Preckwinkle discusses economic issues at Dominican University
Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, was the keynote speaker at Dominican University's fifth annual African American and Latino Social Work Symposium on Thursday, at the University's Priory Campus in River Forest. | Rob H
Updated: September 21, 2012 1:41PM
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was the keynote speaker at Dominican University’s fifth Annual African American and Latino Social Work Symposium Thursday morning.
Preckwinkle made a short opening address and then fielded questions for about an hour. Most questions were related to the event’s theme: “How to thrive and survive in a deepening recession.”
In answering the questions, Preckwinkle talked about education, criminal justice, job creation and training, economic development, social and financial inequality, and healthcare.
The sluggish economy was a recurrent theme in many of the questions.
“These are arguably the worst economic times in the last 80 years -- since the Great Depression in the 1930s -- which means they’re the worst economic times some of us have seen in our lifetimes,” Preckwinkle said.
Preckwinkle added that government officials at all levels must rethink how they approach many of the aforementioned issues, especially when it comes to education, job-training and criminal justice.
Tough federal drug policies and insufficient investment from some local governments in public education, she argued, are keeping communities from getting ahead and have wreaked havoc on minority groups.
Following Preckwinkle’s speech, Charlie Stoops, dean of Dominican’s School of Social Work, presented her with the school’s Visionary Social Work Award.
Stoops also sat on a panel later in the day, alongside social activist Rev. Father Michael Pfleger, and business leader Stedman Graham.
Seventh District Congressman Danny Davis was scheduled to attend, but organizers said he could not come because he was in legislative session in Washington D.C.