G-PAC Illinois Launches Statewide Advertising Campaign To Pass BIO Bill

SPRINGFIELD – Today Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) Illinois is launching the “Our One Job” campaign, a digital advertising and grassroots advocacy effort to pass the Block Illegal Ownership and Fix the FOID Bill (BIO Bill) and curb the flow of illegal guns that cause too many preventable gun violence tragedies. The ads highlight the importance of closing dangerous loopholes in our gun laws and are part of a renewed legislative push to pass the BIO bill in the current Spring session, after it successfully passed the House in the previous General Assembly. You can view a version of the ad here.

“Our one job is to keep our children safe, yet for communities across Illinois that job gets more difficult by the day,” said Kathleen Sances, Gun Violence Prevention PAC President. “After losing more than 100 children to gun violence since the BIO Bill passed the House in 2019, we are ramping up our advocacy efforts with legislators, law enforcement officials, and faith leaders from across the state to urge both chambers to pass this legislation now and help end the scourge of gun violence plaguing our state.”

“To protect our children and our communities, we must act now,” said State Senate Sponsor Ram Villivalam. “Our statewide coalition is moving to pass common sense gun safety legislation such as background checks that would block illegal gun ownership and help keep our youth safe.”

“Our highest calling is keeping our kids safe,” said State Representative Sponsor Kathleen Willis. “Our coalition of community leaders has seen gun violence plague communities across our state and is acting now to pass common sense gun safety legislation to help curb the gun violence that takes too many children from us.”

“I’ve seen firsthand the devastation caused by illegal firearms,” said Phil Andrew, former FBI agent, safety and security expert and gun violence survivor. “The evidence is clear. Background checks based on positive identification work for public safety and protecting rights. That’s why I join leaders in law enforcement, public health, domestic violence prevention and lawful gun owners across Illinois in urging our lawmakers in Springfield to pass this common sense gun safety legislation and help us all do our most important job: keeping kids and communities safe.”

“Gun violence took my husband from me two years ago and it continues to take so many other Illinoisans, including children, from communities across our state,” said Abby Parks, widow of Aurora shooting victim Clay Parks. “We cannot wait to fix the loophole that led to my husband’s death — legislators in Springfield must pass this common sense gun safety legislation now so every child can have the future we owe them.”

“Every child in this country is born with a God-given right to a full life; every time gun violence rips their future from them, we all fail,” said Reverend Ciera Bates-Chamberlain. “Lawmakers in Springfield have an opportunity to pass common sense gun safety legislation; we urge them to seize this moment and help us better protect our children and the futures God intends for them.”

Get more facts on the BIO Bill here.

To download a full version our press release, click here.

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.