Four-term Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin can look forward to a primary challenge if he seeks to retain his seat next year.

Bushra Amiwala, a freshman at DePaul University who graduated from Niles North High School in Skokie last spring, says she plans to run for the seat in the Democratic primary.

Amiwala has been an activist for minority and women’s rights and spoke at a rally against anti-Muslim sentiment in downtown Evanston in December 2015.

She’s also been a volunteer at the Niles Food Pantry and interned at Sen. Mark Kirk’s office last summer.

Amiwala says she hopes to offer a fresh perspective while giving a voice to her underrepresented generation and culture.

If elected, she says her goals include keeping the county financially responsible while increasing transparency, lowering unemployment, and giving low income people the opportunity to change their life. She also wants to push for reform in the county’s criminal justice in order to lower re-incarceration rates.

She says she favors term limits for county board members and wants to crack down on corruption in the county.

Suffredin, 69, has held the 13th District county commission seat since 2002.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Although I support a lot of

    Although I support a lot of her same positions, I would not feel comfortable electing an 18 year-old who has never had a full-time job. 

    Why not wait, get your degree, and some work experience before taking on a position that might be way over her head? This just does not make much sense to me.

      1. Please tell us more about this candidate

        I am eager to learn more about someone willing to run for this office. In her full-time job, who did she work for and what kind of work did she do?  And how long did she hold that job?  Then can you explain how that work helps make her qualified to do the work of a county commissioner?

        Thank you

        1. Cook County Commissioner

          The work of a cook county commissioner is simply representing your district in the county. The only qualifications you need for such an office is understanding the issues facing the country and being able to listen to people.

          1. Let’s hear from the candidate

            Let’s assume that that is what you need:  understanding the issues facing the country and listening. 

            So let’s hear from the candidate: what does she understand to be the issues facing our country and what has she learned from listening (and maybe her own experience or study) on how to address these challenges?


          2. Just another democrat

            Does not matter what the age is, she’s just another typical democrat that will raise our property taxes and spending. Cook County has been controlled by democrats nearly forever, and it is horribly run by them. We need to give Republicans a try.

      2. Thanks for the clarification.

        Thanks for the clarification. I still wouldn’t feel comfortable voting for a teenager who has only volunteered and interned. There is real value to both work and life experience that I fear a 19 year-old lacks in fundamental ways. 4 to 8 more years and maybe I would consider it. 

      3. Concerned

        A full time job as a 19 year old presumably in an office setting is different than political work and experience. What does she know about politics? Maybe she has taking some political science classes in her first year of college (has she?), but it seems like she has 0 political experience, except for working on a losing REPUBLICAN political campaign. It seems logical to write her off.

        1. As a matter of fact

          With all due respect, I think you are both overestimating the poisition as commissioner and underestimating the candidate. Let’s not be so quick to judge, I am interested in learning more as well. 

          1. Remember the taxes ?

            The Board has imposed new taxes “for the short term but we will repeal them later” but then said “nevermind” we want to raise them again—and more.

            The Commissioners DO effect our lives and economy.  Not to mention regulations, crime enforcement and many other things directly or indirectly—look at your tax bill.

          2. Let’s see…Larry voted for

            Let’s see…Larry voted for the Cook County beverage tax effective July 1…

            Then there is the income tax increase coming up with a change in administrations…

            Then the current D65 $116 million ask with a soon to follow $90 million D65 ask.

            Can anyone name any state or country that has successively taxed itself to propsperity?

          3. Listen to Candidates

            Perhaps we should listen to all the candidates and see what they have to say. Make judgement on something more than age of candidate. Some think shes to ung others thhink Larry is to old. Althought Larry does have lots of experience at raising taxes . I’m up for now ideas myself.

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