RACE: Cook County Board of Commissioners

About the Candidate

Name: Dennis Deer
DOB: Aug. 7, 1972
Occupation: Commissioner, 2nd District
Political Experience: For the last five years, I have served in the role of Commissioner of the 2nd County District. I was appointed in 2017 after the death of my good friend Commissioner Robert Steele. I was fortunate to serve as the chair of his, as well as his mother’s before him, political organization. I subsequently ran and won the following election by over a 10% margin. In addition I am currently the Democratic nominee for Commissioner of the 2nd District as I won the primary this past June. Prior to running for Commissioner, I ran for Alderman of the 24th Ward in 2003, where I came in 3rd place.
Website: deerfordistrict2.com
Twitter: @Commdeerdis2
Facebook: CommissionerDeer
Instagram: Commissionerdennis

Candidate Statement

Hi, my name is Dennis Deer, and I am seeking re-election for Cook County Commissioner of the 2nd District, a position I have had the honor of holding for the past five years.

I was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side and have raised my family here as well. I have a deep and abiding commitment to the residents of the Cook County area, especially in the 2nd District. My priorities always have been equity: Equity in public safety, equity in economic development and equity in health care, including mental health.

I have accomplished a whole bunch in the last five years, including declaring mental health a public health crisis in Cook County, creating the $60 million fund using ARPA dollars. I also declared racism as a public health crisis, creating a chief equity officer at Cook County Health and in Cook County.

Prior to becoming commissioner, my educational background was in behavioral health. I’m a psychologist and I ran a company right in the heart of North Lawndale, helping individuals with their various areas and conditions.

As chair of Health and Hospitals Committee at Cook County, I’ve also helped lead the effort to find a CEO that held minority influence. I declared gun violence a public health crisis, creating a $1 million fund, as well as $36 million in ARPA dollars, to help fight gun violence all over Cook County.

Lastly, I legislated and passed the creation of Cook County Small Business Commission, to help small business owners get their fair share of county dollars.

Now I need your help to help me on election day. Remember the choice is clear, vote for Dennis Deer

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am running for reelection to continue what I started some 5 years ago which includes leading and sometimes co-leading the fight on the county board around public safety, economic development, and healthcare. Although we have had some success, we still have more work to do.

What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?

There are many things that this office does well under my leadership, we have sponsored several pieces of legislation, excellent constituent relations, host town hall mtg almost every month. We also conduct constituent well being checks. Areas of improvement is the need to work harder to insure constituents are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of Cook County Commissioners and insuring that they can easily give input into the process.

What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

My three key pillars, the foundation of the campaign and top constituent priorities is Equity, Public Safety, Healthcare including Mental Health and Economic development. 

My Accomplishments are as follows: Economic Development legislated for Cook County Small Business Supplier and Diversity commission which is made up of small business owners along with county contract compliance. It drafted legislation requiring county to pay minority and women companies within 30 days. Healthcare- appointed as Chair of the Health and Hospitals Committee, as well as sit on the hospital board. 

I led the charge in finding a new minority CEO for the hospital, and declared gun violence a public health crisis, which created a million-dollar fund throughout Cook County Health in this year’s budget. In addition, I also helped to pave the way for $36 million to go to programs in underserved communities to combat violence. By acknowledging Mental Health, as well as lack of services a “Health Crisis” in Cook County helped to pave the way for $60 million dedicated to mental health with ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds. 

I also help declare racism a public health crisis, which help to pave the way for a Chief Equity Officer in Cook County and at the Cook County Health hospital.

What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?

We have taken the steps of producing a weekly newsletter, a website, constituent well being checks, very frequent townhall meetings, we also hold and attend many community events. In addition, every quarter we send out via postal mail and electronic mail a quarterly newsletter of past and upcoming events.