Chicago Roundup
We Already Have President Obama’s National Health System. No One Is Refused Treatment: Todd H. Stroger

By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi


Friends of Todd H. Stroger, President Cook County Board of Commissioners, hold a Community Round Table Luncheon at Holiday Inn, Skokie

Chicago : Friends of Todd H. Stroger, President Cook County Board of Commissioners, held a Community Round Table Luncheon at Holiday Inn Skokie last Sunday. Speaking at the luncheon President Stroger strongly defended his raise in sales tax for Cook County. He said it is only a cent to a dollar and a dollar for every hundred but one has to see what it is bringing to the communities in return. Most of the money goes to health care and when we look at the big picture and how much we do for the public safety we find that most of the things that we do, we couldn’t touch if we wanted to. We couldn’t get rid of the jail, we couldn’t get rid of the police officers, and we couldn’t get rid of the court rooms. The health system is always in jeopardy.

He said half of the people don’t have insurance. They depend on the County Health System. He said other larger health systems don’t accept such patients and send them to the County. So the burden is on the County. He said as President Obama is fighting for national health care the County has universal health care right here. Any County citizen can go to a clinic or to a hospital without being refused treatment. He claimed that was the fight he had and described it as a good fight. He further claimed that the Cook County Health system gets a million visits in a year. He said that’s what he is proud of and is doing his best to ensure that everyone is treated in a way that he remains healthy and all of us have a chance to do business with the County and that all of us can look at the County and see people right from their neighborhoods making the County work.

Mentioning the Haiti Relief he said that the County is helping with nurses, dollars, and equipment while doctors are also planning to go and volunteer. He said he is giving time off to the employees to go to Haiti and help those who are really in need. Responding to a question about assistance in the mortgage for low income people from Dr. Shahid Siddiqi he said that his government has initiated a program with Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). He said the County has been working with them for sixteen months. He said that this organization works by talking to your bank or financial institution, whoever is the lender to work on your mortgage. In these sixteen months the County was able to reduce 25,000 mortgages by using this program. He said we are still working and we want more people to derive the benefit from this program.

Faisal Abbasi, Stroger’s Liaison for South Asian Community, moderated the meeting. He thanked the community members who came to attend the event. A flat TV, some gold jewelry and iPods were also given away by raffle. The raffle was done by Steven James Bernstein, candidate for Judge 9 th subcircuit.

Reception to support Steve Bernstein for Judge of the 9th Judicial Subcircuit


Reception to support Steve Bernstein for Judge of the 9th Judicial Subcircuit

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Ohio Statehouse majority Whip Representative Jay Goyal along with other supporters held a fundraising reception for Steve Bernstein.

Addressing the gathering Congresswoman Schakowsky commended the community work that Steve Bernstein had been doing and also pointed out the diverse support he has come to enjoy. She said electing Steve Bernstein for Judge of the 9 th Judicial Subcircuit is like placing a friend of the Asian community in the judicial system. She said Steve was an honest, sincere and fair individual and would be a good addition to the court system.

Representative Jay Goyal from Ohio State asked the community to support Steve Bernstein and urged the Asian community to be active in politics and get counted.

Steve Bernstein thanked all the supporters and asked people to punch # 195.

Press Conference of Toni Preckwinkle at A1 Carpet on Devon Avenue


Press Conference of Toni Preckwinkle at A1 Carpet on Devon Avenue

“If I become the president of Cook County Board of Commissioners I will repeal the sales tax increase.” This was stated by Toni Preckwinkle at a crowded Press Conference organized by Salman Aftab of AMT and Balvinder Singh of Indian Democratic Forum.

Introducing Toni Preckwinkle, Salman Aftab said that the Indo-Pakistani community in Chicago “support you because they believe you will bring integrity to the County Government.” He said she is going to bring more jobs than other candidates. He said the American Muslim Task Force had endorsed Toni Preckwinkle for president of Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Addressing the Indo-American Media, Toni Preckwinkle said that she has been Alderman of the 4 th ward since 1991. She informed that she was a teacher by profession and teaches history to High School students. She said what she learned during these years as alderman was that if you have vision and you are willing to work hard you can accomplish anything in the world. She said what she wants to accomplish as president of Cook County is:

  • The elimination of rest of the Stroger sales tax. She said it is hard on working families and it is hard on businesses to have the highest sales taxes in country.
  • Make permanent the independent governance of the healthcare system. County health system should be separated from the patronage and political influence that has so damaged us in the past.
  • We need to focus on violent criminals and try to give non-violent offenders an opportunity through diversion programs and alternate sentencing to turn their lives around. This will save money and will give a social benefit to the non-violent offenders.
  • Work with business communities like this one to try to see what the Cook County Government can do to support the job growth in the County.

She said she has been endorsed by Sun Times and Chicago Tribune. She mentioned their opinion about her that she is tough, honest and hardworking and she is the only one among the four candidates of the Democratic Party who is really going to bring change to Cook County.

Late,r responding to questions she further clarified her agenda. To a question on how she would meet the deficit created by repealing the sales tax she said she was not doing it right away but she would look at the expenditure and income for a while before deciding. She said she would look into how to make sensible reductions by eliminating unnecessary expenses and waste. She said she will try to get federal and state grants to meet that deficit.

Speaking at this press conference Steve Bernstein, candidate for the Judge of 9 th Sub-circuit Court, said Toni Preckwinkle’s race is more important than his to the communities. He said he is honored to have the support of the Muslim Task Force, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Alderman Joe Moore of the 49 th Ward. He said he was a very strong supporter of Toni Preckwinkle and hoped that she would be elected.

Alderman Joe Moore also commended the South Asian community for hosting the event and said that Toni Prechwinkle will bring diversity to the Cook County Government. He said that he was so close to the Indo-Pakistani community that he could feel that he was not only the Alderman of 49 th Ward but the Alderman of every one of those communities wherever they lived. He said using this attachment and connection he wanted to ask everyone in the Ind-Pak community to support and vote for Toni Preckwinkle.

Balvinder Singh thanked the candidate and the media for making the event successful.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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