Where are the #Allies4Justice?

Ahmaud Arbery with his mother. Rest in Power.

It took 2.5 months and national attention to prompt Georgia authorities to arrest the men responsible for the lynching death of #AhmaudArbery – DESPITE THE EXISTENCE OF VIDEO EVIDENCE OF THE LYNCHING.

How many black men endure assaults, false arrests, and even death because they’re viewed as “thugs” or “suspect” every day in communities across America without the benefit of video evidence to prove they were the victims or to prove they were innocent?

Black people have known this reality of racial injustice and hate-motivated violence all their lives. Black parents teach their children how to not be arrested or even killed by the police when out doing lawful and normal activities.

There are people reading this right now thinking “why are you playing identity politics?” or “you’re dividing us by talking about whites vs. blacks.”

That’s just stupid talk.

To say “hey, I don’t hate anybody because of their race, etc.” is good, but it’s not enough; not in our country where centuries of oppression far out-number the few decades of de jure equality (which are themselves suffused with de facto inequality).

It’s not enough to not be a racist. We need to be anti-racists. Don’t be foolish and say we shouldn’t be “anti” anything. We absolutely need to be anti-racists. We should be actively against all forms of bigotry and hate. Anti means to be opposed.

Our governors, our legislators, our mayors, our city council members, our county boards and board chairs, our police chiefs, our states attorneys, and yes, even our public defenders in some jurisdictions, need to be held accountable by US (that is – you and me).

Nothing will change for the better until we change for the better too. We’re too complacent. We’re disengaged. We’re uninformed of or callous to the reality of our broken criminal justice systems.

What are we going to do right here in our community?


Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Endorses Afeef for Kane County State’s Attorney

I am proud to endorse Junaid “J” Afeef as the next Kane County State’s Attorney. Junaid’s 25-years of advocacy and public service as a lawyer, along with his deep commitment to justice, make him the best candidate to keep Kane County families safe.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL 8th Dist)

ELGIN, IL – Democratic nominee for Kane County State’s Attorney, Junaid “J” Afeef today received the endorsement of United States Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi:

“I am proud to endorse Junaid ‘J’ Afeef as the next Kane County State’s Attorney. Junaid’s 25-years of advocacy and public service as a lawyer, along with his deep commitment to justice, make him the best candidate to keep Kane County families safe. Junaid’s platform includes bringing reforms to the criminal justice system, responding to the rise in hate crimes, and also spending taxpayer dollars prudently. I have known Junaid for nearly a decade and have witnessed firsthand his passion for public service. That passion, along with his broad and extensive range of professional experiences, will help keep Kane Count families safe and ensure that all victims of crime are supported by the criminal justice system. Junaid is also an independent voice dedicated to promoting open and transparent government that works for the people.” said Congressman Krishnamoorthi.

Congressman Krishnamoorthi represents Illinois’s 8th Congressional District which includes all or parts of Carpentersville, East Dundee, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and South Elgin and has been an advocate for the middle-class as a member of the House Oversight Committee, Intelligence Committee, and as them Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Congressman Krishnamoorthi. Congressman Krishnamoorthi is a champion for the workers of America and I am proud to work with him to end corruption, to prosecute violent criminals, and ending the mass incarceration of non-violent offenders,” said Afeef.

Afeef has bold plans for criminal justice reform once elected to Kane County State’s Attorney. Afeef will strive to protect all victims of crime regardless of immigration status, implement expungement workshops to help the community clear their criminal background of non-violent offenses, end the use of over-charging of cases, train prosecutors on explicit and implicit bias, and create sentencing guidelines to ensure that similarly situated defendants are treated equally regardless of race or economic background. “Having a State’s Attorney that believes in rehabilitation and diversion as opposed to retribution and punishment is the key to a criminal justice system that is truly just for all people,” said Afeef.

Real Justice PAC Endorses Junaid “J” Afeef for Kane County State’s Attorney

For Immediate Release:
January 15, 2020

CONTACT: Omar Jaleel | contact[at]j4justice.org

KANE COUNTY, IL – Democratic candidate for Kane County State’s Attorney, Junaid “J” Afeef today received the endorsement of Real Justice PAC.

Real Justice PAC is a national progressive organization that has helped elect county prosecutors throughout the nation who have bold and clearly articulated platforms to make a material impact on people’s lives by eliminating money bail and rolling back practices that lead to mass incarceration.

In its announcement of the endorsement Real Justice PAC acknowledged Afeef’s 25 year career fighting for justice which includes serving as a public defender, working pro-bono to protect civil rights, and developing alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness. Real Justice PAC also recognized Afeef’s immigrant roots and his life-long advocacy for immigrant rights.

“Junaid is the best candidate for the job. We can count on him to end the mass incarceration machine that breaks apart poor families and families of color” read a Real Justice PAC statement.

