Erika Harold

Office
Running for Attorney General, Illinois (2018)

Biography

Harold was born and lives in Illinois. She graduated from Urbana High School and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Harold earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2007. Her professional experience includes practicing law with Meyer Capel, Sidley Austin LLP, and Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C. Harold has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and the Trinity International University Board of Regents. She has been affiliated with Lawyers in the Classroom and Prison Fellowship. Harold was crowned Miss Illinois 2002 and Miss America 2003.

Source: Ballotpedia

Priorities

Public Corruption

Erika is committed to using the full measure of the Attorney General’s statutory authority to combat public corruption. Additionally, she will advocate for the expansion of the Attorney General’s investigative tools, such as enhanced subpoena and grand jury powers, to better equip the Attorney General’s Office to fight public corruption. Moreover, the Attorney General is afforded a powerful bully pulpit from which to condemn public corruption and champion governmental accountability and transparency. Erika is committed to using that bully pulpit to advocate for a government that serves the people’s interests—not partisan or special interests.

Criminal Justice Reform

For the past eleven years, Erika has served on the board of directors of Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to inmates and their families. In that capacity, she has done prison ministry, advocated for bipartisan criminal justice reform measures, raised awareness of the unique challenges facing children of incarcerated parents, and made visits to prisons throughout the country to help assess vocational and educational programming opportunities for inmates. Prison Fellowship recently has launched an innovative Warden’s Exchange program, instituted national Second Chance Month to highlight the need for restorative opportunities for those with a criminal record, and launched reentry initiatives throughout the country. Erika supports the expansion of problem-solving courts (including drug courts and mental health courts), the streamlining and enhancement of reentry services, and greater access to expungement services. These reforms would promote human dignity; reduce recidivism rates, thereby keeping communities safer; and make better use of tax dollars, which are currently being squandered on a broken system and failed policies. Erika also believes that lawmakers—in consultation with States’ Attorneys—should negotiate appropriate safeguards and regulatory frameworks for the legalization of marijuana for adult use in Illinois. If approached in a thoughtful manner, legalization should enable law enforcement officials to redirect their time and resources towards addressing more critical issues (such as the opioid epidemic), expand Illinois’ revenue base, and decrease the number of people serving sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses.

Government Accountability & Transparency

Robust enforcement of these Sunshine Laws also empowers the public, watchdog groups and the media to be active participants in the fight against government corruption. Accordingly, Erika is committed to ensuring that the Public Access Counselor (which is part of the Attorney General’s Office) is well-equipped to facilitate FOIA and OMA trainings throughout the state, help resolve disputes over documents on an informal basis, and more timely issue binding opinions regarding compliance.

Rule of Law

As the People’s lawyer, the Attorney General also should foster a culture of nonpartisanship throughout the Office by setting forth rubrics for decision-making that are based on the rule of law, a balancing of the interests of all Illinoisans, and an independence from other branches of government, both at the State and Federal level. As a lawyer, Erika is committed to the highest levels of professionalism and was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on its Committee on Equality and as a Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. As Attorney General, Erika will follow the law, defend the law, and exercise independent legal judgment on behalf of all Illinoisans.

Preventing Harassment

Erika has been a national advocate for measures to protect students from harassment in schools, speaking to more than 100,000 students about the consequences of bullying and discussing peer-to-peer harassment on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN Headline News, and PBS’s Emmy award-winning teen series In The Mix. She also has delivered presentations to school administrators, legislators, teachers and parents regarding the best practices for protecting students from bullying. In recognition of her leadership and advocacy, Erika was named one of Fight Crime, Invest in Kids’ “Champions for Children” and received a leadership award from the National Center for Victims of Crime. As Attorney General, Erika will continue to work to protect students from cyberbullying and harassment in schools, mobilizing students to stand up against bullying, advising parents regarding warning signs of bullying, and ensuring that schools have adopted and implemented anti-bullying policies. Erika also will advocate for reforms of the policies and procedures for addressing sexual harassment within State government. These reforms include: (i) providing that founded sexual harassment complaints be resolved by the independent Illinois Courts Commission, as opposed to the ethics commission comprised of legislators; (ii) empowering the Illinois Courts Commission to remove, suspend, censure or reprimand any member of the legislature found guilty of sexual harassment; and (iii) publicly identifying any member of the legislature the Illinois Courts Commission finds guilty of sexual harassment, as the public is entitled to know which legislators abuse their power and position.

