Attorney General Candidate
What is the importance of the Illinois Attorney General to your constituents in Champaign County?
The Attorney General’s Office has numerous important responsibilities, including: (1) enforcing consumer protection, environmental, and anti-discrimination laws; (2) representing Illinois in legal cases in which the State or its citizens have specific interests; (3) protecting the public’s interests in the provision of electric, natural gas, water, cable, video and telecommunication services; (4) providing advice regarding the interpretation and implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act; and (5) administering provisions of the Charitable Trust Act and the Violent Crime Victims Assistance Act. I would work to ensure that those responsibilities were efficiently and effectively fulfilled in a nonpartisan manner. Additionally, I would prioritize: (i) enhancing the Office’s efforts and investigative tools to combat public corruption; (ii) coordinating statewide efforts to address the opioid epidemic in Illinois; (iii) collaborating with the legislature to draft and enact workers’ compensation and criminal justice reform measures; and (iv) protecting Illinoisans from harassment, including peer-to-peer harassment in schools and sexual harassment within State government. These priorities would positively impact all constituents in Champaign County, regardless of background or political affiliation.
Why are you qualified to be the Illinois Attorney General?
I graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007, where I won a Boykin C. Wright Memorial Award for appellate advocacy. Following graduation, I worked in Chicago as an attorney in the litigation groups of Sidley Austin LLP and Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., representing clients in complex commercial litigation matters. In 2013, I returned to my hometown of Urbana, Illinois, and joined the litigation group of Meyer Capel, P.C., where I handle complex commercial and civil litigation cases. Additionally, I was part of the teaching faculty for Harvard Law School’s 2017 and 2018 Trial Advocacy Workshops. The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed me to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality and as a Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and I currently serve on both entities. Additionally, for the past eleven years, I have served on the national board of directors of Prison Fellowship, which advocates for bipartisan criminal justice reform measures and provides vocational and educational opportunities for inmates to rebuild their lives upon being released. Since 2002, I also have been a national advocate for measures to protect students from harassment. In recognition of my advocacy, I was named one of Fight Crime, Invest in Kids’ “Champions for Children” and received a leadership award from the National Center for Victims of Crime.
What is a key policy difference between you and your Opponent[s]?
A key policy difference between my opponent and me is our respective positions on the legislative redistricting process. I oppose political gerrymandering and believe an independent commission—as opposed to incumbent legislators—should draw the legislative maps. Accordingly, I would have supported the Fair Map Amendment. Senator Kwame Raoul, however, believes that legislators should continue to draw the legislative maps and did not support the Fair Map Amendment.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an undecided voter in Champaign County?
My roots run deep in Champaign County. I was born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, graduated from Urbana High School and the University of Illinois, and reside and practice law in Champaign-Urbana. I would be humbled to have the support of people from my community and would be honored to represent our great traditions and institutions in the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.