Time to Vote For Gun Safety

We witnessed another tragedy Saturday when 11 worshippers were gunned down as they bowed their heads in prayer in one of the deadliest attacks on the Jewish community in U.S. history. Four law enforcement officers were among those wounded.

We continue to witness daily tragedy here at home. At least 26 people were shot over 18 hours on Sunday, the second most violent day of the year in Chicago. By the time the weekend was over, 42 people were shot.

The time for policy change is now. If your elected officials say it’s time for “thoughts and prayers,” I have news for you, it’s time to hand them a pink slip. You have that power. Don’t miss this chance to elect lawmakers who will protect our children and families from gun violence.

Early voting is now open across the state. CLICK HERE to find your early voting location. If you are not yet registered to vote, you can register in person at any of the early voting sites. Before heading out to vote, be sure to view the Illinois Gun Safety Voter Guide.

We have been focused on state legislators who will vote to pass our priority policy to hold corrupt gun dealers accountable. There are two races that are critical to our mission to reduce gun violence across the state.

Kwame Raoul for Attorney General: 

During the final debate of the campaign for attorney general last night, Raoul’s opponent opposed a ban on assault weapons and expressed her satisfaction with existing gun laws. Her remarks came two days after the Tree of Life massacre, committed by a domestic terrorist who was armed with an AR-15. It should be noted AR-15’s were the guns of choice in the massacres in Aurora, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Umpqua Community College, Texas Church, San Bernadino and Parkland, Florida.

“It is outrageous that Erika Harold has no problem with assault weapons, especially just two days after an anti-Semitic massacre in Pittsburgh in which an individual with a history of hateful and threatening rhetoric was able to obtain firearms designed to kill large numbers of people as quickly as possible,” Raoul said. “When existing laws are not enough to keep our communities safe, the people of Illinois deserve an attorney general who will advocate for them.”

JB Pritzker for Governor:

We were proud to stand with Giffords last week and announce our endorsement of JB Pritzker. JB will tackle the gun violence problem for what it is – a public health crisis. He has a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence and restore services to impacted communities.

“Senseless gun violence is devastating our communities each and every day, but instead of taking immediate action to protect our children and our families, Bruce Rauner has chosen to stand with special interests,” said JB Pritzker. “The Gun Dealer Licensing Act is a commonsense, bipartisan bill and Bruce Rauner’s reckless veto will leave Illinois’ families without critical gun safety legislation to keep them safe. Illinoisans need a governor who will stand with communities across this state torn apart by gun violence, not pander to the gun lobby. It is unacceptable to play politics with the lives of our families and we must address this public health epidemic immediately. As governor, I will side with the children, parents, teachers, school administrators, and law enforcement officials across Illinois who support keeping our communities safe. I will sign this bill.”

Please cast your votes for Kwame Raoul and JB Pritzker, along with the local endorsed Gun Safety candidates in our Voter Guide. Pass on the information to your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to ensure that they do the same.

Do you have kids? Take them with you to vote. I did.

Kathleen at G-PAC Illinois

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.