Title: Cook County Commissioner
Name of Organization: Cook County
Alma Anaya is a trailblazer who not only was the youngest woman to ever serve on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, she also became the only Latina on the board in over 25 years and became one of the few formerly undocumented immigrants in the nation to hold elected office.
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico she immigrated to the United States at age six. The eldest of four children, she was raised by a single mother on Chicago’s South Side. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, she received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
With a history of major legislative accomplishments behind her, in 2019 Commissioner Anaya also helped pass an ordinance terminating the county’s gang database and prohibiting data sharing, setting a model for other jurisdictions.
During the 2019 budget cycle, Commissioner Anaya successfully pushed a budget amendment allocating funds to expand resources for domestic violence survivors, an issue personal to her because it will help connect survivors with services including trauma-informed care.
Commissioner Anaya serves as co-chair of the Cook County Complete Count Census Commission and has worked diligently with community and government partners to ensure a complete 2020 census count. She is also chair of the Cook County Commission on Social Innovation, an entity focusing on economic and workforce development. Anaya also serves as vice-chair of the Business and Economic Development Committee as well as the Pension Committee on the Cook County Board. She also serves as chair of the Real Estate Committee and Audit Committee on the board of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.