Kenwood alum Fritz Kaegi running for Cook County Assessor

Fritz Kaegi

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Staff Writer

Known as a Progressive Democrat and Investment Analyst, Fritz Kaegi, announced to the Herald on Thursday, Dec. 28, that he will run for Cook County Assessor in the 2018 Primary Election in March.

In an interview with the Herald, Kaegi, who will run against current Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, said he wants to help rid the County Assessor’s Office of corruption, nepotism, and political patronage.

“When we began our campaign, I committed to fully implementing all Shakman requirements and going beyond them to give the taxpayers of Cook County the confidence they deserve in a property tax assessment system that is fair, equitable and transparent for all,” said Kaegi in a written statement about the Shakman decrees, a law that limits patronage hiring.

“Cook County has the largest Assessor’s Office in the country, and needs staffers that are qualified and committed to reforming the assessment process,” he said. “Cook County has the diverse talent needed to fix this problem and we are committed to building a diverse, qualified workforce that reflects our communities and protects our values.”

Kaegi said that Berrios’ corruption, nepotism, and patronage practices, have all placed an unbearable economic burden on working families who are struggling under [President Donald] Trump and [Governor Bruce] Rauner administrations’ “backward economic policies.”

Kaegi also believes that the government should treat everyone fairly and no longer give special treatment to the very wealthy elite or politically connected.

Kaegi said if elected, he will make sure the Assessor’s Office operates fairly, transparently, and professionally. As County Assessor, he said his first goal will be to clean house, eradicate pay-to-play politics and nepotism. His second goal will be to modernize the Assessor’s Office to help improve services for taxpayers. His third goal will be to build a diverse and qualified workforce that reflects our communities and protect our values and his fourth goals will be to fix the broken system for taxpayers.

With parents that lived in Hyde Park for 40 years, Kaegi said he is a graduate of Kenwood Academy High School (Class of ‘89) and earned his BA from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Stanford University.

Kaegi said he previously worked as an investment analyst at Columbia Wanger Asset Management for 13 years. Focusing on global small companies.

Prior to his position as an investment analyst, Kaegi worked for Morningstar and Brunswick UBS in equity research, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Kaegi is also a partner and investment committee member of Social Venture Partners Chicago, which provides the financial backing and capacity-building resources of its partners to nonprofits fighting poverty.

Since making his initial announcement in May, Kaegi has been endorsed by Congressman Danny K. Davis, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Congressman Bill Foster, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Cook County Clerk David Orr, Our Revolution, State Senator Heather Steans, 45th Ward Alderman and Committeeman John Arena, 1st Ward Alderman and Committeeman Joe Moreno, 32nd Ward Alderman and Committeeman Scott Waguespack, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, 33rd Ward Committeeman Aaron Goldstein, 39th Ward Committeeman Robert Murphy, Evanston City Clerk Devon Reid, Wheeling Township Committeeman and former State Rep. Mark Walker, Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry, Jr. and Education Activist Troy LaRaviere.

Kaegi and his wife Rebecca currently reside in Oak Park, Ill. with their three children William (10), Rose (9), and Anna (6). They are members of First United Methodist Church of Oak Park and during his free time, Kaegi is an assistant coach for the Oak Park Youth Baseball and Softball teams.

j.phillips@hpherald.com