what are the benefits of going to the summit vs going to the Daley Plaza? I won’t physically have my rap sheet until next thursday because I waited too long and was wondering if I should still attend to at least find out how they may be able to help me with Executive Clemency
I really don’t have an answer for you. However, I would encourage you to go just to gain information and possible connections. You can make a better impression in person. Good luck!
There were nearly 500 people in line when my kid and his brother showed up at 7am and that number nearly doubled by noon. Ms. Brown was there, with many many alderman, but Ms. Alvarez was a no show. Ms. Brown, et. al., spent nearly 6 hours proselytizing to the packed church about second (and third) chances and practically had everyone in tears, when they finally started processing applicants in the early afternoon; at this point, there was much confusion. To her credit, Ms. Brown stayed around and helped with organizing the poorly planned event. With a camera crew in tow, Ms. Brown was really trying to get things moving. Signs were few, water scarse and bathroom facilities were… yet the crowd was extremely patient with the fumbling organizers of this politically staged event.
Ms. Brown did have one young man arrested as tempers finally flared and the crowd realized that this was really just a show for the cameras. After waiting for hours, by mid afternoon, this lad, having paying the exorbitant fees simply to have his arrest record printed out ($9/arrest) on the only printer in the building, was told that his car theft conviction was a greater offense than a weapons charge or armed robbery. With his $200 receipt in hand, Ms. Brown had him arrested and taken away as the crowd started to realize that many of their expectations were not going to be met that day.
Ms. Brown may truly believe that these events are absolutely the only means these communities have to deal with having nearly a third of their adult men unemployable due to arrest and conviction records. Even men who were acquitted of their charges are stalked by these records for years making them unemployable by a majority of the employers in the city. Wendy’s and McDonald’s may claim they do not discriminate, but in practice, they never hire anyone with an admitted record (although they will interview you).
And lastly, the person who single-handedly is the most culpable individual for the plight of the south and west side communities was a no show. Ms Brown was trying to be kind by including Ms. Alverez on the flyers, but Ms. Alverez, did build a career under Richard Devine packing our prisons with anyone appearing dark complected, supporting coercive interrogating techniques and simply looking to meet conviction rates, at least had the good sense not to show up to a hot packed church of her victims. I am sure Ms. Alverez is quite grateful for having succeeded in disenfranchising the vote from the majority of this community while building quite a career such that when the day came and she wanted the big chair, she got it quite handedly.
Cal, thank you so much for providing feedback on this event. It’s unfortunate to know that it was a political media ploy as opposed to a legitimate effort to help people in the community. I now wonder if people who hold these events really care about the records of people or are just playing with their emotions.
Please forgive me if I seem to be faulting the entire event. There were lots of attorneys there, on their own time, who were able to help with the many with advice and guidance. My kid, acquitted of a framed murder charge by Chicago police 10 years ago, met one attorney who was nearly in tears after hearing about his story.
Ms. Brown and her gaggle of aldermen nearly made this into a political circus. It was the volunteers who salvaged the event, for had they not, there would surely have been quite an uproar from the community and this crowd.
Ms. Brown has managed to carefully script the media, it seems. I have not been able to find much on the net about the event itself or any footage from all of the cameras present.
And Ms. Alverez, bless her heart, was bright enough to keep a respectful distance from her prey in front of the cameras.
Thanks for the clarification. I’m glad you cared enough to share your experience. I have posted many events on my site and people rarely come back to provide feedback to let us know what happened, especially on things as important as this. This is great.
This will not be the only event of this kind so don’t think you are out of luck. Other organizations are also taking up this cause and the events are good because you are able to talk to an experienced attorney and get the right adviice. You can check with some of the larger churchs as they have legal ministries that have attorney’s who help for no fee or just charge filing fees
Do you happen to have names of some of the churches or organizations that provide these services? I’ll be willing to share them on the site.
What a great event! We need these kind of clinics in every county in the U.S. If you need to clear your criminal record somewhere other than Cook County, the Papillon Foundation has all of the forms and instructions on line and for free.
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