CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has called for a commission member to resign after becoming aware of the member’s social media posts about Muslims and people from the Middle East.
“I was made aware late yesterday of social media posts by Sharon Brannigan, a member of our Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues. If these posts accurately reflect her views on diversity and inclusion, I believe she should step down from the Commission,” states Preckwinkle.
She continues, “Such viewpoints certainly do not reflect our values nor, in my opinion, the kind of representation we want on the Commission. Ms. Brannigan is the appointee of Commissioner Sean Morrison. I ask that Commissioner Morrison seek Ms. Brannigan’s immediate resignation.”
Brannigan is also a Palos Township trustee.
Preckwinkle’s recommendation comes two days after some Palos residents organized a rally denouncing Brannigan’s social media posts, including one that reads, “What’s Palos doing? Why are all our schools filling with Middle East students without proper documentation?”
Another Facebook post from 2015 criticizes the community’s Muslim population for “keeping themselves and their activities hidden” from others, WBBM’s Andy Dahn reports.
“I am not anti-Muslim,” Brannigan told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov Monday night. “I am pro-community and pro-taxpayer.”
Asked if she regretted the social-media postings, Brannigan replied: “I regret that they feel it was a slight.”
Emily Biegel is director and founder of Southwest Suburban Activists, a group that organized Monday’s rally.
“It’s not that we’re attacking her right to free speech, but with free speech comes consequences,” Biegel said. “If you’ve been charged with representing your entire township, that includes the ones who’s religion you have such disdain for.”
CBS 2 is reaching out to Commissioner Sean Morrison for comment.