I’m Ronald Lawless, candidate for Cook County commissioner. Over the years, I have worked throughout both Austin and Oak Park as a community activist and educator. Presently, I am a member a number of community organizations, including the Oak Park and River Forest League of Women Voters, and the Oak Park and River Forest High School improvement team. In the past, I have worked with West Side health advocacy organizations and the Oak Park NAACP, among others.

As an educator, I work closely with parents, schools and districts to understand federal education laws. I work with them to develop local implementations that make sense. My expertise is in the area of parental involvement. I continue to believe that the key to a child’s education is parental involvement.

There are several reasons I am running for Cook County commissioner, 1st district. Most important: I believe we need transparency in government. A government of the people provides timely and appropriate information for citizens’ meaningful participation in the decision-making process.

As a representative, I promise to be engaged and involved in your projects and issues involving Cook County government. My goal is to ensure you that you have a representative who is responsive to you, someone who respects your interests and can respond to your concerns.

My goals for Cook County government are simple and realistic. We must work diligently and consistently toward a balanced budget and eliminate wasteful spending. It is critical to facilitate community involvement in the decision-making processes, including programs as well as budgets.

I believe that a key reason we are in financial trouble is simple: lack of resident input. Citizens are asked to foot the bills of government’s decisions but are rarely involved in the decision on how the money should be spent. I believe in taking a number of steps to insure input for residents. This includes setting up citizen advisory boards to get input as to how government funds should be spent and what programs to keep, change or cut. My job as commissioner is to seek out resources, develop options and consider input by residents to county activities.

President Lincoln once said that government should be by the people, of the people and for the people. Those words are reasons why I want to be your commissioner of the 1st district.

I ask you to punch 78 on Nov. 2. With your help, we may imagine and create the possibilities of a county government that works for you.

Ronald Lawless
Oak Park

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