Andrea A. Raila has for more than three decades been an ardent advocate for taxpayers’ rights.  A former property tax case reviewer at the Cook County Board of Tax (Appeal) Review, she was the founder and owner-operator of the widely respected tax appeal consulting and public policy firm, Andrea A. Raila & Associates, Inc.  In 2013, the Better Business Bureau awarded her firm its highly regarded Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in Chicago and Northern Illinois.

As Cook County Assessor, Andrea will fight to ensure that all property owners are treated the same, no matter the location of their property, their income level or their ethnicity, and that property tax assessment increases should be controlled and understood.

Andrea has devoted more than 30 years to educating the public on the importance of financial management, public ballot initiatives, and public policy participation, and has represented the taxing interests of homeowners and businesses throughout Cook County.  She was a co-contributor to the Taxpayer Federation’s study Taxation without Representation: The Illinois Property Tax System, and has initiated property tax reform laws that have brought fairness to our property tax system that is rife with conflicts of interest and biased assessments based on poor data.

Andrea is a Senior Tax Analyst and, for more than 18 years, has been a property management instructor for Community Investment Corporation’s highly regarded Property Management Seminar.  She has published numerous editorials, real estate tax articles and studies, and has served on several real estate task forces.  Andrea also is a financial educator who partners with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s annual Money Smart Week Program advocating personal financial literacy, emphasizing taxpayer rights and responsibilities, and the importance of accuracy and fairness in taxation.

Andrea is an advocate for young girls, seniors, victims of domestic violence, women’s shelters and transitional needs. Since 2009, she has served on the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues, focusing on the economic and social challenges that girls and women face. Andrea also has served as Treasurer and on the Executive Committee for Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM), was on the Merger Committee for CLAIM’s transition into partnership with Cabrini Green Legal Aid and has volunteered with Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly (HOME), Glass Slipper and Apna Ghar.

Andrea is a founding member of St. Gertrude’s Parish Adoption and Foster Families program.  While at Raila & Associates she initiated her private firm’s decades-long commitment to high school sponsorships with the Chicago Public School Career and Technical Education Program, and the mentor program at the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, the only all-girls public school in Chicago.

Andrea, her husband and three children live in the Edgewater neighborhood where they have seen their property tax bill increase by $800 in one year due in part to the historic Chicago tax rate increase.  With utility and garbage tax rate increases, and two college students and a student at CPS, Andrea knows how hard it is to keep up with ever-escalating taxes. To help all Cook County taxpayers, Andrea has decided to run for the Office of Cook County Assessor.