presents
Voter’s Edge Illinois
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
We depend on your support.
Share your knowledge

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

Do you feel better informed having used Voter's Edge?

Help us inform other voters.

County

Cook CountyCandidate for State's Attorney

Photo of Kim Foxx

Kim Foxx

Democratic
Prosecutor and public servant
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Reduce gun violence
  • Restore trust in the criminal justice system
  • Bring transparency and accountable to the office

Experience

Experience

Profession:Prosecutor and public servant
Attorney, Self (2015–current)

Education

Southern Illinois University School of Law Juris Doctor (J.D.), Law (1997)
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science (1994)

Biography

Kim Foxx is an accomplished leader, prosecutor, and advocate for children and families in Cook County. She is running to become Cook County State’s Attorney to continue that work, and to restore public faith in a criminal justice system that has failed so many families.

Born to a teenage mother who struggled to make ends meet, and raised on Chicago’s Near North Side by her mother and grandmother, Kim’s life experience has given her a deep understanding of the impact of crime, violence and poverty on our communities.

That consciousness fueled her to pursue a career in public service as she sought to improve life in communities like the one in which she was raised.

Kim spent her early childhood growing up in the Cabrini Green public housing complex. Attending Lincoln Park High School, Kim often felt the weight of her poverty in relation to other kids. Pushing herself to take honors classes, even when she was living at a homeless shelter with her mother, Kim never gave up.

Through perseverance and hard work, Kim excelled in school and earned both her B.A. and law degree from Southern Illinois University. She became a guardian ad litem with the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office, managing a caseload of more than 150 children navigating the justice system, many of whom had been abused, neglected, or had special needs.

Kim then became an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, where she served for 12 years. Kim rose through the ranks, supervising dozens of Assistant State’s Attorneys in felony juvenile courtrooms. As a front-line prosecutor and supervisor, she managed a prosecution docket of more than 5,000 criminal cases. She conducted and supervised jury trials in felony trial and juvenile courts, including everything from first-degree murder to criminal sexual assault and vehicular hijacking cases. Kim also became president of the National Black Prosecutors Association Chicago chapter during that time.

Most recently, Kim served as Chief of Staff for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. As an advisor and lead strategist to the President of the nation’s second largest county, Kim oversaw a $4 billion annual budget and counseled President Preckwinkle on issues ranging from finances to public safety and juvenile detention.

In the Preckwinkle Administration, Kim was the lead architect of the criminal justice reform agenda--addressing racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems. Those efforts resulted in a significant drop in the Cook County jail population while maintaining public safety. 

Kim’s experiences have made her an effective advocate for our communities, and she is a hands-on leader for a number of vital organizations. She has served as Planned Parenthood of Illinois Board Chair and Board President for Free Spirit Media, a nonprofit that partners with schools and organizations to provide education, access, and opportunity in media production to underserved urban youth. Kim is also the proud mother of two elementary-aged daughters, Kendall and Kai, with her husband of 14 years, Kelley Foxx.

The children whose lives are impacted by legislation in Cook County have always remained at the forefront of Kim’s mind--she was one of them. As State’s Attorney, she’ll never forget that as she seeks to protect our communities, advocate for crime victims, and restore justice and fairness to the prosecutor's office.
 

Questions & Answers

Questions from Chicago Sun-Times (10)

Recently, the U.S. attorney in Chicago announced the arrests of a large number of alleged gang members. Has the Cook County state’s attorney’s office been sufficiently aggressive in investigating and prosecuting gang crimes? If not, what would you do differently?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

The State’s Attorney’s Office should implement the use of data both internally and externally and work more collaboratively with law enforcement to develop a comprehensive strategy to address gang violence.

What would you do as state’s attorney to bring down the number of shootings in Chicago?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

The solution to the epidemic of gun violence is multi-dimensional. We must not only target those who last used or possessed an illegal firearm; we must also target those who are profiting from trafficking them into our communities through straw purchasing and other means. Currently in Cook County gun trafficking is rarely prosecuted, in part because the model of large-scale trafficking violations is largely outdated, replaced by persistent and repeated small-scale straw purchasing. I will establish a unit to address gun trafficking, making sure we are working with police and our federal partners to fully investigate, build and prosecute cases against people who profit by bringing illegal guns into our communities.


