Cook County's First District: a clear choice

Opinion: Columns

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By Ron Lawless

Citizens have a clear choice in the coming primary election. I am running for Cook County commissioner, First District. My candidacy appeals directly to residents, not politicians. I am running based on qualities and experience unmatched by the others. Further, I am the only candidate unattached to a political machine or office holder. Other candidates owe their jobs to political mentors or organizations. I have been independent in word and deed over many years.

My aim is to bring focus to the goals and interests of district residents. Among them, to:

 help diverse communities and advocates analyze problems, discuss new options and draft alternative solutions

 work with residents to find practical solutions to the many problems confronting the county

 find new sources of revenue

 strengthen use of existing resources to develop employment and contracting opportunities among the least advantaged

 work to expand county health care services, including dental care

 work with county officials — and a wide array of other interests. This includes improving every aspect of our criminal justice system, including its costs, effectiveness and fairness.

Since the 1980s, I have responded to requests for assistance to local, grassroots and advocacy organizations. It has been an honor to assist so many working on efforts to improve our neighborhoods and quality of life.

Over many years, I have worked in diverse neighborhoods across the district, helping local groups and agencies. Adapting state and federal rules to local needs and interests has been an important part of my work and interests.

I have gladly responded to local groups from across the district. Their interests were diverse, yet their goals are generally the same: how does government work and how can we advocate for our needs? My work has led me across the district. In Oak Park, these groups include, the NAACP, OPALGA, VMA, League of Women Voters, Black & White Dialogue, advocating for a new main library, the Percy Julian memorial committee and as a member of the Oak Park-River Forest School Improvement team. Others simply lack wide and deep experience. 

Another crucial qualification is political independence. In my two other runs for office, I was opposed by party bosses. My offense? I failed to seek their anointment. Both runs offered a clear choice to residents. That remains my purpose for running now. Other candidates have cultivated their political connections or organization. I am unique in appealing directly to district residents.

So citizens can select a politician who will continue the retiring incumbent's allegiances to political patrons.

Or they can elect me, someone who relies first and foremost on district residents.  I stand prepared to serve you without a training period, allegiance to higher office holders or reliance on political machines. I rely on district residents, people in their neighborhoods and not the least Oak Parkers whom I have served for over 20 years.

Reader Comments

4 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Bill D  

Posted: March 1st, 2014 9:53 PM

You're comparing apples to oranges, Bruce. Lawless got those votes in a two-person general election, not the primary. In the four-person 2010 primary, Oak Parker Ade Onayemi got 7,700 Suburban votes, more than Lawless's 7,080 in the general. And against three opponents as opposed to Lawless's one, Oneyemi received nearly as many votes over all- 10,599 to 11,095. I have nothing against Lawless, but none of that speaks to his strength in the primary, which he chose to avoid last time.

Oak Park business owner  

Posted: March 1st, 2014 6:07 PM

If it weren't for the contribution limits I would give $100,000 to Ron Lawless!

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: March 1st, 2014 5:20 PM

Ron Lawless ran on the Green Party ticket four years ago and received one third of the vote in Oak Park (5000+), over 2000 votes in Proviso Township and 4000 votes in Chicago. There are no bosses in the Green Party. If he receives those votes this time, he will win and we will have a truly independent voice on the Cook County Commission, a voice that speaks to you, the voter and does not bow to the bosses or the corporations.

Sour Grapes  

Posted: February 26th, 2014 11:37 AM

I still don't get why you tout your independence when you showed up seeking the local OP Dems endorsement last weekend. It sounds like you are "unattached" solely because you have not been endorsed. I get the feeling this column would be much different if you had been endorsed. Pick a lane and stay in it next time, dude.

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