Anita Alvarez: Fighting gangs, not gay marriage

June 19, 2012

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The Cook County State's Attorney is a tough job. First, it's an elected office. So every four years, our top county prosecutor must run for office. Second, it's a political office that is forced to choose sides on several hot-button issues polarize our society. So for instance, the county prosecutor must defend the county against lawsuits, such as the lawsuit challenging Illinois' gay marriage ban. Alvarez decided to not defend the county against the suits, essentially paving the way for gay marriage in Cook County (although a judge must still decide the suit).

But that's not all - Alvarez was involved in changing the way the county (and the state) can go after gangs. The new RICO law provides law enforcement the ability to go after gang organizations, not just individual crimes. Also, Alvarez will no doubt be pulled into the new marijuana decriminalization debate happening at the city level, thanks to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's statements last week.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez joins host Steve Edwards Tuesday for an in-depth conversation about the issues facing our county's top prosecutor on Afternoon Shift.