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CCFB News» November 2021

Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure

11/04/2021 @ 9:00 am | By Bona Heinsohn, CAE

Since 2010, Cook County Farm Bureau® has operated a Political Action Committee (PAC) designed to support candidates who are supportive of the policies, priorities, and mission of the Farm Bureau while promoting the economic and social well-being of farmers and farm-related interests in Cook County.


Since its inception, Cook CFB PAC has made 64 endorsements. Not all incumbents. Not all challengers. Not all major party candidates. But candidates who Governance Committee members felt would make the largest impact in their district and the county.


Members of the Cook CFB PAC Governance Committee are charged with making endorsements. When considering a candidate, members consider the results of the candidates’ interviews, questionnaires, support of Farm Bureau policies, and when applicable, voting record.


In 2012, and again in 2018, members of the Governance Committee met with and endorsed Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioner Debra Shore. During those meetings Shore brought forth a wealth of information and a willingness to work across the table with a wide variety of interested parties.


Throughout her term at MWRD, Shore and her staff joined Cook County Farm Bureau leaders and staff for numerous farm and agricultural visits. She helped lead MWRD’s pursuit to create and subsequently hire an independent inspector general (the district’s first independent inspector general). Shore also has been a leader in the area of soil nutrient reduction, an area that Farm Bureau and Illinois farmers are also deeply concerned with and taking a forward-thinking approach to through innovative new practices, such as interseeding spring crops into cover crops or green tilling cover crops for soil nutrients. In both cases the cover crops helped to keep soil nutrients in the soil rather than in nearby streams or rivers.


Earlier this year, Cook County Farm Bureau submitted a letter of support to President Joe Biden and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan in support of Shore’s appointment to head the EPA Region 5 office in Chicago. Region 5 covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and 35 Native American tribes.


Cook CFB PAC worked in conjunction with Cook County Farm Bureau to build a lasting relationship with Shore and her staff, a relationship that we look forward to continuing as Shore assumes the helm of the largest regional EPA office.


On the note of the PAC, Governance Committee members will be busy in 2022. Both Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and Deborah Sims have announced that they will not seek re-election. Suffredin has served as Commissioner of the 13th district for 20 years. During his tenure, Suffredin piloted the codification of Cook County laws, changed the leadership structure of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and created an Independent Inspector General. Suffredin is a proven leader and a thoughtful and research driven commissioner.


Commissioner Deborah Sims has also announced that she will not seek re-election in 2022. Sims has served since 1994. The fifth district includes parts of the south suburbs as well as part of the southside of Chicago. In a Chicago Sun Times article, Sims said her proudest accomplishments were the creation of health clinics in Robins and Blue Island.


In addition to candidate interviews and endorsements for Cook County Board, Governance Committee members will interview candidates for Cook Countywide offices and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioners. Outcomes of those interviews will be available this spring.


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