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  • ENDORSED!

    Major Latino coalition endorses Jacob for Clerk of the Circuit Court

  • ENDORSED!

    Jacob Meister has been endorsed by more progressives than any other candidate.

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    Defeat Dorothy Brown with Jacob Meister!

    When: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 05:30 PM
    Where: Chef's Burger Bistro in Chicago, IL

  • Featured press release

    Major coalition of Latino elected officials endorse Jacob Meister for Clerk of the Circuit Court

    February 08, 2016
    Contact: Xavier Nogueras
    CHICAGO (February 8th, 2016)-- Democratic candidate Jacob Meister has been endorsed by the largest coalition of Cook County area Latino elected officials to endorse a candidate this year. Northwest Side Political Action Committee, Latinos for Jacob Meister, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, State Senator Iris Martinez, State Representative Luis Arroyo, Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr., Alderman Proco Moreno, Alderman Raymond Lopez, Alderman Ariel Reboyras, Alderman Milly Santiago, Alderman Carlos Rosa, Alderman Gilbert Villegas, Berwyn Township Assessor David Avila, and East Aurora School Board Vice President Alex Arroyo recognition that Meister’s credentials as a practicing attorney, long-time advocate for justice and experienced administrator make him the most qualified to be Clerk of the Court. “I am humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support I am receiving today from Cook County’s Latino community in my bid to become the next Clerk of the Circuit Court. Throughout much of my life, I have been involved with the Latino community and supportive of issues that improve the lives of all of us. For years, I have fought beside many of those who are standing here today in support of me on issues such as Immigration reform, a living wage and increased Latino political representation. And we have fought together against discrimination." said Meister. ### Jacob Meister has been practicing law in Chicago for 25 years. Through his practice and his non-profit, Meister has represented hundreds of individuals on a pro bono basis in matters ranging from discrimination in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing to defending low-income people from predatory lending practices. As the founder of The Civil Rights Agenda, one of the State's leading LGBT advocacy organizations, Meister's leadership has been vital in advancing LGBT rights. ----- Read Meister's Full Remarks: "I am humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support I am receiving today from Cook County’s Latino community in my bid to become the next Clerk of the Circuit Court. Throughout much of my life, I have been involved with the Latino community and supportive of issues that improve the lives of all of us.  For years, I have fought beside many of those who are standing here today in support of me on issues such as Immigration reform, a living wage and increased Latino political representation. And we have fought together against discrimination. Latinos have grown to over 25% of Cook County’s population and are critically underrepresented in all aspects of the Clerk's’ office. The Clerk’s office MUST improve the way it serves the needs of the Latino community and all communities in Cook County in the court process. When elected, I plan to insure that bilingual services are expanded in the Clerk’s office at courthouse locations throughout the County so that pro se Latino litigants -- who are often facing eviction, foreclosure, misdemeanor charges, child custody or child support issues -- can get the help and assistance that they need to navigate the court system. I also plan to clean up and streamline the operations of the Clerk of Court’s office, which has been described in the press as a “bureaucratic disaster of disappearing files and dinosaur age technology.” A television news report told the story of over 120 incarcerated prisoners represented by the Appellate Defender whose appeals couldn't move forward, for over a year, because the Clerk's office lost the files that were needed for the appeals to proceed. That means people are sitting in prison and being denied access to justice because the Court Clerk’s office isn’t doing its job. Most of these individuals are Latino or African American. As far back as I can remember, I have had a calling to help people and have spent the past 25 years of my career as an attorney in the Cook County Courts fighting for justice: I have battled an insurance company refusing to fund a life-saving heart transplant for an infant, and won. I took on the Chicago Public Schools to get full-time Aids for autistic children, and won. And I was at the forefront of the successful fight for marriage equality. Everyone agrees that the Clerk of the Court’s office is broken -- both operationally and ethically. It is full of pay-to-play cronyism and corruption; riddled with inefficiencies and outdated technology. Neither of my opponents can be trusted to put the taxpayers and the justice system ahead of their own self-interests.  After 15 years in office, the incumbent, Dorothy Brown still hasn’t implemented the modernization and efficiency that she promised when she was elected -- after 15 years.  Worse yet, her office is now embroiled in FBI and grand jury investigations involving the sale of jobs and serious financial improprieties.  My other opponent has no experience in the courts or court administration and was anointed by the Democratic Party to protect the patronage system.  In her role as Chairman of the City’s Rules and Ethics Committee, the Chicago Tribune has said that she has done nothing but “fiercely protected the the status quo” by, among other things, blocking ethics reform and an elected school board. I am the only candidate in this race with the legal, administrative and reformer credentials needed to tackle an office that is steeped in ethical issues, decades behind other court systems in Illinois and around the country in modernization and firmly entrenched in the status quo. That is why I am running: To fix what is wrong in our Court system."
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  • Featured press release

