Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveils 3 tools to increase transparency
Broadening her efforts to make County Government transparent and accountable, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled three new tools to improve public access to Cook County Board meetings and open the doors of County Government The public can now listen to live broadcasts of Cook County Board meetings with streaming internet radio and can also watch time-delayed board meetings indexed by each point of that day’s agenda. Building on the ability to listen to meetings, Cook County will make video of each meeting available within 7 business days. What makes this different from other meeting video is the ability for the public to find a specific point on the meeting agenda, and cue the video to that point. In the future, the County plans to make this service live, allowing the public to watch meetings as they happen. To access these services, click on the “Media” tab on the main navigation bar of the website. On the day of board meetings, website visitors will find a red “Listen to Board Meetings Live” button in the right sidebar. Click the button to reveal the streaming radio player. To ensure that County Government is accessible to all people, President Preckwinkle is increasing access to the visually impaired, learning disabled and non-native English speakers by utilizing software that reads web pages out loud in English, or translating them into a variety of other languages. To use this service, click on the orange “BrowseAloud” icon found on all Cook County Government webpages. “Being able to listen and watch meetings is an important aspect of transparency. The value is that it’s unfiltered by opinion or bias. Now that we’re able to offer this to all Cook County residents, not just those with keen eyesight or total mastery of the English language, means we are pushing the conventional definition of transparency as well,” President Preckwinkle said of the tools. She went on to say the new tools will be monitored and improved upon going forward to ensure that the doors of County Government remain open to all the residents of Cook County for years to come.