Toni Preckwinkle is an American politician. She is currently the Cook County Board President in Cook County, Illinois, in the United States. She became the first woman elected to the President of the Cook County Board, being elected in 2010. She was previously a five-term alderman in the Chicago City Council, representing Chicago’s 4th ward. She is known for championing the controversial sweetened beverage tax, sponsorship of living wage ordinances, concerns about the costs and benefits of the city’s Olympic bid, and her strong stance against police brutality and excessive forces.
In September 2018, she declared her candidacy for Mayor of Chicago. Lori Lightfoot and she have advanced to the runoff election on April 2, 2019.
Inside Content (Biography)
One of the candidates for Mayor of Chicago in the 2019 Mayorial runoff race.
Her support for the contentious sweetened beverage levy, her advocacy of living wage ordinances, her reservations about the costs and benefits of the city’s Olympic bid, and her outspoken opposition to police brutality and excessive force.
Toni Preckwinkle’s Birthplace
Toni Preckwinkle was born on March 17, 1947, in New York City. Her birthplace is in the United States, in the city of St. Paul. She is a resident of the United States.
In St. Paul, she attended local schools. In 1965, she graduated from St. Paul’s Washington High School. Shen then went to the University of Chicago to further her studies. In 1969, she earned her bachelor’s degree. In 1977, she obtained a master’s degree from the University of Chicago.
Toni Preckwinkle’s professional life
She began teaching history in several high schools in the Chicago metropolitan area after completing her schooling.
She was a history teacher for ten years.
In 1985 and 1986, she was President of the Disabled Adult Residential Enterprises (DARE).
She was a member of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence’s board of directors.
She was also the Political Action Director for the Illinois Independent Voters’ Near South Chapter (IVI-IPO).
During and after her 1987 aldermanic election bid, she worked as a planner for the Chicago Department of Economic Growth.
By 1990, she was the executive director of the Chicago Jobs Council.
The Chicago City Council is a body that governs the city
In her first two aldermanic elections for Chicago’s 4th ward in 1983 and 1987, she was defeated by incumbent Timothy C. Evans.
Evans beat her in 1987 by a 77 percent to 21 percent margin.
In a 1991 runoff election, she ultimately beat 17-year incumbent alderman Evans to become Chicago’s fourth ward alderman. The bulk of the candidates who were eliminated supported her.
In February 2007, she was re-elected to a fifth four-year term.
She’s earned a reputation for being forward-thinking.
In 2004, she was one of the two aldermen who voted against the mayor’s proposed city budget.
She has supported much of the mayor’s and his supporters’ legislation, including much of Daley’s annual budget plans and his attempt to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.
As her signature concern, she has pushed for affordable housing set-asides.
She was one of the co-sponsors of the city council’s minimum wage ordinances in 1998 and 2002.
In October 2007, she voted against naming a street in the 4th ward after Saul Bellow.
She also opposed the renaming of “Hugh Hefner Way” to a stretch of street near the original Playboy Club.
She has been a vocal advocate of the city making a settlement in the Jon Burge police torture case. She has been a voice in the struggle for justice for victims of police brutality.
President of the Cook County Board
She declared her candidacy for President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners in January 2009.
She defeated Todd Stroger, the incumbent Board President, in the Democratic Primary.
After beating Roger Keats in the general election, she became Cook County’s first female president.
In August 2012, Dr. Nancy Jones, the former head of the Cook County Morgue, described Preckwinkle as “evil.” She chastised Preckwinkle’s treatment of the Morgue’s administration and budgeting.
She justified Chicago’s decision in August 2012 to decriminalize small-scale cannabis possession by allowing cops to write tickets.
Under Preckwinkle’s leadership, Cook County demanded an easement to pave public green space and the 10th hole of the Canal Shores Golf Course at taxpayer expense in 2018 for the benefit of State Senator John Cullerton and a private developer. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District approved the easement.
Candidacy for Mayor of Chicago in 2019
She declared her candidacy for Mayor of Chicago in the 2019 election in September 2018.
In early 2019, she was linked to Alderman Edward M. Burke. Burke was arrested by the FBI on charges of corruption. He allegedly persuaded Shoukat Dhanani, a fast-food executive, to make an unauthorized $10,000 donation to Preckwinkle’s campaign.
Burke had earned over $100,000, which Preckwinkle returned. Burke should resign from the City Council, she demanded.
In the runoff election to succeed Rahm Emanuel, she will face Lori Lightfoot.
Democratic party roles
She succeeded Evans as the 4th Ward Democratic committeeman in 1992.
She was re-elected as the 4th Ward Democratic committeeman in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.
She was elected Chair of the Cook County Democratic Party by acclamation in April 2018.
She supported Obama for Illinois Senate in 1995-1996, U.S. House in 1999-2000, and U.S. Senate in 2003-2004. She later served as an Obama delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Who was Tony Preckwinkle married to?
Toni Preckwinkle was married to a teacher Zeus Preckwinkle. They got married in 1969. The couple shares two children. They got divorced in 2013.
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