New Cook County Website Opens Doors

September 26, 2011

Want to know about Chicago real estate property transfers, foreclosures or property taxes? There’s a new website for that and more.

Last week, a Cook County “Open Data” website was unveiled. The site includes more than 75 data sets from over 40 departments and agencies that offer such information as foreclosures around Cook County to outpatient registrations within the County’s health and hospital system.

toni preckwinkle unveils the website.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle is flanked by other Cook County officials as she unveils the new Open Data website.

This site has been developed to bring transparency and accountability to the County government, a goal Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing for the city as a whole.

“When I was sworn into office in December, I said that this is the time to open Cook County government to its citizens; to make County government work for its residents. This site puts those words into action,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

“I know that the historic lack of transparency and accountability has eroded the legitimacy of Cook County government in many residents’ eyes. Quite simply, a government that is transparent and accountable to its residents is a more effective government.”

In May, a Cook County Open Government Ordinance was passed to increase accountability and requires County agencies and officials to post at least three important data sets for the website.

At the site, residents can comment and rate the site, request additional data sets and offer their own ideas to the Open Data initiative.

“Data in a vacuum serves no functional purpose,” said Preckwinkle. “It’s time for an honest and open dialogue with the people of Cook County. And in order to do that, we need to lay all the facts out on the table – and then allow everyone a seat at the table.”

Ready to see what you can see? Visit and click on “Browse the Data Catalog,” or simply visit the catalog at

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