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Orland Park, IL – Commissioner Sean M. Morrison, in cooperation with the Orland Fire Protection District and Kaléo, Inc., has secured a grant of naloxone to supply Cook County Police Departments, free of charge, with the opioid antagonist, Evzio®. Under the agreement, Kaléo, Inc. is donating 12,000 Evzio® (Naloxone) kits to the office of Commissioner Morrison for distribution to police departments. All Police Departments within Cook County, including municipal, county and college/campus police will be eligible to receive a portion of the grant based on need.
Commissioner Morrison created the “Cook County Overdose Prevention Program”, working with the Orland Fire Protection District and other area police and fire agencies. The Orland Fire Protection District will provide training and certification to police departments who apply to receive Evzio® as well as maintaining records, data and inventory for the program.
“We’ve seen a frightening surge in heroin overdoses throughout Cook County. This exceptional grant opportunity will provide law enforcement with a life-saving tool, at no cost, to be carried and administered on the front lines where minutes and even seconds are critical to saving lives,” said Commissioner Morrison.
The vast majority of overdoses are accidental and result from taking inappropriate doses of opioids or mixing opioid drugs with other substances. These drug overdoses typically take over 45 minutes to turn fatal, but can happen much sooner depending on route and dose. So the ability to reduce the time between the onset of symptoms of an overdose and effective intervention is a matter of life and death.
Law enforcement officers have always been on the front lines of the battle against drug related harm in their communities. Police usually have a quicker response to an overdose incident than EMS providers, for the mere fact they are already on the street. This creates a critical window of opportunity for lifesaving intervention with appropriate assistance, which includes the administration of the antidote naloxone, which quickly and effectively reverses the overdose effect.
Under a new state law that took effect on January 1, 2016, police departments throughout the State of Illinois are required to carry an opioid antagonist in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths in our communities. To participate, police departments were mailed an application or asked to visit the online version found on Commissioner Morrison’s website at: www.seanmorrison.com/evzio.
Chicago, IL – Cook County Commissioner Sean M. Morrison and the Cook County Board of Commissioners honored Orland Park native Michael Schofield of the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos at Wednesday’s board meeting. Commissioner Morrison sponsored a resolution honoring Schofield’s Super Bowl achievement.
Michael Schofield, a native of Orland Park, began playing football in the sixth grade where he played for the Orland Park Pioneers. He continued on at Carl Sandburg High School where as a sophomore, he became a lineman and as a senior he was a special mention 2008 Chicago Tribune All-State selection.
Michael was recruited by and committed to play at the University of Michigan where he played all 52 possible games. He earned 2013 All-Big Ten Conference Honorable Mention. His superb career at the University of Michigan, led to being drafted on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos as the 95th overall selection in the third round.
In his second year as a professional NFL player, Michael became the starting right tackle for the Denver Broncos and admittedly had a lot to learn but saved his best performances for the postseason where he once again excelled in his position. On February 7, 2016, the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 by defeating the Carolina Panthers 24 – 10.
Michael had his own cheering section at the Super Bowl which included his father Chief Mike Schofield of the Orland Fire Protection District; Mom, Kathy; siblings, Nicole, Stephanie, Kathleen, Jacqueline and Andrew; as well as his girlfriend, Kendall Coyne, a member of the U. S. Women’s Hockey Team in the 2014 Olympics.
Knowing the importance of maintaining a healthy body and also knowing the dangers of abusing one’s body, Michael has made it a priority since his college days and now as a professional athlete to speak against drug abuse and making young people aware of those dangers.
“I’m very proud to honor Michael Schofield of Orland Park. His commitment to athletic excellence as well as his commitment to proper physical excellence is a great example for today’s youth. Because of his incredible work ethic and devotion to excelling at his craft he’s now a Super Bowl Champion,” stated Commissioner Morrison.
By: Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz
A new law that aims to curb the area’s dismal youth unemployment rate gives companies vying for Cook County contracts a leg up if they hire teens.
The ordinance, which the Cook County Board approved last week, gives companies bid credits if a substantial amount of work on a project is performed by youth aged 16 to 19.
Bidders for county contracts get a 0.5 percent credit to apply to a future contract bid if teens perform more than 10 percent of the labor hours on a county project with a value of at least $100,000, and a 0.25 percent credit if teens perform 1 to 10 percent of the labor hours.
So, for example, a company with a $1 million bid on a county project would appear on paper to have a $950,000 bid with the youth credit, helping it undercut the competition. The credit would be used for evaluation purposes only and not affect the actual price of the project. A credit can be used only once to nail the lowest bid, with the intention that companies will continue to employ youth to accrue more credits.
“The purpose is to (offer an incentive to) people as they put together their employment plan,” said Commissioner Bridget Gainer, D-Chicago, who co-sponsored the legislation with Sean Morrison, R-Palos Park.
Such bid incentives already exist for companies that hire military veterans and people who have been convicted of crimes.
A dramatic decline in employment among young people has led to concerns that a generation is not getting the early work experience that research has shown leads to better jobs and higher wages down the road.
The employment rate among 16- to 19-year-olds in Cook County was 20.4 percent in 2014, down from 27.5 percent in 2005, and nearly 10 percentage points lower than the national average, according to a March report prepared for the county by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The recession took a particularly hard toll on youth, who had to compete for entry-level positions with older and more experienced workers who lost their jobs, and they have seen little recovery.
