Press Release | Thu January 11, 2018, 11:44 AM EST
"I will be bold and aggressive in making sure our legal climate forces legislators to turn this state around. The people of Illinois deserve it and they will get it.” - Aaron Goldstein
Attorney Aaron Goldstein’s bid to become the next Attorney General of Illinois is now in high gear with a bold, progressive Democratic agenda that will benefit the citizens of Illinois while putting an end to the unfettered political power of big corporations, big money and the political establishment—in both parties.
“I am the most experienced courtroom and trial lawyer of all the candidates,” said Goldstein, who has built a formidable reputation as a progressive Cook County Public Defender and defense attorney. In 2016, Goldstein defeated 40-year Democratic machine powerbroker Dick Mell to become Chicago’s 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman and has used his position to put in place a fair judicial evaluation and review process while challenging the Cook County Democratic Party to do the same. “I went up against the machine and won,” he said. “I will continue to do this as Attorney General.”
Goldstein promised to “use my skills and experience to be the defender of all the people of Illinois, not just the advantaged few. Illinois deserves a reformed legal environment that increases the opportunity for everyone to achieve a better quality of life and a brighter future. I will accomplish this by upending the corrupt status quo—led by big corporations, big money and political cronyism—that has allowed so many hard-working citizens of Illinois to be left behind and while creating serious economic stagnation.”
Goldstein’s Bold, Progressive Agenda
Goldstein’s bold agenda is based upon his vision that Illinois must be a state where justice and equal treatment under the law are a given. He calls for an end to the racist drug war and mass incarceration. He will reform the criminal justice system to eliminate discrimination and abuse. He will transform this arcane system into one that offers life-affirming opportunities for ex-offenders while ensuring the safety and security of the people. He will undertake unique, progressive solutions to the spread of gun violence, including going after gun manufacturers and the NRA whose sole vested interest is to sell more guns.
He will aggressively wage a fight against Trump and his policies that hurt and disrupt Illinois and its residents. He will aggressively protect Illinois’ environment and promote a sustainable economy. He will eliminate legal obstacles to all Illinoisans having access to affordable, quality health care, which he believes is a fundamental right and not a privilege.
He also will stand with other states working to defend fundamental American values of democracy and justice. “I will be a true advocate for progressive change—someone who stands up for all of us, so we can turn the page on this very disturbing chapter in our history,” said Goldstein.
Goldstein was a proud Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016, and he is convinced that the frustration which drove Illinois voters to strongly support Sanders in the Presidential election is even greater today. Illinois has reached a turning point because too many everyday citizens are being left behind and their opportunities for a better quality of life are steadily diminishing—and many Illinoisans feel duped by the powers that be.
One of Goldstein’s first actions as Attorney General will be to create a public integrity bureau within the Attorney General’s office to investigate corruption. He also will organize the office’s resources to implement real criminal justice reform and investigate corporate crime and wrongdoing—as well as holding everyone accountable for sexual harassment and gender discrimination in both the private and public sector. “The status quo is about favoritism and cronyism among big corporations, big banks and the politically connected,” he said. “In their world, it is better to choose money over ethics; exclusivity over community. This hurts our state and our people, and it has been going on for too long.”
He reiterated that voters on both sides of the aisle are tired of the empty promises and underhanded manipulation by the power apparatus. “When I am Attorney General, big corporations who commit crimes and perpetrate unjust and unethical practices will be held accountable. I will be bold and aggressive in making sure our legal climate forces legislators to turn this state around. The people of Illinois deserve it and they will get it.”
About Aaron Goldstein, Progressive Democratic Candidate for Illinois Attorney General
Attorney Aaron Goldstein is, first and foremost, a defender of the people, who believes in the fundamental right of all citizens to due process and fair legal representation. He is a Chicago native who earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois in Champaign, and then earned his Juris Doctor, with distinction, from the University of Iowa School of Law, entering the State Bar of Illinois in 2000. He served in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender from 2001 to 2007 as an assistant public defender before founding his Chicago-based private practice as a defense attorney. In 2015 he returned to the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender as an attorney supervisor.
He has litigated thousands of cases including criminal and civil cases, federal and state cases and has tried more than 30 felony jury trials. As a public defender, he has firsthand knowledge of the racial and ethnic inequities in the criminal justice system and the lack of re-entry opportunity for ex-offenders.
In 2014, Goldstein was a Democratic candidate for Illinois State Representative of the 40th District. In 2016, he ran for Chicago’s 33rd Ward Democratic Committeeman and against very long odds, defeated 40-year incumbent Richard Mell, considered one of Chicago’s most powerful Democratic machine politicians and power brokers. Goldstein immediately initiated reforms to his ward’s judicial review and evaluation process and has been a vocal advocate for judicial reform in the Cook County Democratic Party ever since.
As a law educator, he has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at DePaul University School of Law and North Park University, where he has taught trial advocacy, criminal law and criminal procedure.
Goldstein lives in Chicago with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters.
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Press Release | Thu January 11, 2018, 11:44 AM EST
Aaron Goldstein: I am running for Attorney General to stand up for all Illinoisans. I will be a champion for justice and stand up for all of us. That’s what I’ve stood for my whole life and that’s why I’m running for Attorney General. #AG4AG Subscribe at http://www.ag4ag.org