Moreover, I will work with allies in Springfield and throughout the justice system to implement presumptive sentencing rules for gun offenses, ensuring that offenders who use guns to commit crimes get serious penalties, and providing unbiased guidelines to ensure that repeat gun offenders receive more serious penalties.

A number of Cook County’s supervising prosecutors have reached the point where their pensions have maxed out and they may retire. How — and who — would you recruit to fill those assistant state’s attorney positions?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

I will primarily recruit from the large pool of talented and dedicated public servants inside the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for individuals who specialize in the subject matter and share my commitment to reforming our criminal justice system.

How will you decide who runs the various divisions in the state’s attorney’s office? How much leeway will you give them to make their own decisions?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office includes many talented lawyers who have dedicated their careers to serving the people of Cook County. I expect that I will draw on that deep pool of talent to identify the various division chiefs. Attorneys with significant experience prosecuting cases are uniquely qualified to supervise the staff attorneys who are prosecuting these crimes every day and should have the ability to use their discretion when making decisions.

Given that the Cook County Board president controls the state’s attorney’s budget, how would you maintain political independence from Board President Toni Preckwinkle?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

The Cook County Board of Commissioners ultimately approves the budget for all of the separately elected officials. I will run my office independently and work with the Board of Commissioners on a budget that is appropriate for my needs.

What would you do differently, and what new procedures would you implement to investigate police misconduct? And how would safeguard the office against misconduct by prosecutors?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

Trust and credibility must be hallmarks of the State’s Attorney’s Office. Building and maintaining that trust and credibility will require the creation of a formal audit function within the office, charged with ensuring that prosecutors are following the rules of professional conduct, and investigating any apparent patterns of misconduct, either by police or prosecutors. In cases involving apparent patterns of misconduct by prosecutors, I will create a mechanism for referral of investigation to an outside entity, to ensure that the investigation is free from any perception of conflict.

What should be done about so-called rogue cops who remain on the Chicago Police force? In the future, what steps would you take when police officer testimony is contradicted by video evidence?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

The handling and presentation of the evidence in any individual case will continue to be a decision made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the facts and circumstances of that particular prosecution. That said, if and when the office becomes aware of a case involving a police officer or unit that has engaged in misconduct, the audit unit will review other cases from that officer or division to determine whether any pattern of misconduct exists, and will engage with the conviction integrity unit to reinvestigate prosecutions involving those officers where appropriate. In the event the evidence indicates that a police officer has offered false testimony, the State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to provide notification letters to the Chicago Police Department, Civilian Office of Police Accountability and defense counsel.

Do you hope to improve or somehow modify the much-criticized Conviction Integrity Unit? If so, what would you do?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

It is essential that the people involved in the Conviction Integrity Unit’s reinvestigation be viewed as fair, trustworthy, and primarily interested in just outcomes. This requires staffing the unit adequately, ensuring that no prosecutor involved in a case is ever involved in the reinvestigation of that case, and providing checks and balances on the Unit’s work.

Cases remain in the pipeline that are linked to disgraced former detective Reynaldo Guevara. How would you handle those cases?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

As described above, cases involving apparent patterns of misconduct, including those linked to Detective Guevara, will be reviewed by an audit unit charged with reviewing old investigations and cases involving those officers to determine whether any pattern or history of misconduct existed, and in the event any convictions are called into question by the results of the investigation, to reopen those cases for further investigation and potential exoneration.

What is the appropriate role for local law enforcement agencies in crafting overall criminal justice laws and policies?
Answer from Kim Foxx:

Local law enforcement agencies must play a leading role in crafting criminal justice laws and policies. As the front line practitioners we see the incredible toll that crime takes on victims -- but also witness firsthand the toll that wrong-headed criminal justice policies can have on communities. Criminal justice policies must be informed by this firsthand experience; a legislature that does not draw on the expertise and perspective of local law enforcement agencies in drafting criminal justice laws is missing perhaps its greatest source for information on the impact such policies can have.

Videos (1)

Kim Foxx tells why she should be the Cook County State's Attorney.

Candidate Contact Info

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION