(Cook County, IL) Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined 14th District Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton to launch a new campaign to show Cook County is a welcoming place for all: "Cook County United Against Hate." A new unifying symbol, pledge, and website were unveiled marking that intolerance and injustice will never be acceptable in Cook County communities.
"The acts we're standing against today go against everything we believe in Cook County," said President Preckwinkle. "Our Jewish friends, neighbors and relatives are an integral part of the fabric of the County we all call home. In a show of solidarity with our Jewish residents and everyone fighting against hate in our communities, this new symbol clearly shows that Cook County is a welcoming place for all."
The symbol was launched during a United Against Antisemitism rally to fight back against the surge of anti-Jewish incidents seen in the northern suburbs of Cook County. The rally was planned in partnership with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Action Ridge, and the Niles Coalition. Speakers included Commissioner Britton, President Preckwinkle, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Senator Laura Fine, State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, congregation Beth Am Rabbi Lisa Bellows, Simon Wiesenthal Center Executive Director Alison Pure-Slovin, and Buffalo Grove High School student Ilana Argentar.
"One thing I, and all people of goodwill, can and must do is stand as an ally against hate and to reject hate for all time. When we recognize the symbol, we will know all are welcome and hate has no home there." Commissioner Britton said. "We learned the importance of allyship during the rightful protests for Black lives in the summer of 2020, and, similarly, I cannot truly comprehend the emotions of our Jewish neighbors over the thousands of years of hate and oppression they have been forced to endure. We must speak out against hate for anyone, for hate against one is hate against everyone."
This new "Cook County United Against Hate" symbol provides a visible reminder that Cook County is united against hate in all its forms. It shows that the County is actively seeking to dismantle the systems that allow intolerance and injustice to exist. As part of this work, the County has invested $50 million in the Cook County Equity Fund as part of over $100 million in equity-aligned investments over the past two fiscal years.
"I am proud to represent one of the most diverse districts in our nation. And I am proud that in the face of hate and injustice, we always come together in solidarity," said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. "With Yom HaShoah next week, we are reminded of the devastation caused by unchecked hate and ignorance. Never again. Antisemitism has no place in Cook County, or in this world, and we will always stand together in the name of peace, tolerance, and equality."
By posting the "Cook County United Against Hate" icon, Cook County residents, visitors, and admirers near and far can pledge to stand up against intolerance of any kind, to support those with different lived experiences, and to champion efforts toward social justice. This symbol of unity can be posted, shared, and tagged on homes, cars, storefronts, and office doors.
A new website was created where residents can find the symbol for download, take the pledge to unite against hate, and view a growing library of resources to learn how to safely interrupt hate. The first series of resources support the County to unite against antisemitism. Future sections will support efforts to welcome all people regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, class, or other backgrounds. To take action, individuals, groups, and communities are invited to visit: www.CookCountyUnitedAgainstHate.com .
On April 7, Commissioner Britton passed the Resolution Against the Rise in Anti-Semitic Hate and in Support of Cook County's Jewish Population highlighting the disturbing rise of anti-Semitic hate targeting in the Jewish community, including broken glass, presence of swastikas, verbal attacks, and physical assaults, acts of vandalism, bomb threats, and distribution of incendiary propaganda. On March 3, Commissioner Britton received a package of fliers containing antisemitic messages at his Glenview home, one many distributed throughout the month in Cook County residents' front yards and in public parks in Niles, Park Ridge, Glenview, Skokie, and Arlington Heights, and elsewhere in Illinois.
The April rally is part of a Spring of Action to escalate awareness, educate neighbors, and encourage action against the disturbing trend of anti-Semitic propaganda, vandalism, and assaults targeting the Cook County Jewish community.
Learn more at: www.CookCountyUnitedAgainstHate.com .
Cook County is the second largest county in the United States representing 5.2 million residents in Illinois. The President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cook County and oversees the Offices Under the President and presides as president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.