By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Horace Washington Howard, the cousin of the late great Mayor Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, sat down with the Herald to discuss his run for Cook County Board Commissioner’s office of the 3rd District.
The 3rd District includes Hyde Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Prairie Shores, Old Town, Printers Row, Soldier Field, Museum of Science & Industry, Adler
Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Oakland, North Kenwood, South Side, Washington Park, Jackson Park and the Gold Coast.
According to Washington Howard, his campaign strategy is to help bring together young African Americans leaders of the global economy, increase non-violence prevention programs for the community, fight for mental health, answer the public’s demand for Obamacare, fight for the homeless and increase workers wages.
Washington Howard said when it comes to developing a strategy for helping bring together African American leaders of the global economy it all starts with addressing issues in Cook County.
He said that corporations drove all the new technologies invested in by the county. And in the near future, the county will regionalize all
counties through the “Partner for Prosperity” agreement.
Under the “Partner for Prosperity” agreement, Washington Howard said that the regionalization of seven counties would include DuPage, Kane, Will, Kendall, Kane, McHenry, and Cook. He explained that the regionalizing of the seven counties will lead to the purchasing of goods and services from the global economy, cutting cost, creating monopolies and an increase in inequality which will result in stagnate worker wages.
Washington Howard said with a new information system coming, the wealth will only benefit the elite.
“As workers wages are stagnated it will be all on the same level of our global economy, which will decrease revenues for local government,” said Washington Howard.
When it comes to increasing non-violence prevention programs, Washington Howard stated his goal is to reallocate funds from county technology to non-violent prevention programs in the community.
“My goal will be to take the savings from the innovative technologies of the county and transfer those funds to the justice advisory committee which will distribute the funds to non-violent prevention programs in the community.”
In his fight to address mental health issues in the community, Washington Howard said he has also been diagnosed with the same disability.
On the public’s demand for the Affordable Care Act, Washington Howard said that “Cook County has been chosen as one of the health care providers for people with Obamacare insurance, specifically Medicaid,” said Washington Howard. “They are allowed to go to different hospitals of their choice. Obamacare has increased the number of people with insurance. It’s universal.”
In addition to his effort to address the public’s demand for Obamacare, Washington Howard said when it comes to addressing his fight for homeless people, the issue really hits close to home.
“I was homeless once and followed the program and received affordable housing,’ said Washington Howard.
Since then, Washington Howard said he has continued his fight for the homeless by recently fighting against the closing of a north side shelter, helping homeless people who are currently living under city viaducts, and the relocation for housing for people in the Wilson Men’s Home on Chicago’s north side.
On the issue of increasing workers wages, Washington Howard said he’s partnered with organizations such as Fair Economy Illinois, One North Side and churches to help increase minimum wage in Cook County from $10.50 to $11.50 this year. And that he’s presently fighting with young organizations and other organizations for $15 wages.
As a public servant with over 25 years of experience, Howard said he has managed in several areas in the past including government, social services, and the non-profit industry.
Howard said with his professional background and strong interpersonal and organizational skills, his goal is to provide better services for the public through efficient programming.
With a keen ability to multitask a variety of challenges and responsibilities, Washington Howard said he currently attends workshops and seminars at the University of Chicago International Studies program.
Washington Howard is currently looking to complete his Masters of Arts in Political Science and Criminal Justice in the Fall of 2018 at Governor State University. He currently holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from DePaul University (2004).
Washington Howard is currently a volunteer at One Northside Chicago (2014-Present), Access Chicago, where he helps organize individuals with disabilities to advocate for services and supportive policies, the Harold Washington Foundation, where he helped organize support to help lobby the state in creating a state holiday in honor of Harold Washington’s birthday, Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) organization, and in the past worked as a substitute teacher in the Chicago Public Schools from 1998 – 2001 at CVS, Fenger and Dunbar High School.
In addition to his work experience, Washington Howard was also a case manager from 1996 –1998 at Kaleidoscope, Inc., in Chicago, Circuit Court Clerk from 1990-1992, and an administrative assistant from 1988-1991 for the office of the Mayor and Ald. Eugene Sawyer and Ald. Ron Robinson of the 6th Ward. He was also the Supervisor of the Jury Commissioner’s Office from 1982-1986.