On a frigid Sunday morning, West Side elected officials showed up at Grandma Sally’s Restaurant (5225 W. Madison St.) to show their support for 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins who is running for Cook County state’s attorney.
Alderman Isaac Carothers (29th Ward) welcomed to the press conference state Rep. Deborah Graham, state Rep. Annazette Collins, Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward), Cong. Danny Davis, Clayton Harris from IDOT, and Cook County commissioners Earlean Collins and Bobbie Steele.
Davis spoke for the group in issuing his endorsement: “After looking at all the candidates who are running, we have decided it is in the best interests of Cook County, in best interests of our community and our neighborhood, in the best interests of those who want to make sure that juveniles are protected, who want to make absolutely certain there is no selective prosecution, want to make absolutely certain there is equity, fairness and parity across the board, we have decided that an alderman from the 21st Ward who has a tremendous legal background, who has worked in both prosecutions and defense, an elected official who knows what it means to be accountable to people, one who has the courage of his conviction-we decided that we would support Howard Brookins Jr. for state’s attorney.”
Brookins said, “I stand here this morning with a heavy heart, and I want to offer my condolences to families of two political icons who have passed away in a couple of days. They meant so much to me growing up. Cong. Danny Davis, President John Stroger, Mayor Sawyer, and I all share a common fraternal bond. More importantly, as a little kid I looked up to these giants in our community and saw them work tirelessly for services for our community. They were true public servants and will be sorely missed in the African-American community. We stand here on the eve of the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. I remember his letter from Birmingham Jail stating that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That is the reason I’m running for state’s attorney-to right the injustices that have plagued this county for so long, to bring some sense of fairness and balance to each and every one of these communities throughout the county. So that no one will be treated as though they are above or below the law. These injustices have been written about, reported on, [such as] the situation with minority hiring in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office that has not changed since I was in the office more than 17 years ago.
AWN: What is the first thing you plan to change when you take office?
Brookins: There will be a lot of firsts, but public safety and that is truly to protect our community. We will also work on reorganizing the office so we can give more comfort to those consumer frauds, especially those who prey on the elderly, whether it is mortgage fraud, home repair fraud, those people who just prey on people who are unsophisticated in these types of schemes, protecting our children and moving staff around so we can truly set up an Internet predictor unit, lobbying the state legislators so we can change our juvenile code. We would really like to see a specific code written for juveniles and protecting our juveniles. And not treating those abusers and those people who are out there that get caught up in the sex trade business. There are so many firsts. Clearly the office has been plagued with a group-think mentality, and it’s time to get some fresh and different ideas, so we can change the way we do justice in Cook County.