‘It’s Going to Be Challenging, But I’m Looking Forward to Bringing on Changes’ – Cook County Commissioner Frank Aguilar

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsFormer state representative and longtime Mexican activist Frank Aguilar was recently voted to serve as the successor to Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski (16th District), who resigned from office, a position Aguilar was hesitant to take on, he admitted. “I thoroughly enjoy working on the grassroots level,” said Cook County Commissioner Aguilar. “I am used to working locally with non-profit organizations to bring about opportunities and I didn’t want to step away from that, but to serve my community at a larger capacity is my civic duty and one that I look forward to doing.”

Aguilar has served as a liaison to the Hispanic and Latino community in the 16th District for more than 15 years. He was a member of the Illinois House from 2002 until 2004, and has since headed the Cicero Mexican American Cultural Committee organizing annual events for the Mexican American community that have attracted tens of thousands of attendees from the public, including the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration each Spring. Aguilar also served as the former executive director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Junior Achievement Suburban Regional Board help provide economic and business education or kids. He also served as a member including as Chairman of the Morton College Board from 2007 until 2020, resigning as a result of the appointment. Prior to joining the Morton College Board, Aguilar taught business administration at Morton College. He also served as a representative of the Allied Production Workers Union in Cook County.

“I bring an abundant amount of experience to this position as Cook County Commissioner. It’s going to be challenging, but I’m looking forward to bringing on changes that our community needs and deserves,” said Commissioner Aguilar. “One of the lessons I learned early on in my career is that in order to make change you need to fully listen to your community. You needan open ear and listen to what people are asking… we need to support each other, especially during these times.” As communities across Cook County are reeling through the affects of COVI-19, Commissioner Aguilar’s main priority is providing limitless resource to his constituents.

“Everything, it seems, has been placed on hold as we deal with COVID-19 because as health reports surface we see that it is disproportionately affecting black and brown communities,” said Commissioner Aguilar. “Now, we have to collaborate with Archdiocese of Chicago, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, churches across my district, as well as organizations like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to come with solutions to tackle this pandemic and provide adequate resources for the 16th District. We need to take it one step at a time. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we need to work together to create an even stronger community.”

The 16th District extends from Franklin Park in the north to Hodgkins in the south, mostly representing Chicago’s west suburbs including Cicero, Bridgeview, Berwyn, Lyons, Forest View, Melrose Park and parts of Chicago’s Little Village area.

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