Cook County Board considers effort to force mandated minimum wage or lose property tax exemptions

"All hands on deck!" is a call going out to business owners in Cook County about a proposed ordinance that will place "devastating" requirements and lead to substantially increased business costs. 

Ordinance 18-1604 - which will be voted on Wednesday in Financy Committee and possibly move ahead to the full board - will cause employers to pay the county's prevailing wage or take the risk of losing property tax incentives the county allows. Simply another way to subvert Cook County municipalities that chose to opt out of the $15 per hour minimum wage mandate passed by the county board last fall. 

Here's what the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau is telling their members:
To all Chicago Southland Mayors, Village Managers & Economic Development Directors  
The Chicago Southland region stands at the crossroads of being devastated with the loss of potential future economic development opportunities and major job losses!  WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!  The attached letter from the President/CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce gives a summary overview of how the proposed Cook County prevailing wage and apprenticeship ordinance (18-1604) could devastate the Chicago Southland. This needs to be turned around now, and we're asking for your help to OPPOSE, and STOP the passage of this ordinance. We are asking that all Chicago Southland Mayors and Economic Development Directors reach out – the commissioners need to hear your voice expressing strong opposition to proposed ordinance (18-1604) that would otherwise trigger major economic challenges to the Chicago Southland. We must all stand strong on this! Please contact the following Cook County Commissioners (by email and /or personal call) . . . Gregg Goslin:  phone: 312-603-4932 or 847-729-9300  . . . Richard Boykin:  phone: 312-603-4932 or 202-230-8578 . . .
Ed Moody:  phone: 312-603-4216 or 708-389-2125 . . . Stanley Moore:  phone: 312-603-2065 or 773-783-2412 . . . Dennis Deer:  Phone: 312-603-3019 . . .  John Fritchey:  phone: 312-603-6380 . . . Bridget Gainer: Office@bridgetgainer.comphone: 312-603-4210 & 773-561-1010 . . . Jesus Garcia: phone: 312-603-5443 . . . Peter Silvestri:   phone: 312-603-4393 or 312-603-8130 . . . Robert Steele: phone 773-7220140 . . . Deborah Sims:  phone: 312-603-6381 . . . Larry Suffredin:  phone: 312-603-6383 . . . Luis Arroyo, Jr:  phone: 312-603-6386 . . . Jerry Butler:  phone: 312-603-6391 . . . John Daley: phone:312-603-4400  . Jeffery Tobolski:  phone: 312-603-6384 . . . andPresident Toni Preckwinkle: phone: 312 603-6400. THESE COMMISSIONERS NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE, AND YOU CAN DO THAT NOW  - WITH A QUICK EMAIL MESSAGE USING THEIR EMAIL ADDRESS ABOVE!  . . .    
Points: 1. This legislation will substantially increase the cost of doing business in Cook County, and drive business to neighboring counties and other states - primarily Indiana where the environment is more business friendly and less red tape.
2. This proposal would adversely affect our ability to recruit and maintain job growth for in our communities.
3. Without the current tax Incentive program (now in place) “that works”, we will no longer have the ability to compete with neighboring Will County or Indiana where its less costly and easier to navigate the process.
The question to our Cook County Commissioners . . . “Do you want to promote and encourage economic developments and job growth, or impede it which could crush the south suburbs”   The Cook County Prevailing Wage and Mandated Apprentice Requirement (proposed legislation 18-1604) will NOT ADD JOBS – it will hurt growth and investment opportunities. ACTION TO TAKE:  1. We're asking you to send your message in opposition and also spread the word to your members and community stakeholders ( businesses & residents) to get engaged and contact the Cook County Commissioners asking them to vote NO  . . . or “stay”  to slow down the process, and call for a BLUE Ribbon Committee to review the whole. It's important we work with the unions and hopefully we can find common ground on better ways to improve the usefulness of the tax incentive program for the betterment of economic development growth throughout Cook County.  You can also help by attending the Cook County Commission meeting on Wednesday and registering to testify. You can also submit your comments and register your position in opposition.    Time is running out – the vote on the Prevailing Wage and Mandated Apprentice Requirement Amendment is scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th 9:00 A.M. Cook County Office, 118 S. Clark, Chicago.
Please forward this email to your members - requesting their support, and spread word! INSTRUCTIONS to submit your comment:  
  • Go to
  • Click on “Your Government”  upper right hand corner
  • Click on “County Board Meetings” left side
  • Click on “Proceedings of the County Board” left side
  • Click on “Bodies” tab upper left
  • Click “Calendar”, Scroll down and click on “Finance Committee”
  • Click on “Meeting details” for 3/14.18 -  9:00 AM meeting
  • Click on “To comment on an item on this agenda, click here,….”
  • Register your opposition by stating “I am opposed” in the written comment section.