Dennis Deer: Candidate for Cook County Commissioner, 2nd District

WTTW’s 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary is an online resource designed to inform voters about the candidates running for office in the March 20 election.

Candidates were given two minutes to tell voters where they stand on the issues, why they feel they are best qualified and what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year’s Candidate Free Time is produced with and underwritten in part by the League of Women Voters of Cook County.

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About this office: Cook County Commissioner

Seventeen elected Commissioners constitute the Cook County Board, the governing policy board and legislative body of Cook County. The Board sets policy and laws for the county regarding public health and public safety and oversees safety and maintenance of county highways. The Board approves the annual budget and oversees financial integrity of the County.

About this candidate:

Name: Dennis Deer
DOB: 08/07/1972
Residence: Chicago
Family: Commissioner Deer is fortunate to be married to Ms. Barbara Deer. Their twenty-one year marriage is blessed to have three beautiful children, twin boys (Kaleb and Kanaan) and a daughter (Trinity).
Occupation: Cook County Commissioner 2nd District
Political Experience: Comm. Deer’s political experience expands twenty years, both behind the scene and in the forefront as a candidate. He was appointed Commissioner on July 13, 2017 after the untimely death of Commissioner Robert Steele. Comm. Steele was not only a very good friend but a mentor of Comm. Deer for well over 25 years. Comm. Deer served as President of Bobbie Steele’s political organization for 7 years and President of Robert Steele’s political organization for 10 years. Comm. Deer is no stranger to speaking to the people and asking for their support. In 2003 Comm. Deer ran for Alderman of the 24th Ward, he finished third among the candidates.

Candidate Q&A

What is your vision for this office?

Comm. Deer envisions using his office to help promote economic development, advocate for an increase in public safety and create greater access to healthcare. The 2nd County District is very diverse, it includes some of the most disadvantaged areas in the city intertwined with some of the most affluent areas. Comm. Deer desires to help close the economics gaps by creating economic opportunities for the most vulnerable. In addition, he seeks to bridge the divide between the Westside and Southside of the district. In North Lawndale and Englewood, approximately 70 percent of the males 18-45 have been incarcerated. Comm. Deer is a strong proponent of the fact that economic development, through education and entrepreneurship, will help reduce recidivism, thereby improving public safety. Comm. Deer is also interested in discovering new ways to improve healthcare services, with emphasis on mental health and substance abuse services.

What is the most pressing issue facing constituents, and how can you help address it?

The most pressing issue facing the 2nd district is the inability for its citizens to earn a living wage. This is why Comm. Deer envisions using his office to help promote economic development and the advancement of economic prosperity with policies that leverage existing relationships with in the community in order to develop new and meaningful jobs throughout the district.

Candidate Statement

Fiscal responsibility, economic development, healthcare, and public safety. Born and raised in North Lawndale, I know these issues are dear to me and the residents of the 2nd district of Cook County.

As a trained behavioral healthcare professional, and entrepreneur, I have committed my life to my community as a public servant. As Commissioner, I feel it is important for me to help my community bridge the gap between where it is and where it should be. We need to put more people to work. But we cannot have economic prosperity if we, as a society, don’t prepare our young people to be part of the workforce of tomorrow. I plan to help develop an environment where small business and jobs of the future can thrive.

Also, as Commissioner, I’ll advocate for a comprehensive healthcare package that will be available to all citizens of Cook County. I’m a firm believer that it is a right of all to have access to affordable healthcare. I also believe healthcare access should include those in need of mental and behavioral assistance.

If these problems were simple, they would be fixed. Frankly, they are not simple. So, we need leaders who both understand the community and have experience fixing the kinds of problems we face. I have a proven track record of being a leader to help resolve the complex issues that our community faces. I am Dennis Deer, Commissioner of the 2nd district of Cook County, and I’m asking for your support. To learn more please go to Thank you.

See more candidates for Cook County commissioner, 2nd County Board District.

Return to our 2018 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primary

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