Workers' Compensation Reform

Instead of being a balanced system in which injured workers are timely compensated and businesses experience the efficiencies of avoiding protracted and expensive litigation, Illinois’ system is inefficient, costly, and susceptible to fraud and abuse. Illinois’ broken system also places Illinois at a competitive disadvantage in relation to the more cost-effective systems of neighboring states, thereby hindering job creation and economic activity in Illinois. As such, Erika supports a transformation of Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation system and will advocate that the General Assembly adopt the following reforms: (i) the requirement that employees provide their employers with verified written notice of any workplace accident, and whenever physically possible, written details regarding such accident; (ii) clarification of the compensability guidelines to ensure that coverage is limited to those accidents or injuries that arise out of and in the course of performing job duties; and (iii) a refining of the causation standard to ensure that coverage is limited to those cases where the work injury was a primary or significant cause of the employee’s condition. These reforms will help ensure that legitimate claims are prioritized in the processing and compensation process and Illinois’ system begins operating in a more balanced, efficient and equitable manner.

Opioids

First, Erika will ensure that Illinois is a part of multistate, bipartisan investigations of the marketing and distribution of opioid painkillers to determine whether deceptive practices are being employed. If evidence of fraudulent practices is discovered, Erika will initiate the appropriate legal action to protect Illinoisans and hold wrongdoers accountable. Second, Erika will advocate for enhanced use of diversion programs and drug courts for those arrested for opioid use and will highlight the need for additional treatment resources to aid those battling opioid use disorder. Third, Erika will use the Office’s bully pulpit to help educate Illinoisans—particularly young people—about the unique toxicity of synthetic opioids and the severe health risks associated with using them. Finally, Erika will advocate for enhanced cooperation, resource sharing, and data dissemination among Illinois agencies and branches of government, as this is the only way we can stem the opioid epidemic and save lives.

Erika Harold, Willoughby Avenue, The Five Fifths, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American Politics, Black in Politics

Erika Harold is running for Attorney General in Illinois.

Erika Harold, Willoughby Avenue, The Five Fifths, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American Politics, Black in Politics

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Erika Harold

Erika Harold, Willoughby Avenue, The Five Fifths, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American Politics, Black in Politics

.

Office
Running for Attorney General, Illinois (2018)

Biography

Harold was born and lives in Illinois. She graduated from Urbana High School and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Harold earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2007. Her professional experience includes practicing law with Meyer Capel, Sidley Austin LLP, and Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C. Harold has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Equality, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and the Trinity International University Board of Regents. She has been affiliated with Lawyers in the Classroom and Prison Fellowship. Harold was crowned Miss Illinois 2002 and Miss America 2003.

Source: Ballotpedia

.

Priorities

Public Corruption

Erika is committed to using the full measure of the Attorney General’s statutory authority to combat public corruption. Additionally, she will advocate for the expansion of the Attorney General’s investigative tools, such as enhanced subpoena and grand jury powers, to better equip the Attorney General’s Office to fight public corruption. Moreover, the Attorney General is afforded a powerful bully pulpit from which to condemn public corruption and champion governmental accountability and transparency. Erika is committed to using that bully pulpit to advocate for a government that serves the people’s interests—not partisan or special interests.

Criminal Justice Reform

For the past eleven years, Erika has served on the board of directors of Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to inmates and their families. In that capacity, she has done prison ministry, advocated for bipartisan criminal justice reform measures, raised awareness of the unique challenges facing children of incarcerated parents, and made visits to prisons throughout the country to help assess vocational and educational programming opportunities for inmates. Prison Fellowship recently has launched an innovative Warden’s Exchange program, instituted national Second Chance Month to highlight the need for restorative opportunities for those with a criminal record, and launched reentry initiatives throughout the country. Erika supports the expansion of problem-solving courts (including drug courts and mental health courts), the streamlining and enhancement of reentry services, and greater access to expungement services. These reforms would promote human dignity; reduce recidivism rates, thereby keeping communities safer; and make better use of tax dollars, which are currently being squandered on a broken system and failed policies. Erika also believes that lawmakers—in consultation with States’ Attorneys—should negotiate appropriate safeguards and regulatory frameworks for the legalization of marijuana for adult use in Illinois. If approached in a thoughtful manner, legalization should enable law enforcement officials to redirect their time and resources towards addressing more critical issues (such as the opioid epidemic), expand Illinois’ revenue base, and decrease the number of people serving sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses.

