Preckwinkle picks up Chicago coverage

Ald. Toni Preckwinkle may not have “new and innovative ideas,” the Weekly says, but wins endorsements for her “tough-as-nails” personality.

By Michael Lipkin

The Weekly has a great cover story on 4th Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle (A.B. ’69, M.A.T. ’77) today, profiling the Hyde Park politico's bid for Cook County Board President. Facing incumbent Todd Stroger in the Democratic primaries February 2, Preckwinkle outlines her four main reform goals: repeal Stroger's controversial one-percent sales tax hike, keep the healthcare system independent of the County Board, reduce the incarcerated population, and create more jobs, especially green ones.

Much of the platform is in line with her opponents. Everyone besides Stroger vows to roll back the tax, and all candidates support keeping down the prison population (and job growth is a perpetual crowed pleaser). "It doesn’t seem like Preckwinkle has much clout by way of new and innovative political ideas," The Weekly wrote, but pointed to her "trustworthiness and her no-fear approach to Chicago machine politics" as key virtues.

“Preckwinkle reinforces this image when she notes that she is vocally calling for zero-based budgeting of the county’s finances, which she explains as an initiative that would scrap each existing budget within the county and rebuild it from the ground up, in order to weed out inefficient spending and demand transparency.”

Recent endorsements in both the Sun-Times and the Tribune agree, with the Sun-Times calling her "Chicago's brainy, no-nonsense alderman, known for coalition-building and standing up to the powers that be." They were also impressed with her pledge to keep the county's healtcare system "out of the mitts of County Board members," a promise not made by any of her opponents.