Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: http://Alice Wilson Judge Dupage
Office sought: 18th Circuit (Thompson vacancy)
Family: Married, two children, 6 grandchildren My daughter is a certified teacher in special education, math and science My son is a regional sales manager I was raised to respect and not break the law. I raised my children the same.
Occupation: Administrative Law Judge for 18+ years and an Attorney for 20+ years
Education: Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Alcorn State University,1980 Juris Doctorate, John Marshall Law School, 1990
Civic involvement: Auxillary Head, Free Legal Advice, Apostolic Assembly Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc Peace!Toastmasters
Elected offices held: None
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: I have never been arrested and convicted of a crime.
Key Issue 1
My number 1 campaign issue is integrity. A judge should have integrity (honesty, tell the truth, be trustworthy). Having integrity leads to other qualities the people should look for in a judge such as being impartial, fair, equitable, respecting all that appear before her/him and assuring that all receive justice and equality. Throughout my campaign, I have not embellished my qualifications, which would equate to purposefully and intentionally misleading the voters in order to hopefully, win. During the primary, several articles appeared in the Daily Herald(March 11, 2012, etitled, Dupage Judge Candidates Spar Over Their Qualifications)and the Naperville Patch (March 9, 2012, O'Shea's Qualifications Disputed) regarding my opponent embellishing his qualifications. According to these articles, which on occasion, my opponent made statements trying to defend himself, my opponent indicated he graduated law school with honors (after investigation he did not); is a licensed patent attorney with the federal court (which he was not at that time); and has argued/practiced before the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.(which he has never). Voters must be informed and therefore all voters in DuPage should actively google these articles and read them. In court, parties and witnesses are sworned to tell the truth by either the judge or qualified court personnel. This is not a race for state senate or representative; nor is it a race for congressional office, where candidates often embellish the truth and their qualifications to mislead the public. Embellishing in those races are terrible, but when you are running for a judicial position, where you will judge over folk lives daily and ask them to tell the truth, it is shameful. If a judicial candidate is embellishing now, what will that person do later as a sitting judge. Integrity is the word.
Key Issue 2
My number 2 campaign issue is fairness and equality. As a youth growing up in rural Mississippi, I watched my parents stand up for civil rights doing the only thing they could do at that time, marching along side others and participating in boycotts. Even participating at this level could have meant losing their lives. But during this time period in America, marching and boycotting was all they had. Because my parents were adamant about justice and equality for all Americans,they never gave up. I will bring this same sense of passion for justice and equality to the bench. My parents raised me to respect the law and to treat others as you want to be treated. If I was a litigant, I would want a judge to honestly look at the facts and the case and make a fair and impartial decision based on the law. I would not want a judge to make a decision because of my race, creed or color; or because the judge knows one side as opposed to the other. When I am elected judge, I will treat all who come before me with dignity and respect, and more importantly, I will be fair and impartial in all my rulings. Knowing how to be fair and treat others begins with not good, but great home training. I was brought up and trained to honor and respect my parents, elders and others. I have raised my children in this same manner. So far both of my children have turned out to be law abiding citizens, respecting the law and law enforcement. I recall a neighbor greeting me in my backyard and commending me on how well I raised my son. She said that he was a respectable young man. Not one days trouble. I can assure all Americans, on my watch, there will be no disparate application of sentences or treatment in my courtroom. When elected, I will be fair in any division, whether housing, criminal or family court.
Key Issue 3
My number 3 campaign issue is that DuPage County should consist of a make-up of judges from all races, creeds and color. Also,judges in DuPage have only been elected from the Republican Party. Through my research, an African American has never been elected judge in DuPage. It is time. I worked hard to get on and remain on the ballot because I want to make a difference in how judges are elected in DuPage in the future. People have asked me where did I get the nerves to get on the ballot and run for judge in DuPage. My response is always the same. It has nothing to do with nerves, it has to do with qualifications and the heart to know when elected, I will serve with fairness and equality and I will hear both sides. I know this is what the residents of DuPage want. It should have nothing to do with which party you belong to,in my opinion. The person running on the ticket for your party, may not be the better qualified or a fair and equitable person. It is also time for voters in DuPage to stop voting for judges just because the county has been known for being heavily republican. There are qualifed candidates from other parties. DuPage voters can google both judicial candidates for information. Voters in DuPage can also read past online Daily Herald and Patch articles about candidates during the primary. I strongly believe a voter should elect judges based on integrity, fairness, equality and qualifications regardless of race, creed or color. I have been a judge (Administrative Law Judge) for 18+ years and I hear a variety of City ordinance violations, some of which were initially heard by judges in the circuit court, but were moved to be heard by administrative law judges, to eleviate overcrowded circuit court dockets. My opponent has never been or served as a judge and therefore has no judicial experience or qualifications. Through my years of service as a judge, I have gained the judicial temperament, experience and qualifications to sit as a circuit court judge. I treat all who come before me with dignity and respect (most of the litigants are prose). I make sure the prose litigant is able to speak and explain her situation; and my rulings are based on the evidence in the case.
