CLERGY, COMMUNITY & LABOR DEMAND RESIGNATION OF COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday, December 2, 2015
CONTACTS: Kristi Sanford, Kristi@iiron.org or 773-456-4024
Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, jacob@npa-us.org or 312-316-3973
 

THURSDAY, 9:30 AM PRESS CONFERENCE: CLERGY,  COMMUNITY AND LABOR DEMAND RESIGNATION OF COOK COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY ANITA ALVAREZ  

CHICAGO, IL -- Thursday morning, clergy, labor and community members will hold a press conference demanding the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (details below). They will also deliver more than 32,000 petition signatures calling for her resignation

WHAT: Press Conference and Petition Delivery

WHO: Community members from: IIRON, BYP100, National People’s Action, Pastors United for Change, Action Now, Workers Center for Racial Justice, The People’s Lobby and SEIU Health Care Illinois Indiana

WHEN: 9:30 AM, Thursday, December 3, 2015

WHERE: In front of the State’s Attorney’s Office, 69 W. Washington, Chicago, IL 60602

Community leaders say that Alvarez’s delay of more than a year for bringing charges against Officer Van Dyke for the brutal murder of Laquan McDonald is just the tip of the iceberg. They say her tenure as State’s Attorney has been marked by the obstruction of justice and efforts to address mass incarceration. Clergy, labor and community advocates launched an effort in 2013 to address the crisis of mass incarceration in Illinois, which is centered in Cook County where 20,000 are jailed annually, 90% in pre-trial detention, and those held are disproportionately Black and Latino. Studies have shown that pre-trial detention is one of the leading causes of the mass incarceration crisis, trapping first time offenders into a lifetime of incarceration instead of correcting the problem and providing rehabilitation for those with drug addictions.

Instead of working with the community and other public officials to address the problem, Alvarez has resisted. Earlier this year when Alvarez' re-election campaign was beginning, she finally agreed to demands from the community to allow deferred prosecution of low-level drug offenses -- a key reform to reduce over-incarceration that is being adopted by local governments through district attorneys across the nation. But Alvarez’s verbal agreement appears to have been politically motivated. Since then she has refused to provide any proof that the program is in effect and refused to comply with a FOIA request submitted by groups to force Alvarez to prove the program is active and having an impact on reducing incarceration.

Groups are calling for her to resign once and for all for a long list of abuses and cover ups that serve to both protect the Chicago Police Department and Cook County Jail system that targets the poor and Black and Latino communities in Chicago most.
 

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IIRON is a metropolitan Chicago-based organization that trains people to understand, build, and exercise power through collective action so that powerful decision-makers act in ways that serve the interest of people and the planet, not just the interests of the wealthy and big corporations.

National People's Action is a network of 29 grassroots organizations in 18 states working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.