My life has been dedicated to fighting for justice.
I grew up on the northside of Chicago and attended Chicago Public Schools. My life has been dedicated to fighting for justice. Whether it was fighting against racism in college or working on behalf of the homeless in law school, I always believed that we must stand up for what is right. During law school I worked the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Legal Assistance Foundation working to stop the discrimination that homeless school children faced in the Chicago Public Schools.
When I graduated from law school, I applied for one job—the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. I wanted that job not because it would get me fame and fortune, or that it would be a great political opportunity, or that it would somehow give me the opportunity for some other career. I wanted it because I knew that the criminal justice system was a racist system that oppressed African-Americans, Latinos, and the poor. I believed ‘the right to counsel’ weren’t just some words on a piece of paper but a moral contract that must be lived out every day. And I had a fundamental belief in the human dignity of everyone. You can’t take on the odds, the daily disparage and the utter hopelessness, without some core values so strong that they cannot be relinquished.
As a Public Defender I represented thousands of poor people, many who have no one to stand up for them. Without fanfare, I represent those who have lost hope, have nowhere to turn and need someone to stand up for them. I have also worked to change our bond system to get rid of our cash bond system.
I started a law practice where I concentrated on criminal defense and civil rights. Throughout my career I have tried 100’s of cases in both federal and state court. From complex litigation to less sophisticated cases I have always been a zealous advocate for my clients and defender of the Constitution.
I train lawyers and law students in various areas of the law as well as teach. I taught trial advocacy at the DePaul College of Law and currently teach Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at North Park University.
In 2016 I took on the machine and ran for 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman. I defeated Dick Mell, who was a nearly 40-year incumbent. Since becoming Committeeman I have created a rigorous process to evaluate judicial candidates, and I stood up to the Cook County Democratic Party, challenging many of their anti-democratic practices.
I live with my wife of 13 years who has always been there for me every step of the way and my two beautiful daughters, the reasons why I fight every day for a better, more just society.