What Readers Are Saying About My Book: Woman of Steele

Here are a few comments that I have heard from readers of Woman of Steele “A Personal and Political Journal”

“This book should be in every high School in this Country.” – Lester Jackson, Chicago IL.

“This book should be read by aspiring potiticians.” – Mary Harris, Chicago IL.

“This book  is a must read for working mothers, its very inspitational.”  - Jeaneen Winfrey Hutchinson, Waukegan IL.

“My wife took the book from me and said I need to read that book because you can’t seem to put it down.” – Robert Lofton Chicago IL.

“I cried when I read  about some of your hardships.  I had no Idea of what you had been through. The book also brought back memories of how this neighborhood use to be” –  Rev. Darryl L. McDonald  President Progressive Baptist State Convention, Chicago, IL.

“You have a great story, I’m so proud to know you” - Rose Smith, Lawndale Christian  Health Center Silver Sneakes Exercise class, Chicago, IL.

“Grandma, I didn’t know all of that about you. Did you really play basketball?” -  My Oldest Grandson -Richard Lawerance Chicago, IL.

“Your story is very Inspirational it embodies hard work and persistence.” –  Patrick O’Hefferman Fairness Radio.4/27/12

“This is a great story.” - Steve Sanders WBBM Channel 9 Chicago, IL. 5/16/12

“I loved your book I couldn’t put it down.” – Shirley Folders Chicago, IL.

“This is a perfect addition to anyone’s library.” - Chicago Defender News Paper,

Chicago, IL.

” When I read the book,I felt as If I was sitting in front of you and you were  me telling me the story of  your life.” - Byron Steele Chicago,IL.

“Wow! what a story!” - North Lawndale News Editor- Issac Lewis,  Chicago, IL.

“When are you going to write another book?” –  Daisy Brown, Chicago, IL.

“You are a great inspiration to the City of Chicago and this country.” - Maurice Perkins Inner City Youth Foundation-Chicago, IL.

“I had to read your book twice, I enjoyed it that much.”-  -Deacon Chatman, United Baptist Church Chicago, IL.

WOW ! What a journey? From Cleveland Missippi to  Chicago IL”.-Christeen Coleman, Palentine, IL.

“Mom, I can’t believe you did so much while raising seven children“- 

Son ,Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele  Cook  County 2nd  District.

“Mrs Steele, I really enjoyed reading your book. I had no idea that you had accomplished so much”. Erica Lindsey,- Graduate Student DePaul University. Chicago, IL.

“This is living history and all of the graduates in this church will get a copy of Woman of Steele  book for graduation.- Rev. Sanders, Kenwood United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL.

Your book was very interesting and  was an easy read.-Gladys Daniels, United Baptist Church, Chicago IL.








WGN Interview May 16, 2012



I’m Back

I haven’t written an update on Woman of Steele in a few weeks, but I’m back with a lot of exciting information on what has happened over the past few weeks.

I have had several successful book signings.  When I say successful, I mean complete sell out of the books that I carried to the signing. My biggest fear  in making preperation for a signing was trying to anticipate the number of books I should bring to the book signing. As  a new aurthor I had no idea how many books would  possibly sell at a gathering of about fifty people. Well, as it turned out at the last four singings, my guess was on target except for having enough hard cover books. However it was not a problem to convince the guest who wanted hard that the soft cover book had the same information.Luckly this only happened twice.

I don’t want to sound over confident about how many books to take to a book signing, but I think I have the hang of it now. I take half hard cover and half soft. This arrangement has worked well for the last four book signings. At the book signings I have been granted the opportunity to tell why I wrote the book, as well as give information about events and famous Chicago people cited in the book.

I know I have much more to learn about book signing parties and I am looking forward to new and better ways to maximize the sell of my book. I am sure there are other authors out there who have had greater success than I have had,  therefore I welcome your input and look forward to hearing from you.

So far all of my book singing opportunities have been given at the folowing places : Inspiration Kitchen Chicago IL. ( A not for profit community service  Fine dining restaurant), Fairmont Hotel  Chicago IL. ( National Form Of Black Public Administrators Annual Luncheon) Chicago,Southern Illinois University,Carbondale Illinois,( Paul Simon Public Policy Institute) Crown Plaza  Hotel Decatur Ga.( National Organization Assocciation of Black County Officials Business Rountable Annual Meeting) United Baptist Church, Chicago IL.( Annual Women’s Day Workshop) and Kenwood United Church of Christ, Chicago IL.( Pre Mother’s Day Luncheon ).






