For the office of
COOK COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY
CRGE is pleased to endorse
During her initial term as Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx implemented a series of transformative policies to promote greater equity and justice in the local law enforcement system. Her visionary reforms have proven effective in curbing the criminalization of poverty, stemming the racially targeted prison pipeline, and fostering community safety. Foxx has also publicly resisted the divisive and racialized tough-on-crime rhetoric espoused by President Trump and the Fraternal Order of the Police, and leveraged her office to advance a powerful national narrative of fairness, inclusion, and liberation.
Foxx's Record as Cook County State's Attorney
For decades, communities of color in Cook County have been subject to anti-Black police abuse and racially targeted systems of law enforcement. The perpetuation of these injustices is largely attributable to the failed policies of a succession of local state’s attorneys. Ignoring the interests of Black and Brown constituents, Cook County’s elected prosecutors embraced politically expedient tough-on-crime practices. These misguided tactics failed in their purported intent to deter crime, and served to exacerbate the symptoms of racialized inequality, disinvestment and injustice that underpin disparities in neighborhood safety.
In the 2016 state’s attorney’s race, a trailblazing advocate for prosecutorial reform offered voters a progressive alternative to Cook County’s failed law-and-order doctrine. Promising to adopt more humane and effective methods of law enforcement, then-candidate, Kim Foxx presented voters of color with a compelling new vision of neighborhood safety and liberation.
Once in office, State’s Attorney Foxx upheld her commitment to reform Cook County’s prosecutorial system. Within a month of inauguration, she raised the threshold for charging felony retail theft from $300 to $1000. Consequently, during Foxx’s second full year as state’s attorney, 73% fewer residents were charged with felony retail theft than in the last year of her predecessor’s term. In an effort to curb the prosecution of poverty, Foxx’s office also stopped charging drivers whose licenses had been suspended due to an inability to pay parking tickets or other regressive fees. As a result, in 2018, 36% fewer drivers were prosecuted for a suspended license than in her predecessor's final year as state’s attorney.
Applying Prosecutorial Discretion
State's attorneys have the power to stem the prison pipeline by exercising discretion in the felony review process. In many cases, prosecutors may elect to either reject or approve charges filed by local police. In 2018, under Foxx’s policies, the felony review case rejection rate was 60% higher than in the final year of her predecessor’s term.
State’s Attorney Foxx also leveraged the platform of her office to advocate for progressive criminal justice policies in the Illinois legislature, including enhanced expungement of conviction records and the legalization of specified amounts of recreational cannabis. Moreover, in 2018 Foxx launched an initiative to improve transparency of the State’s Attorney’s office through an unprecedented disclosure of Cook County prosecutorial data, dating back to 2011.
Within her first three years in office, Foxx’s transformative approach to law enforcement has yielded resoundingly positive results for Cook County residents, propelling significant trends of both decarceration and crime reduction. The traction Foxx has made in advancing equity and justice in the legal system has prompted contentious backlash among various political forces devoted to the preservation of police impunity, mass incarceration and systems of white supremacy.
Grasping unsuccessfully for sound critique of her performance record, Foxx’s detractors have resorted to utter fabrication. Among the growing assortment of unfounded accusations waged against the State’s Attorney, is the enduring assertion that her policies propelled an upsurge in Chicago’s gun violence rate. To the contrary, a discrete rise in city shootings predated Foxx’s inauguration, and abated shortly after. Claims that Foxx has ignored Chicago’s ongoing gun violence crisis may be refuted by the fact that she has prioritized internal resources for gun crimes, while her predecessor pursued prosecution of retail theft over any other offense category.
In order to ensure that Cook County continues on the path of equity and justice under the law, communities must rally support behind the sitting State’s Attorney, and mobilize voters to turn out in the 2020 primaries and general election to secure a second term for Foxx.