City Club of Chicago: Chicago’s Homicide Crisis

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Cleopatra Pendleton, Rev. Michael Pfleger, Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kim Foxx during the Chicago's Homicide Crisis panel at the City Club of Chicago, June 20, 2016 (City Club of Chicago)

June 20, 2016

Kim Foxx, Eddie T. Johnson, Cleopatra Pendleton, and Rev. Michael Pfleger

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.

Kim began her career as 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.

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.

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.

Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson joined the Chicago Police Department as a patrolman in May 1988 and has served in several supervisory roles, including Sergeant (5th District), Sergeant (Detective Division), and Gang/Tactical Sergeant. After that, he served as a Lieutenant in patrol in the 15th District (Austin) before being promoted to Commander of the 6th District (Gresham), Deputy Chief for Area Central, Executive Officer of Patrol and finally Chief of Patrol, where he commanded 8,000 police officers.

Johnson is a member of the Executive Board of NOBLE’s Chicago Chapter, the St. Jude Board of Directors, and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Assistance Committee.

He has a received a number of policing awards — including department commendations, Chicago Defender Men of Excellence Award, and others.

Johnson has his B.A. from Governors State University, and is expecting his Masters in Public Policy and Administration, with a specialization in Public Safety and National Security, from Northwestern University in Spring 2016.

Johnson is a Chicago native who grew up in Cabrini Green until he was nine years old, at which point his family moved to Washington Heights where he continues to reside.

Cleopatra Pendleton is from Country Club Hills, Illinois and received her B.S. in Computer Science from Western Illinois University. She is the proud mother of Hadiya and Nathaniel Jr. and wife of Nate.

Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Pfleger was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 14, 1975. In 1981, at the age of 31, he became the youngest full pastor in the diocese when he was appointed Pastor of Saint Sabina Church.

Father Pfleger has been recognized for his fight against alcohol and tobacco billboards, violence, drugs, and racism in national publications such as People, Time, Ebony, Newsweek and Jet magazines; The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Reader, and numerous other papers and journals. He has also been profiled on the following television shows: “Day One” (ABC), “60 Minutes” (CBS), BBC in Great Britain, “Larry King Live” (CNN), and Nightline (ABC).

In the course of his extensive and active ministry, Father Pfleger has been recognized for his commitment to equality and his passionate stance against injustice. Some of the awards and honors he has received include: “Keeper of the Dream”, Rainbow/Push; Distinguished Service Award, Nation of Islam; “Thurgood Marshall Award”, National Black Prosecutors Association; “Monsignor Egan Social Justice Award”, DePaul University, “I Am A Man Award”, April 4th Foundation in Memphis, TN, “Rosa Parks Award”, from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the “Unsung Hero Award”, Wade’s World Foundation.

He is also the founder of The Ark of St. Sabina Youth Center, the Employment Resource Center, St. Sabina’s Elders Village, the Beloved Community Development Center, and St. Sabina Samaritan Building for low income housing.

Father Pfleger received his B.A. in Theology from Loyola University, his Master of Divinity from the University of St. Mary of the Lake and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. He has done post-graduate studies at Mundelein College and the Catholic Theological Union.

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