Another Letter to John P Daley

Mr. John P Daley, Commissioner 11th District,

Two weeks ago I wrote you a letter asking if I could talk with you  regarding serious budget issues that affect me and my clients in Cook County.  In that letter I identified myself as a new resident of the 11th district and a long time Probation Officer in the Clinical Interventions Division.   In that letter, I did not describe my job duties.  I had hoped that I would be able to discuss the nature of my job with you or with one of your staff.  That has not happened.  In order to encourage this badly needed conversation, I am more than willing to discuss about my job and my responsibilities in a more direct fashion.

Mr. Daley, for the past 11 years I have provided supervision, case management and treatment to Cook County Wards with aggressive sexual behaviors.  Cook County’s community based treatment program is a leader in addressing sexually aggressive children and youth, and this program is in danger of being cut by the recent threat of layoffs from the Cook County Board.

In addition to the services I provide these youth, I am also the Co-Chair of the Juvenile Advisory Council (JAC).  This is a national model of youth input in Juvenile Justice matters.  Jurisdictions from 20 states have come to the Cook County Juvenile Court to learn about the Juvenile Advisory Council, how we work with court wards and court staff and how JAC improves the services at the Court.  This program is also targeted by Budget Cuts.

I am not sure how the Cook County Board can demand for more cuts to programs and services while Cook County Commissioners refuse to take their furlough days.  I do not understand how vital court services can be cut or delayed when management heavy offices in Cook County Government are not sharing the burden of the budgetary short fall.  I do not understand how the County Board can talk about providing key services while cutting key staff.

If Layoffs occur, half of the JSO unit will be affected.  This will affect my workload and make it impossible for me to run the Juvenile Advisory Council.  This year I have already surrendered 5% of my salary to Cook County and increased my workload 25%.  Another 5% pay cut and another increase in my work load will make me look for work outside of Cook County Government.

I want to work providing service for the residents of Cook County.  I want your office to support me, and my coworkers, as we work to provide vital services to the children of Cook County.  Will you help me do my job?


I look forward to hearing from you or your staff,

Martin Gleason


Cost of Living, Cost of Surviving

What’s the cost of basic economic security in this country? We all have heard of the poverty line–a formula that is 50 years old and based on a family’s budgetary needs for food–but what is the bare minimum citizens need to live without fear of losing their homes, not providing food for their children and basic medical costs.

NPR has an answer. Wider Opportunities for released a report with these figures. This is a document well worth studying.