Dear Representatives:

I ask you to remain neutral regarding the charges made against LaShawn K. Ford, and that you allow him to continue to do the great work he is doing for us as state representative of the Eighth District of Illinois.

I am not a habitual writer of letters to elected officials, but I feel so strongly that I am compelled to write to you. I consider LaShawn a good friend. And I feel I know him very well, ever since he was my real estate agent when I bought my home in the Austin community in 2003. I live one block outside of the district he represents. When I bought my home, I observed LaShawn using the strictest attention to doing things the right way. He took great pride in establishing an extremely successful business.

LaShawn listens closely to his constituents, empowering them to propose ideas that could become laws that can improve their quality of life, especially for those who have greater needs and require greater opportunities. I have seen his hard work, tenacity, creativity, and courteousness really build bridges. He has a unique ability to talk and work with people from all walks of life, all racial and ethnic backgrounds. He is a unique individual representing a diverse district and is well-respected by his constituents as well as many well beyond his district. There has been an immense outpouring of support for LaShawn since the announcement of charges.

I also support LaShawn because of where he comes from and what he stands for. It is important that he be allowed to continue to use his gifts to help us as state representative. He received his grounding in modest and challenging circumstances on the West Side of Chicago. But because of hard work and the sustaining love of his family, he was able to advance through Catholic education, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. His background as a Chicago public schoolteacher makes him uniquely qualified to be a leader in improving education. He understands the challenges of running a small business. Because of challenges faced by his family and friends, he has a great appreciation and sensitivity for health care issues; for creating job opportunities, and for issues facing citizens returning from prison. He remains extremely grounded in his Catholic faith, taking seriously his commitment for social justice. Few things make him happier than when he can help someone. These attributes make him a role model, a leader in our community and a great representative of the people.

The charges he faces are personal. They have nothing to do with his work as state representative. I ask you to continue to work with LaShawn.

Thomas D. Huggett

It almost sounds like a case of Mr. Ford being able to achieve real estate rehab in a tough community business situation and being penalized for his accomplishment. Also, he has brought to light public school ‘reform” issues that have hurt the West Side. Tell the feds to go after some real crooks…higher up!

Bonni McKeown

As the people of Chicago have elected this state rep into office time and time again, we know and trust state Rep. La Shawn Ford. He has shown us who he is not by words but by his actions; by deeds, by his votes that represent the peoplesf need. But this isnft about the repfs actions while in office. His trustworthiness is being called out over a failed bank, one that failed not only a young man but an entire community. If this man wasnft representing the people you wouldnft hear anything about this. Just as youfre not hearing the names of the bankers that should have been advising him. Are they not liable? State Rep. La Shawn Fordfs only crime was being young and trusting of accountants and bank officials that he dealt with; to tell him how to handle money while trying to do the right things within our community; while years later they and the mortgage companyfs destroyed the lives of many. Tell me why arenft they on trial instead of our state rep?

Windy M. Pearson