Hacks Newsletter Week 207:#hackingcrimeinIllinois: Eileen O’Neill Burke


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#hackingcrimeinIllinois: Eileen O’Neill Burke

Lunch with Eileen O’Neill Burke February 2024
As #hacksthenewsletter readers know, I rarely use this platform to espouse or promote politics, rather, #leadershipandlifehacks gleamed from life as a mom, wife, entrepreneur and executive.

When my friend of three decades, and President of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, RJ Melman, rang me last month to ask for my support of a candidate for Illinois State’s Attorney, I was candidly surprised. He comes from a best-in-class entrepreneurial and business family, and while civically engaged on several issues, has never been heretofore as politically activated as his mother (whom I also adore), Martha, for example.

His reasons for calling were explicit. He is tired of their restaurants in Chicago being vandalized and the perpetrators not being held accountable. He knows that if laws on the current books for crime were actually upheld (e.g. theft over $300), it would diminish. He knows that Chicago is at an inflection point where it can retain thriving business empires or see ongoing drain due to crime and factors at play. As a lover of the city let alone one of its most important employers, getting involved in this State’s Attorney race is crucial step toward holding criminals accountable in order to keep our citizens and businesses safe.

So then I spoke with Eileen. A thirty year practitioner, mom of four, married for 33 years, there is a lot to like. And her candor about the need for training of the attorneys in the State’s attorney office to be better lawyers, the need to work with the juvenile courts for after school job training for juvenile perpetrators, and much more, is pragmatic and sensible.

As such, I am doing something I always do, but rarely do here: supporting a rising star female leader, and in this case, one seeking public office in Cook County. 

To learn more about Eileen O’Neill Burke, go to https://www.justiceforcookcounty.com. Needless to say, if a Cook County, Illinois resident, please vote for her in the primary on or before March 19th. For the sake of our city and state, I hope she wins.

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There will be no end to the curveballs that life throws. As soon as you feel comfortable, another setback or new challenge will arise. Alyssa Rapp is driven to help people like her—the doers, those who keep swinging—seek to succeed in both life and career. Every challenge is an opportunity, are you making the most of yours?

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