“I am honored to be endorsed by a national progressive organization that supports my plan to materially change the criminal justice system that has had a disproportionately negative effect on poor people, immigrants, and black and brown people” Afeef said. “With the help of Real Justice PAC we can organize the community to create a criminal justice system in Kane County that is focused on just and fair prosecution, and we can end the failed ‘convict and incarcerate’ model.”

Real Justice PAC is the latest endorsement that Afeef has received. Real Justice PAC joins the Progressives of Kane County, a grassroots organization supporting progressive values and candidates committed to bringing progressive policies to Kane County and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi who has long been a champion of workers’ rights and criminal justice reform.

Ballot Petitions: Engaging all of Kane County

Kane County is a diverse county and our campaign is working hard to make sure we engage every part of it! Since announcing his candidacy, Junaid “J” Afeef has walked in neighborhoods all over Kane County and met people from many different backgrounds and walks of life.

We come from different backgrounds, experiences, and from other places around Illinois, America, and the world. We share a desire to live in safe communities and we share a desire to be treated fairly. Junaid “J” Afeef is running for State’s Attorney to make our criminal justice system fair, just, and equitable so that our communities grow safer and more healthy.

Join the movement: become a member of the J4Justice League today! Click here to sign up!

Endorsement: Zubair Khan

Partner – Trivedi & Khan

Trustee – Community Consolidated School District 15

Past President – Muslim Bar Association of Chicago

Junaid Afeef is an outstanding trial lawyer and advocate. The first felony jury trial I participated in – as a student – was one that Junaid was trying with another attorney in the mid-1990s in Bridgeview, Illinois. In the early 2000s Junaid and I, along with a number of other attorneys, collaborated on an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in an immigration related matter in the weeks and months after the tragic terrorist attacks of 9/11.

What stands out for me about Junaid is that he has been steadfast over the last 25 years in focusing his career on public service and the pursuit of justice. He has been an advocate for his own faith community, and he has also been an ally to other groups who have been and continue to be subjected to hate and discrimination. On many occasions Junaid has taken stances that were difficult because he believed in the missions. Despite the criticism he remained firm in pursuing what he believed was right.

The challenges that lay ahead for us all when it comes to fixing our criminal justice system require prosecutors who will lead boldly. I believe Junaid has the experience and the character to lead the Kane County State’s Attorney through reforms that will make Kane County a safer and healthier community for all.

Endorsement: Jack Cutrone

Senior Policy Advisor, National Criminal Justice Association, Washington, DC

Formerly Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, Chicago, IL

Before I was half way through my interview of Junaid Afeef, I knew that I wanted to hire him as attorney for the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the state agency of which I was the Director. It was a decision I was never to regret.

Junaid’s experience and judgment proved invaluable. The agency had just received $50 million dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to award as grants to Illinois criminal justice agencies. This funding was subject to strict scrutiny by the United States Department of Justice as well as the governor’s office. New federal regulations had also been enacted which required the agency to adopt even stricter standards for its grant administration. The created a multi-agency task force to develop rules for administration and reporting of grant activity. Junaid was a key part of that effort. His initiative was valued throughout the state agencies involved in the task force. Given his experience with federal grant regulations, he was a source of knowledge and guidance for this successful statewide effort.

Junaid was also keenly focused on promoting the new and growing field of evidence-based practices governing criminal justice policy. His judgment was to benefit the agency and its criminal justice agency grantees in guiding them toward better practices and policies, policies that would produce better public safety results.

Junaid’s election as State’s Attorney of Kane County will serve to make its citizens safer and its criminal justice system more progressive, fair and responsive to the needs of Kane County.

Our Neighborhood Empowered (ONE) Grand Opening

The best way to increase public safety is by promoting healthy communities. On Saturday, September 28, 2019, community leader and entrepreneur Marcus E. Banner and his team and supporters launched Our Neighborhood Empowered’s (ONE) new community fitness center in Elgin, IL.

“This effort – creating a space where community members of all ages can come together to build physical and mental strength and forge a positive self-identity – will build community resilience, and that will contribute to public safety” said Junaid “J” Afeef, a Democratic candidate running for Kane County State’s Attorney. “I’m thrilled to be here as a member of the community.”

A large and diverse outpouring of community members attended the grand opening celebration which featured local business stalls, food, and other fun activities.

Making a guest appearance was Elgin’s very own David Otunga. Mr. Otunga is an accomplished actor, lawyer, and retired WWE professional wrestler. He is a graduate of Larkin High School.

What is a State’s Attorney?

Watch this short and informative video to learn more about why the Kane County State’s Attorney election is so important to the people. The video was created for California, but the things discussed are just as applicable here in Illinois.

The video talks about the “District Attorney” or “DA.” in Some parts of the United States prosecutors are called district attorneys, and in other parts of the country they are called “State’s Attorneys.”

A “District Attorney” is the same thing as a “State’s Attorney.”