Meet
Jaylin D. McClinton

Putting Justice Front and Center on the
Cook County Board.

Jaylin has always firmly believed in the power of a community coming together. Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Jaylin still lives in the same Roseland house he grew up in. But over the better part of nearly three decades, he’s seen the detrimental effects of neglect and corruption in his neighborhood first-hand.

 

Jaylin’s running for Cook County Commissioner to raise the level of service residents of the 5th District can come to expect. He wants to address long ignored quality of life issues impacting residents every day. Folks are getting pushed further and further out of Chicago and its suburbs due to the rising cost of living. And despite lip service from establishment politicians, neither public safety nor equity in the justice system have improved.

 

Jaylin was raised on the South Side by his mother and grandparents, who first moved to Chicago from Mississippi in search of better opportunities. Jaylin was blessed with great teachers who believed in him from a young age—in fact, he’s still in touch with his kindergarten teacher to this day. The women in Jaylin’s life made sure he prioritized his education. Always a talkative young man—maybe too talkative if you ask his teachers— he knew early on that he wanted to be a lawyer and use his position to advance his community. Dedicating himself to his studies, he graduated from the University of Illinois and became the first in his family to earn a college degree.

 

In college, Jaylin discovered the ways he could marry his passion for his community with public service. He got his first taste of campaigning as a volunteer organizer on the Obama presidential campaign. He also made his first run for office, winning a highly competitive race for Student Trustee on the U of I Board of Trustees. His election, along with two other Black students in Chicago and Springfield marked the first time in history that all three campuses were represented by someone of African descent. As a Trustee, he took an active role in the state’s budget process; tackled issues of diversity, belonging, and inclusion, and college affordability; and organized against Governor Rauner’s devastating budget cuts. 

After college, Jaylin worked in the Obama Administration in the Office of Management and Administration and shortly thereafter for then-Illinois State Representative Juliana Stratton, now Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. Before law school, Jaylin also joined the Obama Foundation as their first-ever Community Organizer tasked with building a strong, grassroots local community network whose voices were at the center of every major decision. Today he’s in his third year of law school and set to graduate in May of 2022. He externed for a federal judge, worked at the ACLU of Illinois, defended people’s civil and constitutional rights, and fought against corporations in violation of consumers’ privacy interests.

Jaylin is ready to bring a fresh face, new perspective, and bold leadership to the Cook County Board.