Government Accountability & Transparency

Robust enforcement of these Sunshine Laws also empowers the public, watchdog groups and the media to be active participants in the fight against government corruption. Accordingly, Erika is committed to ensuring that the Public Access Counselor (which is part of the Attorney General’s Office) is well-equipped to facilitate FOIA and OMA trainings throughout the state, help resolve disputes over documents on an informal basis, and more timely issue binding opinions regarding compliance.

Rule of Law

As the People’s lawyer, the Attorney General also should foster a culture of nonpartisanship throughout the Office by setting forth rubrics for decision-making that are based on the rule of law, a balancing of the interests of all Illinoisans, and an independence from other branches of government, both at the State and Federal level. As a lawyer, Erika is committed to the highest levels of professionalism and was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on its Committee on Equality and as a Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. As Attorney General, Erika will follow the law, defend the law, and exercise independent legal judgment on behalf of all Illinoisans.

Preventing Harassment

Erika has been a national advocate for measures to protect students from harassment in schools, speaking to more than 100,000 students about the consequences of bullying and discussing peer-to-peer harassment on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN Headline News, and PBS’s Emmy award-winning teen series In The Mix. She also has delivered presentations to school administrators, legislators, teachers and parents regarding the best practices for protecting students from bullying. In recognition of her leadership and advocacy, Erika was named one of Fight Crime, Invest in Kids’ “Champions for Children” and received a leadership award from the National Center for Victims of Crime. As Attorney General, Erika will continue to work to protect students from cyberbullying and harassment in schools, mobilizing students to stand up against bullying, advising parents regarding warning signs of bullying, and ensuring that schools have adopted and implemented anti-bullying policies. Erika also will advocate for reforms of the policies and procedures for addressing sexual harassment within State government. These reforms include: (i) providing that founded sexual harassment complaints be resolved by the independent Illinois Courts Commission, as opposed to the ethics commission comprised of legislators; (ii) empowering the Illinois Courts Commission to remove, suspend, censure or reprimand any member of the legislature found guilty of sexual harassment; and (iii) publicly identifying any member of the legislature the Illinois Courts Commission finds guilty of sexual harassment, as the public is entitled to know which legislators abuse their power and position.

Workers' Compensation Reform

Instead of being a balanced system in which injured workers are timely compensated and businesses experience the efficiencies of avoiding protracted and expensive litigation, Illinois’ system is inefficient, costly, and susceptible to fraud and abuse. Illinois’ broken system also places Illinois at a competitive disadvantage in relation to the more cost-effective systems of neighboring states, thereby hindering job creation and economic activity in Illinois. As such, Erika supports a transformation of Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation system and will advocate that the General Assembly adopt the following reforms: (i) the requirement that employees provide their employers with verified written notice of any workplace accident, and whenever physically possible, written details regarding such accident; (ii) clarification of the compensability guidelines to ensure that coverage is limited to those accidents or injuries that arise out of and in the course of performing job duties; and (iii) a refining of the causation standard to ensure that coverage is limited to those cases where the work injury was a primary or significant cause of the employee’s condition. These reforms will help ensure that legitimate claims are prioritized in the processing and compensation process and Illinois’ system begins operating in a more balanced, efficient and equitable manner.

Opioids

Opioids

First, Erika will ensure that Illinois is a part of multistate, bipartisan investigations of the marketing and distribution of opioid painkillers to determine whether deceptive practices are being employed. If evidence of fraudulent practices is discovered, Erika will initiate the appropriate legal action to protect Illinoisans and hold wrongdoers accountable. Second, Erika will advocate for enhanced use of diversion programs and drug courts for those arrested for opioid use and will highlight the need for additional treatment resources to aid those battling opioid use disorder. Third, Erika will use the Office’s bully pulpit to help educate Illinoisans—particularly young people—about the unique toxicity of synthetic opioids and the severe health risks associated with using them. Finally, Erika will advocate for enhanced cooperation, resource sharing, and data dissemination among Illinois agencies and branches of government, as this is the only way we can stem the opioid epidemic and save lives.

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