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Suburban Cook County Commissioners celebrate RTA appointments of two Black women

Cook County Commissioners Donna Miller and Kevin B. Morrison joined other members of the Cook County Board’s Suburban Caucus on a virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 16, to approve the appointments of Jamie Gathing and Mary Beth Canty to the Regional Transit Authority Board. The appointees represent the southeast and northwest portions of Cook County, respectively, and are appointed by Cook County Commissioners that represent mostly suburban districts.

The Regional Transportation Authority is responsible for the financial oversight, funding, and regional transit planning for the region’s transit operators or Service Boards: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace Suburban Bus and Pace Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Paratransit. The Board of Directors is a 16-member group of professionals governing the activities and initiatives of the RTA. Four members of the Board of Directors are selected by suburban members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

“As a Southland Commissioner, it is my goal to ensure diverse representation that reflects the County and be a voice for the needs of our communities on any Regional Governmental Boards and Commissions. It is for this reason that as a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners Suburban Caucus on Regional Transportation Appointments, I brought forth the nomination of Ms. Jamie Gathing to the RTA Board of Directors. Jamie’s appointment adds to the Board her legal and corporate compliance experience as an attorney as well as her extensive civic engagement experience, and she will also be a strong advocate for our Southland communities. I want to congratulate and thank both Jamie and Mary Beth for their willingness to serve and I’m proud that this Board will now have two Black women as members,” said Commissioner Donna Miller.

Commissioner Kevin Morrison said, “I’m grateful to Jamie and Mary Beth for bringing their expertise and passion to the RTA Board. Now is a time for transformational change in transit. We need innovative leaders that are representative of our communities to advance equitable solutions that allow for more people to access transit. Our future generations are counting on us to make smart and sustainable decisions for our planet. For too long, our communities of color in Cook County have borne the burden of climate change. I’m proud two Black women will be at the table at RTA to help expand transit as part of combatting climate change and bringing more equitable public transportation to the table.”

“I am proud and honored to be part of an exciting new era for the RTA Board. We have a lot of challenges in front of us, and now is the time for bold moves and creative thinking, and I look forward to doing that with my fellow board members,” said Mary Beth Canty.

“I am thrilled to congratulate Jamie Gathing and Mary Beth Canty on their appointments to the Regional Transit Authority Board. I know their professional experience and dedication to serving the residents of our County will help ensure equitable transit access across all suburban municipalities. It is critical that the leaders within our county reflect its great diversity and bring their numerous lived experiences to our decision making. While it was my privilege to be part of these historic appointments, it is a shame that these ‘firsts’ are still happening in 2020. I will continue to make it a priority to elevate people of color into these important positions throughout our county,” 14th District Commissioner Scott Britton said.

Jamie Gathing is an experienced attorney currently working as a Managing Vice President at the Northern Trust Company. Jamie formerly served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois. She serves in many capacities serving her community, including as a board member of the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago and the Pullman Community Center Development Corporation. Mary Beth Canty is a Trustee for the Village of Arlington Heights and an attorney at Litchfield Cavo. Mary Beth has an extensive legal career prior to her current role. She serves her community in a variety of roles including Co-Chair of Programming for the League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights, First Vice President of Olive-Mary Stitt Parent Teacher Association, and the School District 25 Cultural Awareness Committee.

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