Kim Foxx, Candidate for Cook County State's Attorney

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Candidate Full Name: Kim Foxx

Office: Cook County State's Attorney

Party: Democrat

Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)

1. Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.

My professional and personal experience uniquely qualifies me to handle the demands of this job. Born to a teenage mother who struggled to make ends meet, and raised on Chicago's Near North Side in the Cabrini Green housing projects by my mother and grandmother, my life experience has given me a deep understanding of the impact of crime, violence and poverty on our communities. I've been both a victim of violent crime and a prosecutor of violent criminals, and that perspective will inform my holistic approach to the transformation of the criminal justice system Cook County needs.

I have worked as a prosecutor and supervisor in the State's Attorney's office where I managed a prosecution docket of more than 5,000 criminal cases and prosecuted hundreds of felony cases. As a public guardian, I managed a caseload of more than 150 children navigating the justice system. I previously served as Board Chair of Planned Parenthood Illinois. I hope that voters will choose to support my candidacy because of the work I've done as the lead architect of the criminal justice reform agenda, addressing racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems as the former chief of staff to the Cook County Board President.

2. The debate over police accountability and misconduct has spurred an array of federal, state and local investigations. Some of those investigations will take months. Name one reform or step that the state's attorney's office could institute right now that would significantly improve police accountability.

State's Attorney Alvarez's failure to press charges against Officer Van Dyke for 400 days in the Laquan McDonald case is only the latest failure to protect victims and deliver justice in a timely and effective manner. Several officers who filed blatantly false reports about the shooting remain on active duty, while State's Attorney Alvarez continues to delay action.

An inherent conflict of interest exists whenever the state's attorney has to prosecute a police-involved shooting, and that's why I've called for an independent prosecutor to investigate police shootings, the only candidate in the race to do so.

3. What is one thing that can be done today to improve the transparency and credibility of the prosecutions of police-involved shootings?

As an elected official and as the County's top law enforcement official, I will have a duty to share information with the public. I will push for the greatest degree of transparency we can offer to the public.

The current State's Attorney has a track record of failure on appropriately prosecuting police-involved shootings, so it's no surprise the public has lost faith in the ability of the office to handle these cases.

As State's Attorney, I'll require an independent prosecutor in all police-involved shooting cases to mitigate widespread public distrust in our criminal justice system.

4. Why have current gun controls laws failed to curb the violence? What measures do you support to reduce gun violence?

Current gun laws target the end-of-the-line possessor. Instead, we need to focus on the gun traffickers and stopping straw purchasers. We have a problem when the state refuses to punish people for losing a gun or failing to report that fact.

20 percent of the guns recovered by police come from the same four stores in Illinois. Many reputable gun stores do not have a trafficking problem and we need to crack down on those that do. It simply has not been a priority for this office, and I plan to make it one.

5. Voters say they are turned off by the negative and misleading TV ads that dominate the air waves. However, campaign and election experts say candidates rely on them because "they work." Will you and your campaign agree to refrain from running negative ads from now until the election?

I have both the personal and professional experience to bring holistic reform to our broken criminal justice system.

My opponent is running an ad filled with smears because she is trying to distract from her own shameful record.

I will continue to promote my ideas to fix our broken criminal justice system regardless of the dishonest attacks from my opponent.

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