Cook County Transparency Initiative
The Cook County Transparency Initiative provides citizens of the County access to transition reports, commissioner reports and research about attempts to reform Cook County. Its purpose is to improve the public's access to informationabout County programs. This webpage also includes links to Civic Federation research about the County and its associated bodies of government such as the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
This resource collects in one place information that is not always readily accessible to the public. As more information becomes available, it will be added to the Cook County Transparency Initiative webpage.
Transition reports are composed at the behest of incoming Cook County Board Presidents to guide their actions as they assume office. These reports outline specific ways in which the incoming elected official improve County operations and service delivery. Past Cook County Board Presidents John Stroger Jr., Bobbie Steele and Todd Stroger convened teams to write transition reports. While Todd Stroger never publically released the final version of his transition report, former President Bobbie Steele’s report offered ideas for improving budget and finance, health and hospitals, contracts and procurement and intergovernmental affairs operations.
The transition report of recently-elected Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also included here. President Preckwinkle's transition report features sections on governance, economic development, the Forest Preserve District, criminal justice and the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
The Civic Federation assisted in the creation of both Bobbie Steele and Todd Stroger's transition reports.
- Click here to read the transition report of Toni Preckwinkle, who assumed office as Cook County Board President on December 6, 2010
- The transition report of Todd Stroger, who served as Cook County Board President from December 5, 2006 to December 5, 2010, was never publicly distributed. Click here to read the Chicago Tribune's take on why the report is not accessible to the public.
- Click here to read the transition report of Bobbie Steele, who served as Cook County Board President from August 1, 2006 to December 4, 2006.
- Click here to read the transition report of John Stroger, who served as Cook County Board President from December 5, 1994 to August 1, 2006.
When taking office in 2002, current Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin commissioned his own transition report to identify priorities and methods by which to reform Cook County government.
Former Cook County Commissioner and current U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley produced numerous efficiency and reform reports during his tenure on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The reports ranged in topic from improving Cook County government in general to more specific reforms for the Cook County Forest Preserve District and Sheriff’s Office. General Cook County improvement reports included the Reinventing Cook County Government report series published in 2003, Fiscal Strategies for Cook County in 2001 and the Greening Cook County, a sustainability roadmap for the County published in 2005.
Congressman Quigley also published a fiscal strategies report for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. For the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Congressman Quigley’s office issued reports on the District’s mission, general fiscal strategies and land acquisition strategies for the Lake Calumet area.
- Reinventing Cook County — Part I
- Reinventing Cook County — Part II
- Make No Small Plans: The Cook County Forest Preserve District and Lake Calumet
- Fiscal Strategies for Cook County: 2001
- Fiscal Strategies for the Cook County Sheriff's Office
- Fiscal Strategies for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County
- Greening Cook County
Civic Federation Reports
The Civic Federation has done extensive research on issues in Cook County. Below are links to the Federation's analyses of Cook County's proposed budgets and research on reforms to the County's operations and structure.
- The Cook County Modernization Report
- Budget Analyses
- Cook County Cost Control Task Force Report
- Forest Preserve District Separation
Cook County Health and Hospitals System
In October 2007 Cook County released a report produced by a ten-member Review Committee that analyzed the critical issues facing the Cook County Bureau of Health Services. The report began by restating the Bureau’s mission and then analyzed employee morale, the current governance structure, financial health and general credibility of the system in the community.
- Cook County Health and Hospitals System Strategic Plan
- Report of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services Review Committee
- Health Policy Report, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Institute for Healthcare Studies