The first African-American woman to lead Cook County's State's Attorney's Office talks about how she's making it more transparent and where her confidence comes from.
Kimberly Foxx is proud of where she comes from.
Foxx grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project, a development known for high crime rates and police neglect. Her family later moved to the more affluent Lincoln Park.
After moving, she started to notice the disparity in opportunities available to her new neighbors versus her old ones in the housing project. That planted the seed of public service, which later drove Foxx to leave her position in insurance law to work for the Cook County Public Guardian’s office representing children in the foster care system.
Foxx eventually served as an assistant state’s attorney for 12 years. In 2016, she challenged -- and beat -- the incumbent state’s attorney, Anita Alvarez, to become the first African-American woman to hold the position. As top prosecutor of the nation’s second-largest county, Foxx has worked to make the office more transparent, advocated for bail reform and vacated dozens of wrongful convictions.
These efforts drew Governing's attention. She is a member of our 2019 Women in Government Leadership Program. On this episode, she talks about her efforts to make the state's attorney's office more transparent and where her confidence comes from.