‘I do not want this generation to give up’ – Carlos Claudio Hopes to Reawaken Passion for Politics

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Logan Square attorney Carlos Claudio officially launched his bid to become the next judge of Cook County’s 6th Subcircuit Court on Monday.

Already endorsed by Alderman Joe Moreno, State Senators Iris Martinez and William Delgado, Carlos Claudio officially launched his campaign for judge of Cook County’s 6th Subcircuit Court on Monday. “I had to do a lot of thinking before I made any decision,” said Claudio. “Running for anything is a huge commitment. A huge sacrifice away from your family. But I know I had to pursue this position because no one stepped up.”

Claudio grew up in Chicago, graduating from Kelvyn Park High School and DePaul University before earning his juris doctorate, also from DePaul. Claudio began his career as a State’s Attorney in one of the busiest courtrooms in the Chicago area, where he prosecuted countless DUI cases and quickly rose to become first chair, a title given to attorneys who are in charge of their courtrooms. Later, in the State’s Attorney’s Juvenile Abuse and Neglect section, Claudio focused on ensuring the safety and security of children who had been endangered by abusive or negligent parents or guardians. “I am heavily rooted in my community. I am on the board of director for Aspira and I am involved in several youth oriented programs,” said Claudio. “It is really important for me to assure my community that they have a voice and to use their voice.”

In the next months, Claudio will be campaigning hard by educating community members on the process of electing a judge and the importance of creating and maintaining a platform for various voices to be heard.

Roles and Responsibilities
It is an enormous responsibility. You show up and people are walking into a courtroom. For some it may be the first time and there is an intimidation factor. There is a decision you make as a judge that will have an incredible impact, economically and emotionally. You have to be on your game at all times. You have to be fair, you have to be objective, and you have to be aware of your biases and now allow those to influence you; because ultimately, you are there to listen to the facts and apply the law. You have to have passion. You have to be able to call the facts and determine what the appropriate thing to do is.

Having grown up on the north side of Chicago, I am keenly aware of some of the difficulties and challenges that our community faces because I went through them. So I have that perspective and I can then apply that to the situations that are presented to me. That connection to the community is incredibly important because it creates a context that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

Justice Over Politics
I chose ‘Justice Over Politics’ as my slogan because a lot of times the committeemen wind up electing a judge and that person may or may not have a connection with the community. We have politics sort of trumping what belongs to the people. The right to choose someone. We have a situation where that voice is not being heard. I decided that it is up to the people. I wanted to give them that opportunity to vote for the person I feel should hold that position. And not allow politics to influence because then we go back to that notion of distrust and not having faith in the system.

I do not want this to be the generation that gave up. I want people to walk away feeling that I am contributing to the enhancement of our society by participating in the democratic process. I am not going to sit on the sidelines I want them to know it is in their hands. So they have to be proactive in making sure that the people they elect are the people that have the best interest in their community.

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