G-PAC Announces Endorsements of Chicago Aldermanic Candidates

Calls Upon Voters to Take a Stand Against Gun Violence on Election Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               

February 11, 2015

CHICAGO-The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) announced the organization’s endorsement of candidates for the February election today, adding that key races will soon be targeted for funding and political support in critical districts where a voice for reasonable gun safety legislation is needed.

Launched by gun safety advocates and shooting victims outraged by the questionable influence of the gun lobby, G-PAC is the only organization in Illinois working to elect and protect candidates that support common sense gun safety – and to defeat those that don’t.

“Children, families and communities across our state have paid a tragically high price for our state’s failure to pass reasonable gun safety measures for far too long. G-PAC seeks to save lives by supporting the election of leaders who are committed to passing reasonable gun safety measures and working with us to combat the influence of the gun lobby,” said G-PAC Executive Director Kathleen Sances.

G-PAC felt it was important to weigh in on the Chicago municipal elections. A disproportionate amount of gun violence and homicides occur in high crime communities throughout the city, primarily as a result of the flow of illegal guns from counties/states with weaker gun laws. Day after day, senseless tragedies steal away the lives of children who are caught in the crossfire, tearing these neighborhoods apart.

“Despite the fact that the majority of Illinois voters support common sense gun safety legislation, this lifesaving position is not often reflected in the voting records of the public officials representing them. All too often, those we have elected to look out for our communities have been looking the other way – putting politics above public safety, said G-PAC Founder Tom VandenBerk.

“We urge voters to make their voices heard loud and clear this February by sending a strong message to the gun industry, their lobbyists, and the elected officials who do their bidding: Enough is enough,” he added. “Lives depend on it.”

Endorsements were determined by candidates’ responses to G-PAC’s 2015 Election Campaign Questionnaire with 13 questions regarding their positions on critical gun safety legislation, including, but not limited to:

  • Establishing reasonable licensing measures to crack down on gun dealers that supply illegal traffickers with crime guns;
  • Increasing penalties for the “lost and stolen” law to discourage illegal gun trafficking;
  • Reporting gun transactions at the point of sale enabling authorities to trace the source of guns at crime scenes quickly, reducing gun crimes; and
  • Agreeing to join fellow elected officials in calling for suburban gun dealers to follow the city’s example and place stronger public safety protections to prevent illegal gun trafficking, such as: employee background checks and training, anti-theft safety plans, investigation logs, inventory audits, video cameras and prohibition of revoked license transfers.

Ultimately, all of the candidates that were endorsed by G-PAC had responded “yes” to 100% of the questions.

G-PAC’s 2015 Endorsements include: (Please note that in open contests, more than one candidate may be endorsed.)

Chicago City Council:

Ward 1:             Joe Moreno

Ward 2:             Alyx Pattison, Brian Hopkins, Cornell Wilson

Ward 3:             No Endorsement

Ward 4:             William Burns

Ward 5:             Leslie Hairston

Ward 6:             No Endorsement

Ward 7:             Natasha Holmes

Ward 8:             Michelle Harris

Ward 9:             Anthony Beale

Ward 10:           John Pope

Ward 11:            No Endorsement

Ward 12:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 13:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 14:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 15:            Rafael Yanez

Ward 16:            No Endorsement

Ward 17:            Glenda Franklin

Ward 18:            No Endorsement

Ward 19:            No Endorsement

Ward 20:            Willie B. Cochran

Ward 21:            Howard Brookins

Ward 22:            Ricardo Munoz

Ward 23:            Michael Zalewski

Ward 24:            Frank Bass, LaDarius Curtis, Michael Scott, Jr.

Ward 25:            Jorge Mujica, Byron Sigcho

Ward 26:            Roberto Maldonado

Ward 27:            Walter Burnett

Ward 28:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 29:            Deborah Graham

Ward 30:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 31:            Sean Starr

Ward 32:            Scott Waguespack

Ward 33:            Deb Mell

Ward 34:            Carrie M. Austin

Ward 35:            Rey Colon

Ward 36:            Omar Aquino, Gilbert Villegas

Ward 37:            Emma Mitts

Ward 38:            Heather Sattler

Ward 39:            Joe Laiacona

Ward 40:            Patrick O’Connor

Ward 41:            No Endorsement

Ward 42:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 43:            Michele Smith

Ward 44:            Tom Tunney

Ward 45:            No Endorsement

Ward 46:            James Cappelman

Ward 47:            Ameya Pawar

Ward 48:            Unopposed/No Endorsement

Ward 49:            Joe Moore

Ward 50:            Debra Silverstein


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As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.