RACE: Cook County Board of Commissioners

About the Candidate

Name: Kevin B. Morrison
DOB: 1990
Occupation: Full Time Cook County Commissioner for the 15th District. 
Political Experience: Incumbent first elected as Cook County Commissioner for the 15th District in 2018. Former Special Projects Coordinator for Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Regional Organizing Director for the Hillary Clinton Campaign in 2016.
Website: https://www.kevinbmorrison.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kbmorrison15
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kevin4Cook
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kevin4cook/

Candidate Statement

Hello, I am Kevin Morrison and I’m running for a second term as Cook County Board Commissioner of the 15th District to continue fighting for the change our communities need. Cook County has seen much progress, but there is a lot of work left to do.

I am proud to be a Cook County resident, and it’s been an honor to represent the Northwest suburbs that I’ve always called home.

As your commissioner, I will continue fighting for policies that protect our working families, our environment, expand access to county services, enhance equity for all communities, and expand affordable access to health care services. I will always fight for reproductive freedoms, and ensure that those important decisions remain with the individual and their health care provider.

Throughout my career, I’ve strived to help improve the quality of life of those around me. Four years ago, I ran to expand mental health resources in our community. Working hard, I helped lead the effort to create Cook County’s first Department of Mental and Behavioral Health, with a mission of filling all the gaps that exist in the mental and behavioral health space. I’ve fought to make the county the most pro-small business county in the nation, by increasing resources to Cook County’s Business and Economic Development Department and creating a one-stop shop for businesses to access available services, resources and direct assistance. I also co-led the effort to expand language access on the ballot with the VOTE Ordinance, and protect tenants with the Residential Tenant Landlord Ordinance. Recently I led the effort to remove the Cook County Wheel Tax, the first time that a long-standing tax has been removed in recent memory.

I will continue fighting every day for policies that strengthen Cook County and put us on a path to economic recovery. I’ve fought to keep the budget balanced, refused to increase the county’s property tax levy, and fought to reduce burdens from inflation and property taxes.

I’m asking for your support in my bid for re-election because I believe in working every day for a better Cook County. Join me by visiting KevinBMorrison.com. 

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am running for a second term because there is work left to do making Cook County a better place for all our residents. I’ve always known I wanted a career aimed at helping others. Since taking office I have helped expand language access on the ballot, created new protections for suburban renters, and helped provide crucial assistance to keep people housed and businesses open during the pandemic. The county led the effort to mass deploy vaccinations for our residents so life could return back to normal. In a second term, I want to make sure the Department of Mental and Behavioral Health I helped create in January meets its mission in the coming years to fill all the gaps that exist in the mental and behavioral health space.

After creating a one-stop shop for small businesses, where all available resources and assistance can be found, I want to continue the work of making Cook County the most pro-small business county in the nation. Currently I am investigating a path to create a capital grant program to help current businesses grow, and help aspiring entrepreneurs. I want to make sure the county helps all of our communities thrive, and that means access to good paying jobs, affordable healthcare, and seeing the middle class grow once again.

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

If by office you mean the county board generally, we can rightly pride ourselves on fiscal responsibility and strength. We’ve worked to raise the county’s credit rating to A+ while strengthening public safety, healthcare, and other critical services. When I led an initiative to expand language access on the ballot in Cook County from four to twelve languages recently, we were able to do so at a mere fraction of the original cost estimate. We are going to keep delivering top of the line services for our families, and continue to do so without raising taxes.

One area that we’ve identified as needing more attention concerns overcoming barriers to equity and the impact of systemic racism. One of my first actions on the board was to create a commission on equity, bias, and cultural competency. This led to the hiring of the county’s first Equity Director, and the implementation of improved training for county staff. We currently are striving at Cook County to approach every issue that comes our way through an equity lens.

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

The biggest issues facing our constituents right now are economic pressures and rising income equality. Simply put, we want to see wages grow for our residents and working families, and that means boosting small business development, removing the barriers that make crucial investments unaffordable, and expanding our economy by creating new well-paying jobs. As a millennial, I want to change the narrative that we are expected to make less than our parents did. We are putting more funds into the County Bureau of Economic Development and its programs for businesses and communities, including job placement and training, business loans, and more. We created the source, a One-Stop Shop for businesses to access available services, resources, and direct assistance that you can find at https://cookcountysmallbiz.org/

I am going to keep working hard to ensure that Cook County is absolutely the best place in the country to bring and operate your business.

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

My current office operates top of the line constituent services and that is something that I am very proud of. We have an open door policy and any constituent that wishes to meet with me may request a meeting or participate in one of our town halls. When constituents bring issues to us that are not county related, we have a rolodex of contacts to connect them with the necessary people and services at all levels of government. We also send out a newsletter that I am incredibly proud of, keeping our residents up to date with upcoming events and new services. I’m fully committed to remaining accessible to my constituents. My office is always here to help you when you need it. I hope that I’ve been able to serve as a model for great constituent services, and will continue to strive for always going above and beyond for my community.