Bill Lowry, a prominent attorney and anti-youth violence advocate filed more than eight times the needed signatures to become the next Cook County Commissioner of the 3rd District—a seat expected to be vacated by Jerry “The Iceman” Butler. The district includes Bronzeville, Woodlawn, the Gold Coast, Downtown Chicago and parts of Chatham, Woodlawn, West Englewood and South Shore.
Lowry, who is president and co-managing shareholder of Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie & Lowry, P.C., joined supporters at the Chicago Board of Elections to file over 3,400 signatures to be on the ballot for the Illinois Primary in March of next year. The North Kenwood resident said that in addition to criminal justice reforms and stimulating economic growth throughout Cook County, central to his platform will be the focus on health care. Cook County alone is home to more than 75 hospitals, 160 Federally Qualified Health Centers and dozens of independent health organizations, nursing homes and hospice businesses.
“Washington’s attacks on health care are unprecedented, and more than 600,000 people depend on the County care to provide the medical and dental services they need,” Lowry said. “We need to expand services not cut them, but to do that we have to ensure Cook County secures as much revenue as possible from the federal government and other sources.”
A Chicago native, Lowry is the son of civic leader Bill E. Lowry and teacher Lil Lowry Manning and grew up in the Marynook neighborhood. He attended St. Francis de Sales High School, where he was a member of the basketball team before transferring to Francis W. Parker School where he graduated in 1980. After enrolling in Lake Forest College, the budding leader majored in history and political science and received his undergraduate degree in 1984. He received a juris doctorate degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1987.
He holds memberships in the Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association, and the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association. In 2014 he was appointed by the governor to the Illinois Capital Development Board where he now serves as vice-chairman. He has been a member of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board (2012–2015).
A champion of social justice, children’s rights, access to health care and volunteerism, Lowry serves on the board of directors 14 organizations including, Bright Star Community Outreach, the University of Chicago Police Department Community Advisory Board, Chicago Family Directors, Legal Prep Charter Academy, Chicago Family Connections, the Ancona Montessori School and, Lake Forest College. He is President of the Board of Governors of Loyola University School of Law. At both Lake Forest College and Loyola Law School, he has fostered the creation of scholarships to support students of color in their pursuit of higher education. Bill has also served on committees of such institutions as the Dusable Museum of African-American History, Shriver Center on National Poverty Law, and the Get In Chicago Advisory Network, among others.
Impacted by the senseless shooting of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed just steps from Lowry’s door, he organized his neighbors, colleagues and associates and created The It’s Time Organization (TITO) to combat youth conflict and violence with after-school programs, summer jobs, internships and mentors. The successful not-for-profit has provided opportunities to hundreds of youth in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Wards of Chicago.
The attorney and community leader has a wealth of political and legislative experience having served as the Finance Chair for Toni Preckwinkle For County Board President, and has served as member of the finance committees for Obama for President; Obama for U.S. Senate; Friends of Robin Kelly; Kurt Summers for Chicago; Friends of Kwame Raoul; Friends of Leslie Hairston and Friends of Alexi Giannoulias for U.S. Senate. As a youth, he was active in Harold Washington’s historic campaign for Chicago Mayor.
He has led a bipartisan group of civic, business and legislative leaders in identifying progressive revenue solutions for Cook County and, ensuring that 600,000 citizens have access to health and dental care through the Affordable Care Act. In working on juvenile justice issues, Bill has led efforts to identify programs and public policy that reduces the recidivism rate and assists formerly incarcerated citizens with successful re-entry in their communities.
Lowry is the recipient of numerous awards including the Quad Communities Development Corporation’s Beacon Award (2016); the Ancona Montessori School’s Spirit of Ancona Award (2009); Lake Forest College’s Outstanding Alumni Leadership Award (2009); Loyola University of Chicago School of Law’s Distinguished Service Award (2008); and, the Top Ladies of Distinction – Chicago Chapter’s Role Model Award (1997).
A lifelong Democrat, the candidate is married to Dr. Cheryl D. Watson-Lowry, a dentist and business owner, and the couple have three adult children, Bill Jr., Evan and Clarke.