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SEPTEMBER 19: Cook County takes on Racial Equity


  • Dennis Deer - Cook County Commissioner of the 2nd District

  • Alma E. Anaya - Cook County Commissioner of the 2nd District

  • Lanetta Haynes Turner - Chief of Staff, Cook County Government


  • Judith Helfand - Director/Producer, Cooked: Surival by Zip Code

Lanetta Haynes Turner, Chief of Staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle


Lanetta Haynes Turner assumed the role of Chief of Staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in October 2018. Prior to her transition, Lanetta served in various capacities within the Preckwinkle administration including her role as Deputy Chief of Staff where she focused on building the President’s policy agenda and spearheading the development of the office’s first comprehensive strategic plan and as the Executive Director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, an office charged with advancing the President’s criminal and juvenile justice reform agenda.

A long-time advocate for youth due to her own child-hood experiences growing up in foster care, Mrs. Haynes Turner has over fifteen years of legal/nonprofit experience and a commitment to public service and working to improve the lives of those most marginalized. A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Education and Social Policy and Loyola University School of Law, Lanetta began her career as an attorney with the City of Chicago and then as an attorney with Life Span Center for Legal Services and Advocacy.  In addition, she was the Executive Director of CASA of Cook County and the first inaugural Executive Director for Cook County Justice for Children.

Mrs. Haynes Turner is a 2016 Civic Leadership Academy Fellow through the University of Chicago, a 2012 Leadership Greater Chicago Alumni, recipient of the Athena International Young Nonprofit Professional Award and was named one of the 100 Women to Watch for Today’s Chicago Women Magazine in 2012.  She holds memberships with the Black Women’s Lawyer’s Association, Chicago Bar Association and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.

Dennis Deer, Cook County Commissioner of the 2nd District

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Dennis Deer was appointed as Cook County Commissioner on July 13, 2017, Commissioner Deer proudly represents one of the most diverse districts in Cook County. The 2nd Cook County District extends north to Division, south to 75th Street, east to King Drive and west to Laramie. 

He is a graduate of Jackson State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Special Education and the Master of Science in Rehabilitation Psychology. He later went on to earn his Ph.D. in Christian Psychology. Born and raised on Chicago’s west side, Dr. Deer remains a resident of the North Lawndale community. He has a long history of community service and has worked extensively with local community organizations on employment and training, re-entry, economic development, affordable housing, healthcare, and education. Dr. Deer is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor, and a Certified Corrective Thinking Therapist. 

Alma Anaya, Cook County Commissioner of the 7th District

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Alma Anaya is the Cook County Commissioner of the 7th District, serving the Southwest Side of Chicago. Alma became the only Latina (the first in over 25 years), and the youngest woman to ever serve on the Cook County Board of Commissioners when she took office. Alma is also one of the few formerly undocumented immigrants to hold office in the country.

 Alma was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and arrived to the United States at the age of 6. She is the oldest of 4 and was raised by a single mother on the Southside of Chicago. Alma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

 Prior to taking office, Alma had seven years of experience working on the Cook County Board. She has worked on County and internal budgets, policy initiatives, and has collaborated with community stakeholder to provide resources to the constituents of the 7th District.

 Alma is constantly active in her community. She has served on the Local School Councils (LSC) and with non-for-profit organizations likeMujeres Latinas en Acción (MLEA) where she is both a MLEA Board member and Co-Chair of the Young Professional Advisory Council. Alma was also selected as a Racial Equity Fellow in the inaugural cohort of Chicago United for Equity and is an Edgar Fellows alumni through the Institute of Government & Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.