IN THE NEWS
Commissioner Bridget Gainer's work for Cook County has been profiled in numerous local and nationwide news outlets, including the The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, MSNBC and many more.
See below for her most recent news mentions:
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and with it reflections on immigration, like this Heidi Stevens piece about Bridget Gainer:
“The real story of St. Patrick’s Day is people were fleeing economic or religious persecution,” Gainer said. “Not long ago, it was ‘Irish need not apply,’ and there are a lot of parallels to what this country is going through right now.”
Gainer, who says her maternal grandmother left Ireland for the U.S., by herself, when she was 19, hopes Chicagoans (indeed, Americans) will spend part of Friday — and beyond — reflecting on the nation’s rich history of welcoming and benefiting from immigrants.
"If you just said, 'People left their country for economic opportunities, religious freedom and political security,' Ireland might not be the first place that comes to mind," Gainer said. "But if you back up 100 years, that's exactly why people left. They were starving to death."
It's worth remembering, Gainer said, amid the holiday revelry.
"You don't get to celebrate ancestors who came over during a famine and then ignore immigrants coming over for the same reasons," she said.
The land bank, which owns the properties' tax certificates, has removed the red tape for potential buyers by extinguishing back taxes, liens, unpaid city fines or utility bills.
"We're trying to give an adrenaline boost to development in these communities by eliminating barriers to getting access to the property," said Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, chairman of the 3-year-old land bank.
"The thing we wanted to address ... is to say, 'Look, I can't make someone develop the property, but I can remove the barriers to that decision,'" Gainer said.
More than 4,400 vacant lots in Chicago and the suburbs are going up for sale in an effort to attract development to areas that need it.
With the new offering of vacant lots to be announced today, "we're trying to speed up the process of empty land being put back to use," said Bridget Gainer, a Cook County commissioner who chairs the four-year-old Cook County Land Bank.
The women’s marches around the country were all about sisterhood, so it was a natural that Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer would march with all four of hers.
“Each one of my sisters chose a life and work that makes a difference in the world. And now that we’re all working mothers, raising our own kids, we make time to come out and fight for what we believe in, but also to be with each other,” Bridget Gainer told me. “This was not our first protest and it won’t be our last, but to be out there with these women, now truly my best friends, made me proud.”
Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, a Democrat who lives in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, marched in a noisy, boisterous sea of humanity in the nation’s capital.
Gainer said she and her relatives decided once the D.C. march was being organized that they had to be here.
“As mothers, we need to teach our children you need to stand up for your rights,” Gainer said. “It’s not enough to just talk about it. You need to show up for people.”