RACE: Cook County Board President

About the Candidate

Name: Richard R. Boykin
DOB: Sept. 9, 1968
Occupation: Attorney
Political Experience: Commissioner, First District, Cook County Board of Commissioners, 2014-18
Website: richardboykinforcookcounty.com
Twitter: @ RichardRBoykin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/richardboykinforcookcounty/
Instagram: @ boykinforcookcounty

Candidate Statement

Hi, I am Attorney Richard Boykin, and I am running for Cook County Board President.

Cook County is at a crossroads! Gun violence, carjackings, retail thefts, and other crimes have terrorized our neighborhoods. Children are dying in the streets at alarming rates and families are not getting justice.

My number one priority is to make sure that our Cook County neighborhoods are safe for children just like my 15-year-old son Elijah. I will deal with the root causes of violence in a way that the current administration has not. I will support the men and women in law enforcement while promoting their community engagement with the citizens of Cook County.

People and businesses are being forced out of Cook County because of soaring taxes without transparency and accountability. Last year, 90,000 people left Cook County.

I have a track record as a county commissioner of following my conscience and putting people ahead of politics. I stand on that record.

I went toe to toe with the current Board President when I led the effort to repeal the sugar tax and we won!

I stood up as an ally to women in the workplace and successfully fought for a new investigator to target sexual harassment in County Government.

I ended the tax on feminine hygiene products in Cook County.

I will protect and preserve our treasured forest preserves.

I will work to strengthen the mental and physical health of our people.

I believe that our best days are ahead of us!

It’s time for real change in Cook County. I ask that you join with me in ushering in a new era of fresh leadership that listens to the people, respects the people, and works for the people! Please vote for me, attorney Richard Boykin, in the Democratic Primary, on June 28th.

Thank you.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am running because there is a need for real change in Cook County. With my knowledge, skills and ability, and proven record of accomplishment, I am the best candidate to bring about that desperately needed change.

As a Commissioner, I sponsored ordinances that benefited residents of Cook County by:

• Banning Cook County Law Enforcement from using chokeholds on suspects;

• Creating stiffer financial penalties for individuals caught carrying illegal handguns;

• Establishing a Cook County Commission on Youth;

• Creating a Cook County Gun Violence Coordinator and Task Force;

• Eliminating the tax on Feminine Hygiene Products; and

Furthermore, I stood with the people by voting “no” to the 1% sales tax increase and “no” to the sweetened beverage (soda pop), tax increase, and led the repeal of the sweetened beverage tax.

We have a public safety crisis in Cook County. Gun violence, carjacking and retail thefts are harming too many of our communities. I will make Cook County safer.

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

The main functions of Cook County government are to ensure public health and public safety. Cook County was not prepared for the pandemic. They failed to build consensus for community-wide support of mitigation strategies to reduce transmission. I will ensure that businesses, including bars and restaurants, suburban mayors and community and faith-based organizations are included in the policy making process in case another surge of infections happens. I will h ensure that we have Personal Protective Equipment on hand to help our citizens.

Cook County has a public safety crisis. In the last few years, the County has failed to keep all communities safe. The key to building safe communities is to establish effective, long-term collaboration with all the stakeholders in the criminal justice. Besides the County Board President, the mayors of Chicago and suburban Cook County municipalities, the Cook County Sheriff and State’s Attorney, as well as police chiefs, community and faith-based leaders, and other dedicated officials are committed to keeping the public safe.

As President, my first action would be to organize a cross-jurisdictional team of stakeholders to establish a public safety implementation plan based on the four strategies of prevention, deterrence, technology and interdiction. We will work together to ensure that resources are allocated effectively and efficiently, and remove any unnecessary duplication of service.

To ensure the health and safety of the public, I will work with all agency heads under the Office of the President and all elected officials to craft budgets that are cost effective and efficient and serve the residents of Cook County.

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

There is a public safety crisis in Cook County. Gun violence, carjackings and retail thefts are harming too many of our communities.

My priority is to make Cook County safe for all communities by changing the norms and motivations that lead people to break the law. We can meet the challenge by pursuing four strategies: prevention, deterrence, technological and interdiction.

• Prevention strategies address root causes of violent behavior and provides positive life alternatives.

• Deterrence strategies make clear that consequences for committing violence will be swift, certain, and proportional.

• Technological strategies invest in new technologies that promote public safety, and

• Interdiction strategies remove as many dangerous firearms from circulation as possible.

Every day, the men and women of law enforcement put their lives at risk to serve and protect the people of Cook County. We have a public safety crisis in Cook County and law enforcement is our frontline defense. I support them wholeheartedly and will fight to make all resources available help them fight crime.

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

I know how to build support among decision-makers and the public in order to realize policy goals.

My policy and legislative experience are extensive and includes challenges pertaining to appropriations, postal, healthcare, education, telecommunications and municipal advocacy. I have a proven ability to work across party lines. My non-partisan approach to problem-solving and resolute focus on productive communication is based on integrity, hard work and absolute dedication to serving the people. Having spent decades developing relationships at all levels of government, I have the knowledge, skills and ability to bring about effective change.

As President, I will foster community engagement by establishing regular communications with of community and faith-based leaders, suburban mayors and constituents. I will issue a periodic report card to the public on progress made in reaching policy goals.