Lecture at Paul Simon Institute of Public Policy

Friday April 13, 2012 I had the opportunity to speak at  Paul Simon Institute of Public Policy. My day started out with an interview at Southern Illinois University campus radio station.The interview  included questions  about my view of the achievement of women in politics and and if  elected women make better leaders..Of course I am somewhat partial to women leaders , given the fact that  I served on Cook county Board of Commissioners in a male dominated environment for twenty years. I believe that women have not made the progress that we should given the number of registered women voters in this country. Women make up about fifty eight per cent of the voting population.

Therefore I believe that women are underrepresented in elected office at all levels of government. Also I believe that  elected  women  are capable of making   responsible decisions. I don’t mean to impress that women are the only ones who  can make responsible decisions but I do want to convey that women certainly  have the   ability and training to make sound decisions. I believe that our country is at a place in history where we should look for the best leaders to be our leaders regardless to gender. As we have experienced women make good army officers, good doctors, good administrators ,good cooperate leaders. So let’s be very clear on the issue of women leaders, no we have not made great achievement having enough women elected to office. And I am not going to say that women make better leaders, but I will say they are capable of getting the job done.

Another question that I found interesting in the second interview was: should Cook county become a state? It is said by some of the small counties in Southern Illinois that Cook County overshadows the small counties because of its size. Well it is true that Cook County is the largest County in  the State and nearly half of the State’s population and its many business and working population generates the lion’s share of tax revenues that operates state government. On the issue of Cook County becoming a State, I  believe that we should proceed with caution because in the absence of state tax revenue from Cook County  many state functions will not  be able survive.




April Book signing

I’m happy to go to Southern Illinois University and share my journey and experiences in Chicago politics. Please join me for the following event to learn more about my work as the first female president of Cook County. I’d love to see you there!

First Female President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners 

Friday April 13 at 11:30 a.m.

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Lobby

A Pizza & Politics Event

Women in Politics

August 1, 2006, Bobbie Steele became the first woman to serve as president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. She took the role until voters could elect a replacement for John Stroger, who had suffered a stroke. Steele distinguished herself as a leader in Cook County government for two decades—at one point she was the longest serving African American woman in county government—and garnered national attention for her work on public health policies for indigent citizens. She also worked to establish minority and female participation in county contract bids. She was also the first African American woman to serve as Finance Committee Chair of Cook County’s Forest Preserve District.

Free registration requested to cgreenlee@siu.edu or 618.453.4078




Local Leader: Ambassador Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin CousinI was so proud to read in this morning’s Chicago Tribune that Ertharin Cousin has been appointed to Executive Director of the United Nation World Food Program.

Ertharin Cousin is talked about as a young woman in my book. She cut her teeth in politics by working in my first campaign  in 1982, when I ran for Alderman of the 24Th Ward. And after that she volunteered in every campaign that I ran.  She helped me to become elected to Cook County Board of commissioners in 1985 and  appointed herself as my legal adviser. She also helped me to establish my first kitchen cabinet of advisers, a group of  fifteen strong supporters that met with me once a month to judge my progress as a commissioner and make recommendations on county issues. However, Ertharin was personally concerned about affirmative action, so much so  that she helped  draft an amendment to Cook County’s purchasing ordinance to include minorities and women. I was able to get the amendment passed in 1987 and it is still in force today.

Ertharin stayed in close contact with me throughout my twenty on the county board. She  came by frequently to give me free political advice on what I should  do. While she was living out of town and could not stop by, she would call to update me on what she was doing, and again advise me on what I should do. Of course, I would sort through her advice and take action on what I thought was relevant to the needs of my constituents.

Our friendship wasn’t all business, sometimes we spent what we call “Girl’s time”, together just enjoying each other’s company over lunch or dinner in a fine dining restaurant in Chicago or Washington D.C. One day, I had lunch with her at the U.S. State Department’s Dining Room. in Washington, D.C. That was  really exciting.

When I became President  of  the Cook County Board in 2006, Ertharin volunteered to help. She critiqued my Inaugural address, adding her special touch to make the speech say all of the things that she knew I wanted to say. Her input was very helpful and made me feel  at ease in delivering the speech to City and County elected officials, as well as to the overflow crowd of employees, friends, family and media. The crowd was ecstatic to witness the swearing-in of the first female president of Cook County in its one hundred and seventy-five years of existence, and Ertharin wanted me to sound like the strong woman that she knew me to be.

