As a minority and a women, I am always happy when the legal community makes strides towards looking more like the client base it represents. Anita Alvarez would be the first woman and the first Hispanic to lead the state’s attorney’s office if elected over Republican Tony Peraica in the November general election. I’m not saying that people should vote for her because of gender alone, but seeing as there is such a large Hispanic population in Cook County, her rise in politics is news.
Her win in the Cook County Democratic primary for state’s attorney on Tuesday is a real feel-good story in that by winning, she is shaking up the system and people’s perspective of justice. As this Tribune article states:
“The good ol’ boy mentality still exists,” she said. “We need to create a better atmosphere of inclusion, and I think I’m the person to do that because I see it and I recognize it.”
As an assistant state’s attorney who often brought cases against Hispanic suspects, Alvarez said she frequently heard complaints that she had sold out her race.
“To be called a sellout is wrong because who am I speaking in court for? The victim who happens to be Hispanic as well,” she said.
Criminal courts are careful about the rights of the accused and rightly so. Prosecutors also know that they technically represent the People, not the victims of crime, but I know what Alvarez is getting at.