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Cook County State's Attorney
I grew up in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects. After working my way through school and getting a law degree, I started working at the juvenile division in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, where I found myself handling cases of young people who grew up in circumstances very similar to mine. I want to be State’s Attorney because I want to continue to fight for young people and those who need it the most. I believe that there are many young people living in challenging circumstances have the same potential that I had, but that the shackles of an oppressive and overly punitive criminal justice system keep too many of them from realizing their dreams. I want to create an office that diverts as many non-violent, low-level offenders as possible away from incarceration and toward positive interventions. By revitalizing the state’s attorney’s office, overhauling the staffing structure, and focusing more on justice than convictions by investing in community engagement and diversion programs, I believe that I can play a powerful role in reshaping the outcomes of the lives of countless people in this community.
I firmly believe that we can’t address the ills of income inequality without instituting major reforms to the criminal justice system. Young men of color are being sentenced with disproportionate harshness for nonviolent offenses, and the stigma they carry with them for the rest of their lives is the cause of an enormous amount of economic instability. I believe prosecutors have an important role not just in dispensing justice, but in dispensing it justly. The current regime in Cook County is responsible for tearing families apart and depriving entire communities of economic opportunity; a more fair and equitable state’s attorney’s office will give more people the tools they need to build successful careers and raise stable families.
I also believe that beyond criminal prosecution this office can do more to protect working families, particularly against corporations that take advantage of low income workers through wage theft and unfair labor practices. The civil functions of this office has been severely underutilized in the fight for economic and racial justice.
Election Date: November 8, 2016