Earlean Collins

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Earlean Collins
Member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners from the 1st District
In office
December 1998 (1998-12) – December 2014 (2014-12)
Preceded by Darlena Williams-Burnett
Succeeded by Richard Boykin
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Alma mater University of Illinois
Profession Attorney

Earlean Collins is a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners representing the 1st district which includes the Humboldt Park, West Garfield Park, Austin and Montclare areas of the City of Chicago as well as the surrounding suburbs of Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood, Broadview, Westchester, Bellwood and Hillside.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Collins is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Public service[edit]

Before her election as a commissioner, Collins served as Assistant Minority Leader in the Illinois Senate and an Assistant Administrator of Children and Family Services. Collins was the first African-American woman elected to the Illinois Senate.

In 1994, she ran for Illinois Comptroller. After narrowly prevailing in the Democratic primary against Kane County Coroner Mary Lou Kearns, she was defeated in the general election by Republican Loleta Didrickson.

Cook County Commissioner[edit]

As a Cook County Commissioner, Collins is Chairperson of the Business and Economic Development, Public Health, and Family Court and Juvenile Detention Center Committees. Additionally, Collins is a member of nine committees: Construction, Litigation, Tax Delinquency, Legislation and Intergovernmental Relations, Rules, Health and Hospitals, Finance, Zoning and Building, and Roads and Bridges.

Her top issues are improving conditions for the mentally ill in Cook County Jail and improving community-based mental health treatment. She also wants to increase affordable housing in the county and to train people to repair houses.

As Cook County Board Commissioner, Collins voted to uphold a historic 2008 Cook County sales tax increase, remaining the highest in the nation. As a result, the Chicago Tribune has encouraged voters to vote against her in the 2010 elections.


  1. ^ "Cook County Commissioner District 1 Municipalities" (PDF). Office of the Cook County Clerk. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  2. ^ "Map of the Montclare Community Area". Google Maps. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  3. ^ "Map of the West Garfield Park Community Area". Google Maps. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Map of the Austin Community Area". Google Maps. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  5. ^ "Map of the Humboldt Park Community Area". Google Maps. Retrieved 2014-01-03. 
  • Stevens, Susan S. "Collins has low-profile challenger for Cook County Commissioner," The Gazette (Chicago), Nov. 3, 2006.