Past winners

The Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award

For 19 years, Toni Preckwinkle served Chicago’s Fourth Ward as its alderman, fighting for better wages, economic development and stronger communities. Born in St. Paul, Minn., President Preckwinkle has spent her entire adult life working for underserved communities in Chicago. As Fourth Ward alderman, President Preckwinkle oversaw unprecedented growth, development and change in Hyde Park and Kenwood.

Recently elected to lead the Cook County Board of Commissioners, President Preckwinkle has a long record working to improve neighborhoods across the city. In the City Council, she fought for the creation of mixed-income and affordable housing, and secured funding for public schools and new commercial centers. She helped form the Quad Communities Development Corporation, which has led the way in improving quality of life in four south side neighborhoods. She cosponsored ordinances to boost affordable housing and two Living Wage measures.

A former high school history teacher, President Preckwinkle’s involvement with organizations including the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Health Center and the Coalition for Athletic Facilities for Kenwood Academy, as well as her work as executive director of the Chicago Jobs Council, coordinator of Economic Development for the City Club of Chicago and as a development officer for the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club showcase her dedication to Chicago’s neighborhoods.

As Cook County Board president, she has committed to cutting spending, streamlining the county’s operations and cleaning up government to assure residents of Chicago and Cook County that their leaders are working for them.

For her lifelong dedication to creating opportunities for Chicagoans, President Preckwinkle is the 2011 recipient of the Richard M. Daley Friend of the Neighborhoods Award.