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Brent Adams is representing Woodstock as one of 50 leaders of organizations advising Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on ways to use a new Cook County Equity Fund fund to address racial disparities. 

The Cook County Equity Fund is part of the current Cook County Budget approved last November. It’s a new $100 million initiative established on the premise that the government has contributed to the marginalization of and disinvestment in Black and Latinx communities. According to Preckwinkle’s office, Cook County will invest roughly $120 million in FY21 and FY22. 

The advisory group will meet throughout the summer to devise plans for the funds and then re-convene periodically to discuss progress. 

“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to collaborate with President Preckwinkle on strategies to support Black and Latinx communities,” said Brent , “We hope our work will help the County move quickly to provide additional support to families that have been hit hard by the pandemic.” 

Among initial proposals floated are investments in mental health and other supportive services, increasing access to jobs, capital and critical social services, and helping build wealth through business and home ownership. All are examples of meaningful ways to achieve more equitable outcomes and support communities where residents can live, learn, play, grow and thrive.

Referring to the historic disinvestment in Black and Brown communities, Preckwinkle added, “We know these impacts accumulate over time and create generational poverty and the racial wealth gap.” 

A list of the participating groups is available here and a news release from the county is available here.