The People vs Anita Alvarez
The 2016 Cook County State’s Attorney race will be one of the most watched races outside of the Presidential Election. The incumbent, Anita Alvarez, is no stranger to corruption controversies or political enemies. She was a loyal employee of former Mayor Richard Daley when he was Cook County State’s Attorney himself. That dark period has been etched into Chicago history as the era in which Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his team of criminal cops tortured and terrorized the city’s black community, filling Illinois’ prisons with innocent men in the process. When elected Cook County State’s Attorney in 2008, Alvarez continued the tradition of protecting criminal police officers and elected officials. The most notorious case being the David Kochman murder-cover-up. Protecting former Mayor Daley’s nephew RJ Vanecko from prosecution for murder for seven years has become Anita Alvarez’s legacy. The Special Investigator’s report damned Alvarez and her entire office over the cover-up, accusing dozens of individuals with criminal behavior.
The removal of Anita Alvarez from office will end the decade’s long practice of politically connected prosecutors that have habitually and overzealously prosecuted poor and minority citizens for being poor and minority, while protecting the wealthy, corporate interests and the politically connected.
· To educate voters in Cook County around the need to overhaul the States Attorneys office, fundamentally transform our criminal justice system
To mobilize 100,000 voters committed to transforming the criminal justice system, to take action in both the primary and general elections
CRGE Endorses Mike Nerheim for Lake County States Attorney
Over the past couple years we have become increasingly aware of the important role prosecutors have in our broken criminal justice system. They determine such things as what crime a person is charged with or influence the type of sentence a person gets in court. Unfortunately many prosecutors are still caught in the 80s and 90s paradigm of having a high conviction rate and locking up as many Black and Brown bodies as possible to further their political careers. This was the case with Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, which is why we endorsed her chief opponent Kim Foxx, and contacted more than 27,000 voters to tell them why we were supporting her.
On the flip side, prosecutors can also be an ally in the struggle to transform our criminal justice system into one that is racially equitable and emphasizes restorative justice over punishment. Prosecutors have the power to reduce the population of our prisons and jails, instead of filling them with the people of color, the poor or mentally ill. It is with this incredible potential in mind that the Center for Racial and Gender Equity is endorsing Mike Nerheim for Lake County State's Attorney.
We believe Mr. Nerheim has the passion, commitment, and most importantly track record to help fix the broken criminal justice system in Lake County. He has been a real leader in Illinois and across the the country when it comes to identifying and preventing wrongful convictions. Mr. Nerheim's commitment to diversion programs for first-time nonviolent offenders and repeat drug offenders, emphasizing Mental Health Court for people suffering from mental illness, helping to develop a pre-arrest diversion program for people struggling with addiction called "A Way Out" and bringing together crime survivors and perpetrators for reconciliation and healing, makes him the best candidate for State's Attorney. We are proud to endorse him and look forward to helping him get elected on November 8.