    NOW PAC Endorses Jacob Meister

    February 04, 2016
    Contact: Kitty Kurth
    CHICAGO (February 3rd, 2016) - Democratic candidate Jacob Meister has been endorsed by Chicago NOW PAC in his race for the Democratic nomination for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. A leader in the fight to eliminate sexism and end oppression for over 50 years, Chicago NOW PAC’s recognition that Meister’s credentials as a practicing attorney, long-time advocate for justice and experienced administrator make him the most qualified to be Clerk of the Court is particularly significant in this primary field. “I am incredibly proud to have the support of Chicago NOW PAC. We share a commitment to the very issues that have guided my deep involvement in government and politics, including fostering equality, social change and social justice.” An attorney and civil rights advocate, Meister has spent the past 25 years of his legal career working to protect and improve the lives of working families, minority communities and those who are most vulnerable. He has battled an insurance company unwilling to fund a life-saving heart transplant for an infant, took on the Chicago Public Schools to get full time aids for autistic children and was at the forefront of the successful fight for marriage equality. Meister has also challenged dozens of employers, including public employers, for discriminatory workplace practices on the basis of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy and religion. Most recently, Meister tried a case against Hobby Lobby to redress years of insidious transgender discrimination against one of its employees. Now Meister is seeking the opportunity to bring that same passion for equality and justice to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office.  The Clerk of the Court’s office has a much bigger impact on the lives of Cook County residents than most people realize. Over 1.5 million cases ranging from traffic tickets, child support, probate and issues impacting social justice, are processed by the Clerk’s office each year. “Because the Clerk’s office is broken both operationally and ethically, it is responsible for many of the difficulties and injustices that currently exist in the Cook County court system. My plans to eradicate the incompetence and corruption that have long been associated with the office by prioritizing modernization, customer service and transparency will help bring justice and trust back to the court system,” concluded Meister.
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  • Featured press release

    Candidate Jacob Meister Calls for Debates

    January 08, 2016
    Contact: Xavier Nogueras
    CHICAGO (January 8th, 2016)— Now that the ballot for the Cook County Democratic Primary has been finalized today Jacob Meister, Democratic candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, called on Clerk Dorothy Brown and Ald. Michelle Harris to agree to a series of debates. “With the Democratic primary just over two months away, time is short for voters to hear direct and unfiltered messages from the candidates,” said Meister. “I’m challenging my opponents to join me in skipping the typically protracted debate over the debates, and instead agree to a series of moderated meetings that will allow us to interact and highlight what we each plan to do for Cook County.” Now, more than ever, the spotlight is on Cook County’s justice system.  Much of the public and media focus is on the race for Cook County State’s Attorney due to the high profile nature of the cases the office handles.    However, the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office plays a much larger role in the day-to-day lives of residents than most realize.  With a budget of $100 million taxpayer dollars and 2,000 employees, over 1.5 million cases, with every matter ranging from traffic tickets, child support, probate and issues impacting social justice, are processed by the Clerk’s office each year.   “There is near universal recognition that the Clerk’s office is broken, both operationally and ethically.  Cook County voters need to see and hear candidates interact multiple times and on different platforms, so they understand what we each plan to do to address issues such as a lack of transparency, use of antiquated technology, and rampant patronage,” said Meister. In prior election years, civic and media organizations have offered to sponsor debates between the Court Clerk candidates.  To provide sufficient opportunity for voters to learn about the issues, Meister would like to see at least four debates throughout the Cook County area. ###
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  • Latest from the blog

    North Shore Dems Endorse

    Key endorsements were announced this past weekend in much of the area that contains the 10th Illinois US Congressional District along North suburban Cook County. Both the New Trier Democratic Organization and the Democrats of Northfield Township voted to reject the cronyism and corruption currently plaguing the Circuit Court Clerk's office and endorsed Jacob by sizable majorities.
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    Jacob sits down with Shalom Klein to talk about technology, patronage, and typewriters

    "We have probably about 100 people sitting over in Cook County Jail right now who were ordered released who are still in the jail because paperwork has been lost or misplaced."   Segment starts at 30:30
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