Mexican American activist and former state legislator Frank Aguilar named to succeed Tobolski

Mexican American activist and former state legislator Frank Aguilar named to succeed Tobolski
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Mexican American activist and former state legislator Frank Aguilar named to succeed Tobolski

Democratic Committeemen in Chicagoland’s west and southwest suburbs voted to name former State Rep. Frank J. Aguilar to fill the vacancy on the Cook County Board’s 16th District that was vacated with the resignation of Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski. Aguilar will hold the seat for two years until the next election.

Democratic Committeemen in the 16th Cook County Board District on Wednesday voted to name Frank J. Aguilar, a former state representative and activist in the Mexican American community, to serve as the successor to Jeffrey Tobolski who resigned from office last month.

The meeting was chaired by Berwyn Township Democratic Committeeman Robert Lovero who began the meeting at 7 PM at the Italian American Club located at 6710 W. 16th St. Six candidates presented their credentials to the committee during a two-hour meeting.
 
The 16th District Democratic selection committee included Lovero, Vince Cainkar of Stickney Township, Blanca Vargas of Cicero Township, Karen Yarbrough of Proviso Township, Steven Landek of Lyons Township, Barrett Pederson of Leyden Township, Mike Zalewski of Riverside Township and Arron Ortiz of the 14th ward. Pederson participated by teleconference.  Zalewski provided his proxy votes to the committee and was unable to attend the meeting.
Frank J. Aguilar, nominated to succeed Jeffrey Tobolski who resigned last month as Cook County representing the 16th District.

Frank J. Aguilar, nominated to succeed Jeffrey Tobolski who resigned last month as Cook County representing the 16th District.

 
Social distancing was in full effect along with the availability of masks and gloves, officials said.
 
Each committee member spoke on behalf of several of the candidates who were interviewed.  Landek praised the committee process as an example of Democracy operating during a very difficult time.
 
“The intent of the committee meeting was to bring everyone together to select the best candidate to complete the remaining two years of the four year term and Frank Aguilar received the majority of the votes,” Landek said.
 
Landek said it was expected from the committee that candidates who presented themselves, if selected, would  abide by a set of ethical rules established by Cook County and the State, provide full transparency while in the office and make district outreach their  priority.
 
Landek said the committee took several straw votes before  Aguilar was selected as Tobolski’s successor to serve the people of the 16th District.
 
The committee’s selection was forwarded to the Democratic Party of Cook County and will be presented to the Cook County Board to complete the appointment process.
 
Aguilar has served as a liaison to the Hispanic and Latino community in the 16th District for more than 15 years. He was a member of the Illinois House from 2002 until 2004, and has since headed the Cicero Mexican American Cultural Committee organizing annual events for the Mexican American community that have attracted tens of thousands of attendees from the public, including the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration each Spring.
 
Aguilar also served as the former executive director of the Little Village Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the Junior Achievement Suburban Regional Board help provide economic and business education or kids. He also served as a member including as Chairman of the Morton College Board from 2007 until 2020, resigning as a result of the appointment. Prior to joining the Morton College Board, Aguilar taught business administration at Morton College. He also served as a representative of the Allied Production Workers Union in Cook County.
The 16th District extends from Franklin Park in the north to Hodgkins in the south, mostly representing Chicago’s west suburbs including Cicero, Bridgeview, Berwyn, Lyons, Forest View, Melrose Park and parts of Chicago’s Little Village area.
Map of the 16th Cook County District courtesy of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Map of the 16th Cook County District courtesy of the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Ray Hanania

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