What traits do you bring to the bench? What makes you more qualified for the position than your opponent?
Putting aside my judicial experience for the last 18+ years, I have the powerful traits of love for my neighbor and the common sense to treat all mankind with dignity and respect. As I discussed above, I was raised by a strong, kind and loving woman who was up every morning by 5:00 a.m., washing clothes for 10 children(this was on a hand scrub board) and making sure her children had a hot meal before leaving for school (this usually consisted of homemade sugar syrup and biscuits). Although we were poor, we were rich in love for each other. When I sit and meditate from time to time, I can still feel the warm hugs and kisses my mom gave. For these reasons and more, I know that litigants (some pro-se) are looking to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect when appearing before a judge. They don't want an arrogant, partial minded person presiding over them. But on the other hand, they do want a strong person who will judge with common sense and I am that person. I have persevered through the years, from being poor to what I have accomplished now, and with each year passing, I have gained knowledge and strength. My opponent has never been a judge in DuPage or any county. I have served as a judge for many years and I am presently a judge. I have gained the judicial temperament, knowledge and qualifications for this position. My opponent having never been a judge cannot say this. My opponent has earned the qualifications of being a political insider in DuPage for more than 20 years. A 20 year career politician. In fact, my opponent is or was the chair of the DuPage County Board Finance Committee. Under the administration and urging of this committee, residents of DuPage are now paying for a $38 million dollar contract for ETSB radios(it should be noted this contract started out at $7.7 million and has now escalated in a few years to more than $38 million), which to my knowledge, are still sitting in a warehouse collecting dust. You and I as DuPage residents are paying these millions. We deserve an explanation. I will bring the residents of DuPage a fresh new face. For this reason, I can be fair to everyone.
Now that DuPage County is going to participate in the voluntary program to have cameras in the courtroom, what are your thoughts about how it should be implemented?
I commend the governing bodies who made the decision to voluntarily paricipate in this program. I think this program should be implemented with criminal cases first and then gradually expanded to other division, but not juvenile or family cases. This program should be implemented in the criminal division first, from the bond hearing through trial, this way, the eyes of the world will be on DuPage, and all will hopefully be given a speedy, but fair trial. Mothers and all relatives can see and view how their child is being prosecuted and what evidence is being presented. With cameras in the courtroom, children, teenagers and all will get to see a trial from the beginning to the end. This will be both educational and informative about how the judicial system works in DuPage. Perhaps from viewing how the court system works daily, we will have an influx of children who will take to watching courtroom activity as oppose to cartoons and MTV, and will aspire to be fair and equitable judges, lawyers and advocates in the future.
What are your thoughts about having to campaign in an election to become a judge? Should judges be appointed instead of running for office?
I believe judges should be elected by the voters. Through campaigning, I have met and talked to many wonderful residents, that I would have never encountered. It has been both educational and inspiring to meet so many people and to hear about their problems, cares and concerns. I find they are no different from me and I can easily relate to their concerns, going to trial, tribualtions and growing up poor. We have all had a relative or a neighbor suffer the consequences of this economy. We have all suffered similar pains and problems in life. For we are all human. However, if all judges are appointed, they will never get to go out and meet the residents where they will be sitting as judges. More importantly, if all judges are appointed, there is a great possibility that politics will play a heavy role and the little guy may not get his fair day in court. For instance, from time to time I hear about someone who was appointed by the Supreme Court of Illinois or just appointed by the Chief Judge. At least 90% of the time, I know nothing about these individuals. I don't know how they feel about, race, creed, color, justice and equality. Whoever is appointing them is making all of these decisions for the public and I don't think this is fair or right. For now, I believe we should keep both the elected and appointment system. If I had a choice judges would always be elected. The voters should always have a voice.
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