In Cook County, the rate of youth who are both out of work and out of school has been particularly startling, especially when broken down by race. More than 12 percent of black 16- to 19-year-olds are neither in school nor working, compared with 8.9 percent of Hispanics and 5.6 percent of whites, according to the Great Cities Institute report. Among 20- to 24-year-olds, nearly 40 percent of blacks are out of school and out of work, compared with nearly 15 percent of Hispanics and 8 percent of whites.
The Cook County bid incentive applies only to 16- to 19-year-olds in order to follow established definitions of youth in state workforce programs, Gainer said. It does not require companies to hire youth from certain income brackets or racial groups.
While construction contractors are often in line for county projects, Gainer said “the sky’s the limit” for the types of jobs youth can fill, including custodial and landscaping. She pointed to the board’s approval last week of a $100 million construction agreement for renovation of the county hospital system. Because hospital revenues depend on people renewing their Medicare eligibility, young people could be hired to do community outreach.
“Sometimes we assume a job will require a college degree,” Gainer said. “Have you asked yourself why? Is it really an issue, or just habit?”
Employers will have to verify workers’ age via their birth certificates, track their hours and submit the information to the county with an affidavit, Gainer said.
Chicago, IL – The Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues held their annual breakfast on Thursday, March 3rd at the Chicago Cultural Center where they recognized women from each county board district for their “Unsung Heroine” efforts in their communities. Honorees from each county board district and one at-large are nominated for the significant contributions they have made to the well-being of their community in either a professional or volunteer capacity for which they have not received widespread recognition.
Commissioner Morrison and 17th District Commission Member Sharon Brannigan were pleased to nominate Maureen Reilly of Palos Park for her outstanding volunteer efforts at Park Lawn. Founded in 1955, Park Lawn is a non-profit organization based in Oak Lawn with a mission to provide services that promote independence, choice and access to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Maureen Reilly has been involved with Park Lawn since 2006 when her son began receiving adult services from the organization. Maureen has served as the Costume Director at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the past 16 years and an employee since 1987. She began helping at Park Lawn by providing costumes and props for the Park Lawn Player’s Club annual show, participating in tag days, and volunteering in whatever other capacity needed.
Maureen became a board member in 2009, vice president in 2014 and president in 2015. In Park Lawn’s 60 year history, Maureen is the first woman board president and she has helped to strengthen relationships with local legislators by helping to form a Political Action Committee.
Maureen and her husband Charlie are residents of Palos Park and are proud to be a part of the Park Lawn family and share the same passion to see all people in the disabled community flourish and be as independent as they can be.
“I’m very proud to honor a person of such quality as Maureen Reilly. Her volunteer work at Park Lawn is precisely the type of effort that deserves special recognition because you can’t place a price on it. It truly is invaluable,” stated Commissioner Morrison.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners has a proposed ordinance before it for consideration, one which will attempt to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens in Cook County. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin of Chicago has proposed an ordinance which calls for the “prohibitions on the sale of firearm to, and purchase of firearm by, a person not covered by appropriate liability insurance.” What this means is that Cook County residents would not be able to purchase and own a firearm without first acquiring firearm liability insurance.
Now some people may look at this and say, “This doesn’t sound too bad” until you analyze the actual consequences of this proposal. The sponsor and others would like to compare firearm liability insurance to having car insurance, which is like comparing apples to oranges. A right granted by the 2nd Amendment allows United States citizens to possess and own a firearm, period. Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege granted by State law, not a right covered under the United States Constitution.
The intention of the ordinance’s sponsor is to have a major impact on gun violence. An admirable thought, however if you are intellectually honest you must ask yourself; how will this ordinance have any impact on gun-wielding criminals? The honest answer is it won’t. It’s a patently false and purely emotional notion to think that violent criminals who are already breaking the law will stop and contemplate the purchase of firearm liability insurance before committing their next crime with a gun. Moreover, nearly all insurance policy coverage excludes criminal acts from their insurance coverage obligation. So the liability insurance would serve no purpose in addressing gun violence.
Along with this proposed ordinance come many unintended consequences. Requiring firearm liability insurance will have a negative financial impact on law-abiding citizens; specifically those who live in the higher crime zones will pay a more costly premium than the citizens living in low crime zones. Disarming law-abiding citizens or setting them up to break the law are very real consequences.
In addition, if this questionable ordinance were to be passed, litigation would certainly follow in opposition to its constitutionality, the consequence yet again, a very long and costly legal defense for the Cook County taxpayers to bear! There is a reason why this type of legislation has failed nearly everywhere it has been introduced across the country.
This proposed ordinance will not address violent criminal behavior as its intended, but will instead restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. In my opinion, this is another unconstitutional overreach by government which I strongly oppose.
We need to focus our efforts on real preventative measures, those that are truly substantive in nature and that will deter individuals away from crime. We can do so by beginning to promote strong family structure, by supporting the concept of the community members turning in those known criminals who murder our children and murder our neighbors and through increasing educational and employment opportunities. Preventing criminal behavior must be the driving force to addressing violent crime, rather than ineffective legislation place upon the citizen taxpayer without regard to consequence.
Sean M. Morrison
Cook County Commissioner
118 N. Clark Street, Suite 567
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone : 312-603-4215
15040 Ravinia Ave, Suite 44
Orland Park, Illinois 60462