Claudia Silva-Herndandez Wants to Restore Confidence in the Judiciary System (Cook County, IL) — Claudia Silva-Hernandez had thought about running for an office for some time, but what really motivated her was her recent experience working with the state of Illinois. She worked as an administrative law judge, deciding cases and issuing ruling on decisions. It offered an opportunity to perform social service work, which involved speaking with people and being an active listener to help solve issues.
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“In collecting signatures for my petitions, I’ve come across many individuals, and some of them in the south suburbs who really are disappointed in our judiciary,” said Hernandez. “They are disappointed in the judicial system and judicial process based on things that they’ve heard in the national news and the local news. So I really think people should feel empowered in their communities to vote for the right individuals who mirror their similar backgrounds and who can identify with communities.”
She is running for the Circuit Court of Cook County Judge.
Born in Blue Island as a child of Mexican immigrants from San Luis Potosí, Mexico, Silva-Hernandez’ father is a retired Union Boilermaker who worked for more than 32 years and her mother is a dentist and businesswoman, practicing for more than 30 years in the Chicagoland south suburbs.
A licensed attorney since 2007, Silva-Hernandez’ legal experiences involved highly contentious matters where a person’s livelihood, housing, and or reputation was at stake. As a previous Administrative Law Judge with the Department of Human Services of the State of Illinois, Silva-Hernandez enjoyed interacting with hundreds of appellants, explaining the law and issuing decisions.
“I definitely think it’s alarming the distrust that is out there right now for the judiciary, and it needs to be addressed,” she added. “And it needs to be addressed by judges themselves, people such as myself, who sit in these positions. But it could also be addressed by community members, such as your followers, and their family members and their community members by encouraging people to vote and encouraging people to research judicial candidates. They can really trust their gut instinct on individuals and who they think would be the best fit for these positions.”
Silva-Hernandez also served as a counselor at the Chicago office of INROADS-a company dedicated to training young people of color and matching them with corporate employment opportunities.
“I’m very passionate about connecting individuals and making individuals feel heard. Making sure individuals don’t feel invisible,” she said. “My parents immigrated from Mexico, and when they immigrated here, they immigrated directly to the south suburbs around the people that they knew in the 1980s. And back then, there weren’t that many Latino families. It was not common to be bilingual in the school systems where I grew up. I know what it’s like, and I can identify with people who feel that they are on the outskirts and who feel unseen or invisible.”
This became one of the main reasons she served at INROADS because she had to fight stereotypes and stigmas growing up.
“I won’t go into too much detail, but when I graduated high school in the south suburbs, my mother was told that I was not college material,” said Silva-Hernandez. I was told I should not go to college. But I ended up going to a four year college and going to graduate school. I ended up going to law school. So one of the platforms I definitely want to champion is really listening to people electing people who come from our communities who know what it’s like to have been on the periphery, and who have overcome that and succeeded in their lives.”
Claudia Silva-Herndandez Wants to Restore Confidence in the Judiciary System