Besieged Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez faces two challengers, Kim Foxx and Donna More, although Foxx has the backing of the Democratic party’s political leadership in Cook County. Alvarez faces intense criticism for her failed responses in a series of police killings of Black teenagers in Chicago and is expected to be replaced in the Democratic Primary election March 15
By Ray Hanania
Cook County’s besieged States Attorney Anita Alvarez is facing a tough challenge in her bid for re-election and Democratic Party nomination in the March 15 primary, especially since most of the county’s party leaders have abandoned her.
Foxx’s life experience as well as a sterling background in law appeals to voters in Cook County where violence by police and street gangs has dominated the headlines. Born to a teenage mother, Foxx was raised on Chicago’s Near North Side by her mother and grandmother. The family struggled to make ends meet and survive, spending her early childhood in Cabrini Green.
While other candidates in public life were mentored by cronies to higher positions, Foxx worked her way up every step of the way.
Foxx excelled in school and earned both her B.A. and law degree from Southern Illinois University. She became a guardian ad litem with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, managing a caseload of more than 150 children navigating the justice system, many of whom had been abused, neglected, or had special needs.
Kim then became an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, where she served for 12 years. Kim rose through the ranks, supervising dozens of Assistant State’s Attorneys in felony juvenile courtrooms. As a front-line prosecutor and supervisor, she managed a prosecution docket of more than 5,000 criminal cases. She conducted and supervised jury trials in felony trial and juvenile courts, including everything from first-degree murder to criminal sexual assault and vehicular hijacking cases. Kim also became president of the National Black Prosecutors Association Chicago chapter during that time.
Most recently, Kim served as Chief of Staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. As an advisor and lead strategist to the President of the nation’s second largest county, Kim oversaw a $4 billion annual budget and counseled President Preckwinkle on issues ranging from finances to public safety and juvenile detention.
Foxx entered the race for Cook County State’s attorney following the public outcry against Alvarez who failed to properly investigate and respond to several incidents involving Chicago Police Officers who were quick to shoot and kill young African Americans in alleged armed instances.
As the former Chief of Staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and advisor and lead strategist to the President of the nation’s second largest county, Foxx oversaw a $4 billion annual budget and was engaged in issues and policies ranging from county finances to public safety and juvenile detention.
Alvarez specifically is facing criticism for failing to act in the murder of Black teenager Laquan McDonald, 17. It took Alvarez 13 months and high profile media criticism to finally charge the police officer who killed McDonald with the killing. McDonald was walking down the street allegedly with a knife when Police Officer Jason Van Dyke shot him three times and then reloaded his weapon to continue firing at the boy’s lifeless body after he fell to the street. Van Dyke fired 16 times at the boy.
Alvarez only acted after the video of the shooting was finally released to a shocked public. The murder took place on October 20, 2014 but the video wasn’t released by Alvarez until November 24, 2015.
Moore is a former federal prosecutor with an exemplary felony jury trial record in white collar crime and public corruption cases. She is also a former felony trial division prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she tried hundreds of bench trials and numerous jury trials. More previously worked in the Casino industry and served as chief legal counsel to the Illinois Gaming Board.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the senior columnist with the Southwest News newspaper group and is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group Public Affairs company, a consulting firm serving more than a dozen public agencies, elected officials, governments and private businesses. Reach him at [email protected])
Hanania covered Chicago political beats including Chicago City Hall while at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and later for the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.
The recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, Hanania was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hananiaalso received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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