Name: Nancy Rotering
Office seeking: Attorney General
City of residence: Highland Park
Campaign website: www.FriendsofNancy.com
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? As a Mayor, I have seven years of experience in the executive branch of government: creating and implementing large, complex budgets, identifying priorities, working with hundreds of employees, and representing interests of constituents. During my first term, I shook up City Hall with a major reform of city government that resulted in increased transparency, accountability, and ethics. I emphasized creating a culture that regained the trust of our residents and employees. I have represented resident interests and advocated on their behalf. I’ve led fights against powerful special interests such as polluters, the NRA, and local utilities. In addition, I am the founder and past chair of a local legal aid clinic that specializes in immigration, domestic violence, and housing, ensuring access to justice in emergent situations. As an attorney, I practiced healthcare law with McDermott Will & Emery, fighting fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry. Prior to law school, I got an MBA and worked in finance at General Motors. I bring a background in business and law as well as thirteen years of experience as an independent public servant and decades of advocacy. I know how to set priorities, define solutions, and achieve impactful results.
What do you view the role of the attorney general's office to be in terms of law enforcement? The Attorney General must support and promote safe communities under the rule of law. In practice, the Attorney General must weigh the concerns and interests of those officers empowered to enforce laws with those protected and affected community members. However, the Office of the Attorney General is in a unique position to accomplish this as a statewide elected official. The Attorney General has the authority to wield the levers of state authority to question, listen and act to make policing safer, fairer and more harmonious. Therefore, the Attorney General has the opportunity to, and should, consider all viewpoints, which inform and influence how she chooses to administer the laws of this state. Parents in this state should not fear that their children will be injured or die due to a misguided or overly harsh police response. Rebuilding community trust is not a purely urban issue. It important that line staff does not bear the burden of bad decisions they did not make. We will benefit statewide from an Attorney General’s office that fosters positive growth through improved practices, training, and communication. And let’s not forget that a strong stand against unregulated deadly weapons directly supports our line law enforcement officers.
How would you view the relationship between the attorney general's office and state's attorneys in each county? The relationship between the Attorney General’s Office and state’s attorneys should be strongly collaborative with a coordinated effort to support victims of crime and violence as much as possible. It is imperative that crime victims be comprehensively supported throughout the process and thereafter. Also, there exist opportunities to gain efficiencies through identified relationships between the Attorney General’s office and the respective state’s attorneys, in terms of evidence work, court appearances, and more. Further, as Attorney General, I will work with organizations such as the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to build the best possible relationship with criminal justice stakeholders.
What is the most important issue facing the attorney general's office? How would you approach it? The people of Illinois overall deserve a strong, independent, principled advocate. As a candidate for Attorney General, I bring a lifetime of advocacy and a record of producing real results. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that our civil rights and human rights are protected and defended against state and federal efforts to roll them back. We also need to explore expanding the role of the office beyond its current scope of consumer protection, environmental protection, immigrants rights, crime victims rights and labor protections. Resources need to be provided to effectively address criminal justice reform, gun violence, public corruption, and the opioid crisis. Legislation is also needed to strengthen the office's role in fighting sexual harassment. As the top law enforcement official in the State of Illinois, I will be a fierce advocate calling for necessary changes to protect survivors and end a cycle of abuse. These actions will include a push for Springfield to amend the Human Rights Act to apply to all employers and to make serial sexual harassment a punishable crime. On behalf of the people of our State, I will work to stop repeated discrimination and harassment, and seek the maximum penalties possible.
What other issues would you focus the attorney general's office on? Specific initiatives I will pursue as IL Attorney General include: - Acting as a powerful advocate by continuing my fight against the NRA to enact and enforce common sense gun violence prevention solutions. - Fighting for criminal justice reform, restoring human rights and public safety to our impacted communities. - Standing up against sexual harassment and working to change the laws so that survivors can come forward without fear of retaliation and serial offenders are prosecuted. As Attorney General, I will be a fierce advocate calling for necessary changes to protect survivors and end cycles of abuse. - Pursuing action against online and off-shore pharmacies in an effort to curb access to opioids, while working to increase access to mental health and addiction recovery resources. - Providing open and honest government via additional resources for the Public Access Counselor, as well as education and accountability for improved government ethics and transparency across all levels of government. In light of the direction of the current President and his administration, I will also continue to expand upon collaborative efforts with other states’ Attorneys General in fighting and stopping his destructive initiatives.
What are your views on the legalization of marijuana debate? I’m interested in the results of Cook County’s advisory referendum in March. Likely, Illinois residents will conclude that the benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana outweigh the negatives. While legalization could increase state revenues and create a profitable new industry that would bring jobs, more importantly, it also would reduce prison crowding, and lower the cost of law enforcement. More than 80 percent of non-violent drug-related arrests nationally between 2001 and 2010 involved possession of marijuana for personal use. As a result, prisons are crowded with non-violent, low-use drug offenders. Further, like alcohol, marijuana should be regulated and specifically not available to people under the age of 21. A field sobriety test needs to be created to enable police to address related DUIs. Illinois, along with 28 other states, passed legislation creating a medical cannabis program permitting patients with debilitating medical conditions to register with the state in order to access marijuana for medical use. As Illinois’ Attorney General, I would defend the state against any federal intrusion, and work to ensure that patients with medical conditions - including people with cancer, those who live with seizures, or veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - can continue to access the care they need.