Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/5)

July 5, 2023


Pritzker names Dr. Atiera Coleman as Illinois Chief Diversity Officer

On Friday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Dr. Atiera Coleman as Illinois’ Chief Diversity Officer. She will assume her role on July 17.

Dr. Coleman joins the Pritzker administration having most recently held the position of Equity Manager for Rock County, Wisconsin, where she led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Previously, she served as the Associate Dean of Student Success, Equity, and Community at Beloit College, supervising the college’s Federal TRIO Program, serving on the Anti-Racism Liaison team, and implementing the college’s Becoming Better Plan.

Coleman will coordinate DEI efforts across state agencies and serve as a liaison for all DEI-related resources.


Gov. Pritzker Names Precious Brady-Davis to Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board: “Today Governor JB Pritzker announced his appointment of Precious Brady-Davis to the board of commissioners for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago. Brady-Davis currently serves as Associate Regional Communications Director at the Sierra Club and has an extensive history as an advocate and nonprofit coordinator. She will fill the currently vacant seat on the nine-member board of commissioners,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker signs 155 bills into law: “On Friday, June 30th, Gov. JB Pritzker signed 155 bills into law. A bill action list can be found here,” by Capitol Fax.

Darren Bailey announces bid for downstate Illinois congressional seat held by Trump-backed Republican: “Darren Bailey, a GOP farmer from Xenia, will challenge five-term incumbent Rep. Mike Bost in the 12th District, pitting two far-right Republicans against one another,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Facing primary challenge, Carroll won’t seek reelection to 57th District House seat: “State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, a Democrat from Northbrook, announced Monday he won’t seek reelection to a fourth full term in the Illinois House next year,” by the Daily Herald.

State of Illinois Revises Abortion Data Collection to Better Protect Patient Privacy in Wake of Dobbs: “The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is revising how it collects and reports data on abortions in Illinois in order to protect the privacy and safety of those who receive abortions and abortion providers,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough seeks end to historic anti-patronage case despite charges that she ‘stonewalls’: “As Chicago, state, and even other Cook County officials have been freed in recent years of federal court oversight to ensure hiring is done properly in their offices, Yarbrough has been the final holdout in the more-than-half-century struggle by attorney Michael Shakman to wring politics out of hiring, firing and promotions in government,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Cook County continues to lose Black residents, along with other big cities: “Cook County is home to the largest number of Black residents of any county in the U.S. But while the Black population continues to drop here and in other traditional Black enclaves, such as New York and Los Angeles, it’s growing in the Houston and Dallas areas. The number of Black residents in Cook County fell 2% between 2021 and 2022 to 1.26 million, according to recent U.S. Census estimates. The Black population in Harris County, Texas, which is home to Houston, rose 2% to 1.03 million,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Mayor Johnson announces new appointments to Chicago Board of Education

Mayor Brandon Johnson today announced six new appointees to the Chicago Board of Education. According to the press release, the appointments are new Board President Jianan Shi, and Board members Mariela Estrada, Mary Fahey Hughes, Rudy Lozano, Michelle Morales, and Tanya Woods. Today’s appointees join current Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland, who will now serve as vice president.

The names announced today mark the last mayoral appointees before the transition to an elected representative school board beginning in 2024. Their term begins July 18.

Mayor Johnson announces Amy Crawford to serve as First Assistant Corporation Counsel

Mayor Johnson announced Amy Crawford will serve as First Assistant to the City of Chicago’s Corporation Counsel. Crawford will join the Law Department on July 17 and will work with Acting Corporation Counsel Mary Richardson-Lowry, who was appointed as the City’s chief lawyer in June.

Crawford has served as the Deputy Chief of the Civil Action Bureau for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and as the Deputy Director for the Cook County Department of Human Rights and Ethics. Prior to her work in the public sector, Crawford was a litigation partner with Kirkland & Ellis. Crawford holds a juris doctor degree from University of Chicago Law School and a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from the University of Notre Dame.

Mayor Johnson appoints first-ever Deputy Mayor of Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that Beatriz Ponce de León will serve as Chicago’s first-ever Deputy Mayor of Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights.

“Beatriz is an excellent addition to our team, and I am looking forward to working with her to provide these vital and culturally vibrant communities the resources they need to thrive in our city,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Together, we will ensure that Chicago embraces immigrants and asylum seekers, remains a safe, welcoming home to all, and that anyone seeking sanctuary in our city can have a prosperous life and future.”

Most recently, Ponce de León worked for the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), where she held several roles, including Assistant Director of the Division of Family and Community Services, Chief of Staff for the Division of Mental Health, and Healing Illinois Project Manager.


Chicago pension debt rises to $35 billion as mayor hunts for fix: “Chicago’s pension burden climbed last year after the city’s retirement funds lost money because of volatile markets, deepening the longstanding fiscal woes for new Mayor Brandon Johnson. The net pension liability across the city’s four retirement funds rose about 5% to $35.4 billion as of Dec. 31 from $33.7 billion a year earlier, according to Chicago’s annual financial report posted to the city’s website,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

List of candidates for new Chicago police superintendent narrowed to six semifinalists: “Six people have been selected as semifinalists in the search for the city’s next permanent police superintendent, sources familiar with the process told the Tribune Thursday. Five of the six have direct ties to the Chicago Police Department. The sixth is the chief of police in Madison, Wisconsin, who was previously an employee of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability,” by the Chicago Tribune.

NASCAR Chicago Street Race draws 4.795 million viewers on NBC, 9.29 rating in Chicago: “It was the network’s most-watched NASCAR Cup Series race in six years, since Indianapolis in 2017, which drew 5.647 million viewers,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


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