make working with Preckwinkle awkward? Daley said it will not.
“I have a very good working
relationship with the president,” Daley said “I work very hard with the
president. She understands that. It should not affect our budget talks.”
However, Daley said he would actively
campaign for his brother’s bid for mayor.
Daley and his wife, Mary Lou, have
three children: John, Christine and Michael. He is a graduate of St. Ignatius
College Prep and Loyola University. He is a lifelong resident of Bridgeport and
he said that the neighborhood has a close-knit quality and is more diverse.
If Preckwinkle were to become mayor
of Chicago, would Daley be interested in becoming Cook County Board president?
“It’s always something you would take
a look at,” Daley said. “Right now, I would like to just concentrate on working
on a budget with the president. But if a vacancy would occur then I would
explore it at that time. But that’s a long way off and I would rather
concentrate on working on what we have to do right now.”
Obituaries June 30, 2022
VINCE BLACK Vince Black, age 52, passed away May 22. Survived by his daughter, Mary “Gabby”, her mother AnneMarie and step-daughters Samantha, Stephanie and Alyssa; dear godfather of Jackson Wertz; fond brother of the late Lance Corporal Larry (the late Joyce) Thompson. Beloved friend of Karen and devoted friend to many. Member of the Carpenters…
Farewell and thanks to Nathan, Connor and David
By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 As June ends, we at St. Rita of Casica Parish and St. Clare of Montefalco Shrine sadly say goodbye to Nathan Fernandes, Connor Fitzmaurice and David Marshall. The three are pre-novices discerning a vocation to the priesthood in…
Grateful for the freedoms we have
By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 Happy Birthday USA! I am so grateful for the freedom we have in our wonderful country. I hope those who choose to celebrate our freedom by lighting illegal fireworks will be arrested by our police, who I hope will have the…
Graduations are so bittersweet
By Laura Ortega Your correspondent in Greater Ashburn 4214 W. 82nd Place • (773) 627-6679 Congratulations to the Class of 2022! It’s bittersweet to see everyone graduate, especially when you can remember those same individuals graduating kindergarten not so long ago. A huge congratulations to my daughter, Liliana, who graduated eighth grade. I look forward…
Peck playlot taking shape
By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 “It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that makes a great difference in our lives” – Fred Rogers. Who remembers the play lots of the 60s and 70s? Can you recall…
A mom’s heart broke, and now her children are broken-hearted
By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] A mother’s heart, filled with love for her children, is unique. I understand that in a way only other moms can. I thought about that the other day as I read the profoundly sad story of Garfield Ridge mom Gisela “Chella” Ruiz.…
Kantas wins bid for 4th Subcircuit vacancy
By Carol McGowan Nick Kantas came out on top in the Democratic primary for Cook County judge in the 4th Subcircuit. He won over Amanda Moira Pillsbury in the race to fill the Gavin vacancy. Kantas had 12,652 votes to 10,393 for Pillsbury with 99 percent the vote in (218 of 221 precincts), according to…
Terry Carr elected as Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson
By Carol McGowan It was quite a celebration at JC’s Pub in McCook Tuesday night as the results came in for the race for Lyons Township Republican Committeeperson. McCook Mayor Terrance “Terry” Carr claimed victory in the race against GOP incumbent Catherine (Katie) Justak, by a 56-44% ratio (3,008-2,352) with all 69 precincts reporting. At…
Cardenas ousts Wendt in Dem primary for Board of Review
By Bob Bong Palos Heights attorney and Realtor Tammy Wendt was denied a second term Tuesday night when she was defeated by Chicago Ald. George Cardenas in the Democratic primary for the Board of Review 1st District. Wendt said the party had been out to get her since she surprisingly prevailed in 2020 over endorsed…
Aguilar wins nomination in 16th Cook County District
By Bob Bong Incumbent Frank Aguilar held off a tough challenge from Letty Garcia in the Democratic primary for the 16th Cook County Board District Tuesday night. With all but one precinct reporting, Aguilar held a 1,326 vote lead over Garcia. His 8,615-7,289 win was tantamount to re-election as no Republicans filed to run in…
UPDATED Bailey wins GOP nomination to challenge Pritzker
By JERRY NOWICKI & PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] State Sen. Darren Bailey, who gained statewide notoriety challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s pandemic executive order authority in court, will be the incumbent’s challenger in the November general election. As of about 9 p.m. Tuesday, Bailey had carried over 55 percent of the GOP vote from…
CAPITOL RECAP: Pritzker to call special session after Roe v. Wade overturned
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion overturning…
6 Republicans vie to unseat Pritzker
By PETER HANCOCK & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Republican voters in Illinois will choose from six candidates to challenge incumbent Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the upcoming June 28 primary. The field includes a conservative farmer and state lawmakers who is the recent polling frontrunner, the mayor of Illinois’ second largest…
Candidate interview: Alexi Giannoulias looking to reclaim statewide office
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] Illinois voters might know Alexi Giannoulias as the state’s treasurer from 2007 to 2011, or they might know him as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate who lost to Republican Mark Kirk in 2010. He’s now looking to get back into public life as he runs for secretary…
Pritzker to call special session on reproductive rights
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker will call a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to focus on legislation to strengthen women’s access to abortion and other reproductive health services in Illinois. Pritzker made that announcement Friday, just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released…
Candidate interview: Anna Valencia running for secretary of state
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago City Clerk…
Republicans see opening in secretary of state race
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – For the first time in nearly a quarter century, there is an open race for the office of Illinois secretary of state as incumbent Democrat Jesse White prepares to retire, and Republicans hope that will give them an opportunity to pick up a statewide elected office.…
Candidate interview: Secretary of state hopeful David Moore
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] This story is part of Capitol News Illinois’ coverage of the race for secretary of state ahead of the Tuesday, June 28 primary. We’re reaching out to all of the candidates this week to discuss their policy positions and plans for the office should they be elected. Chicago…
Tom Cullerton sentenced to 1 year in prison for embezzlement
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A federal judge in Chicago handed down a one-year prison sentence Tuesday for a former state senator who once chaired the Senate Labor Committee. Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of embezzlement for receiving salary and benefits from…
CAPITOL RECAP: State Supreme Court again declines to rule on FOID Act
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – In a 4-3 decision with a blistering dissent from the Republican minority, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to rule on a question of whether Illinois Firearm Owners Identification Act is unconstitutional. It was the second time the case of the People v. Vivian Brown came before the court and…