From time to time after taking office, Ertharin made it her business to drop in unannounced to check on me. My staff knew her and so did the front office staff. They knew it was alright to let her in, even if I was out of the office. That is because if I was not there, the staff knew to allow her to leave me a note.

Finally, when I informed Ertharin that I would be retiring at the end of my interim term as president November 30, 2006, which was two days later, she made haste to my office to help me to write my final remarks to the Board of Commissioners and take charge of handling the press. My County press staff was not offended when she took charge, because they knew Ertharin and they knew I depended of her to help me.


Is it child abuse or is it plain poor?

During the time I was growing up in Mississippi, it was rare for children in my family to go to the doctor. My parents took full control of medical care. If you had a cold they knew what to give you or if you got injured they treated the injury. They used old fashion home remedies for everything. And there was no such thing as having required childhood shots to enter school. Personally, I never saw a doctor until I was twelve years old after we moved to town.

I wonder if parents took full control of their children’s healthcare today would they be charged with child abuse.

Let’s take a look at the enforcement of the law on a child’s health in the state of Illinois. A child is required to have a complete physical examination plus a record of all required inoculations before enrolling in kindergarten. If that requirement is not met the child may not enroll in school. If the child fails to enroll then his parents or guardian is held responsible for the child being out of school. The same requirement is repeated in fifth grade and high school.

Poor parents who are unable to afford health care for themselves have a hard time complying with state law without help from the State or federal government. And if the state is broke, where else can they turn to except the federal government? Even if it’s at minimum cost, that would help.

The Supreme Court, the highest court in our country, is now reviewing healthcare reform. It is interesting to note what some of them are saying.

It would be sad if the full responsibility of providing health care for the children of the state of Illinois is left solely to our broke state. Governor Quinn has made it crystal clear that the state of Illinois has a huge deficit with nothing in sight to fill that deficit.

Do parents go back to employing old remedies or do they go to jail for child abuse for not being able for their children to comply with medical requirements?


Virtual Book Signing, March 27th

I’d like to invite you to a virtual book signing and panel discussion on Tuesday, March 27 from 2:00-3:00PM US EST for my book, Woman of Steel.

So what is a virtual book signing?

It is just like a regular book signing—only no long lines. The book signing comes to you!

Simply register at here to receive log-in information to attend the event.

This event is a great way to meet me and other authors from the comfort of your home, office or wherever the day finds you. I will be speaking and answering questions about my new book, Woman of Steele: A Personal and Political Journal and giving you the story behind the story.

And for attending the virtual show, you will earn a free, signed copy of my book.

Sign up today!


Not All Politicians Are the Same

Rod Blagojevich press conference

Recent news stories about corrupt politicians in Chicago would make one think that every politician is corrupt. I can tell you that is not so. Sometimes politicians are overcome by greed and are trying to make it to the next level in public office. Many good leaders are unable to be guided by following the law, let alone following moral training.

Many times while in public office, I was confronted with “get rich” opportunities. Some opportunities sounded too good to be true. Well that’s when my mother instinct kicked in.

1. If the opportunity is too good to be true, it probably is.

2. There is no such thing as a “get rich” opportunity. There is always a price to be paid.

Knowing that, some people call it Mother Wit.

That is why I felt so bad for former Governor Rod Blagojevich last week when he held his last press conference before going to prison. I know Rod personally. I know him to be intelligent, passionate about his work and having sincere love for his wife and children. How did he end up leaving all of that behind?

Although he is a man, everybody has Mother Wit. What are your thoughts? Why do you think corruption seems to be so commonplace in the political arena, and how do we move away from it and into governing with ethics?


Woman of Steele: A personal and political journal

Do you want to find out what the real deal is, and you are trying to make sense of Chicago politics? Read this story to see how Chicago politics really works. You will see how this: mother, teacher community activist stood firm and fought back  over came many challenges then won the hearts of the people of Chicago who made the ultimate decision  to elect one of their own. That first election opened the door to five four year terms as Cook County Commissioner, Which ultimately helped to propelled her to the first woman President of Cook county Board of Commissioners. The second largest County in America.