Irvin’s Campaign for Govenor of Illinois Launches New Ad Featuring Tough on Crime Record

Irvin's Campaign for Govenor of Illinois Launches New Ad Featuring Tough on Crime Record
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Irvin’s Campaign for Govenor of Illinois Launches New Ad Featuring Tough on Crime Record (Aurora, IL) – Richard Irvin for Governor released a new ad today highlighting Mayor Irvin’s proven success fighting crime and working with police as a tough-on-crime prosecutor. The announcement comes as crime continues to escalate across the state, a result of JB Pritzker’s anti-law enforcement policies signed into law last year.

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“It’s hard to escape the violence infiltrating our own backyards since Pritzker’s dangerous anti-law enforcement policies have begun taking effect,” said Irvin. “There are now daily reports of violent criminals who won’t be held accountable for murder due to Pritzker’s policies that protect criminals over communities. I have a record of increasing public safety and holding criminals accountable in Aurora. As Governor, I will keep crime and criminals in check by working with our police, not against them.”

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This week, Cook County prosecutors cited Pritzker’s so-called “SAFE-T Act” as their reason for not charging two separate defendants with murder, something that Irvin says, “isn’t safe at all, it ties the hands of the police and empowers criminals.” Irvin, who created a Law Enforcement Advisory Council to work with police and public safety advocates, has pledged to repeal the most dangerous aspects of this anti-law enforcement law that have contributed to the current public safety crisis in Illinois.

Below is the script as featured in the ad:

IRVIN: So when I was a prosecutor, I’d go around with these guys. We raided crack houses and busted up gangs. This apartment complex over here. It was bad, but we took it back.

‘Defund the Police’… ludicrous. All lives matter. It’s not about color. Every family deserves to be safe. Crime is down in Aurora because the police budget is up. I’ve hired more cops every year. We’ve got more police officers in the history of our city. When people feel safe, it creates opportunity. That’s what Illinois needs.

ANNC: That’s Richard Irvin.

“Ride” Fact Sheet:

“When I was a prosecutor I’d go around with these guys. We raided crack houses and busted up gangs. This apartment complex over here, it was bad. But we took it back.”

Irvin Successfully Forced Safety Improvements at a Troubled Aurora Apartment Complex

In 2001, Irvin Threatened To Shut Down A Troubled Aurora Apartment Complex And Prosecute Its Owners If They Did Not Agree To Make Safety Improvements. “Under the threat of a shutdown, the owners of a troubled apartment complex in Aurora have agreed to hire armed security guards, bring in on-site managers, make building repairs and enhance security precautions, including criminal background checks of tenants, officials said. William J. Coleman of New Jersey, one of four owners of the Woodlands Apartments, 1213-1215 2nd Ave., recently signed an agreement with the state attorney general’s office, the Kane County state’s attorney’s office and Aurora police that mandates the improvements.

If the conditions of the agreement are not met, the state’s attorney and attorney general could seek to have the property declared a nuisance, said Assistant State’s Atty. Richard C. Irvin, Aurora’s community prosecutor. That could shut down the property for a year. In addition, income could be confiscated under state criminal housing management laws, and felony criminal charges could be filed against the owners, Irvin said.” (Hal Dardick, “Aurora Complex Gets Last Chance Chicago Tribune, 11/5/01)

The Agreement

  • The Agreement Called For The Complex To Hire Armed Security Guards And Do More To Keep Out Known Drug Criminals. “Under the new arrangement the Woodlands agreed to hire a security firm. Armed guards will be stationed at the building at least 40 hours a week, and an apartment will be provided free to a security guard who will live there. Woodlands owners also have agreed to bring in an on-site management firm and a maintenance supervisor, start a tenant identification-card program, update its list of drug criminals banned from the property, conduct criminal background checks on prospective tenants and employees, limit parking to tenants and authorized visitors and fix all code violations.” (Hal Dardick, “Aurora Complex Gets Last Chance Chicago Tribune, 11/5/01)

Less Than a Year Later

Less Than A Year Later, The Apartment Complex Was “Pretty Much Cleaned Up” According To Residents. “In her 12 years living at Woodlands Apartments in Aurora, Leslie Cowper has witnessed more than her share of gang- and drug-related activity that made the complex perhaps the most notorious in the city. Police and paramedics were attacked there three times in 1996, leading to a state attorney general’s agreement with its owners to clean up the place. But problems resurfaced, and a second agreement was signed last November under the threat of state authorities shutting down the complex.

Now, less than a year later, police on evening patrol find children playing rather than drug dealers hawking their products and gangbangers looking for trouble, said Lt. Bill Powell, who oversees police efforts in the area. ‘That’s pretty much cleaned up,’ said Cowper, who lives at the complex with her 17-year-old daughter and serves as secretary on a 3-month-old tenant council. ‘It has changed 180 degrees from what it used to be, from a negative to a positive direction,’ said Richard Irvin, a community prosecutor with the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.” (Hal Dardick, “Complex Cleans Up Crime,” Chicago Tribune, 8/9/02)

Irvin Was A Felony Court Prosecutor In Kane County

Before Becoming The Aurora Community Prosecutor, Irvin Served As A Felony Court Prosecutor With The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. “Irvin ran on the premise that he can ‘heal, strengthen and build” the city. A former felony court prosecutor with the Kane County state’s attorney’s office who grew up in an Aurora housing project, Irvin, 34, now is in private law practice. He served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.” (Amy Fisher Roth, “Weisner, Irvin Make Cut,” Chicago Tribune, 2/23/05)

“Defund the police? Ludicrous. All lives matter. It’s not about color, every family deserves to be safe. Crime is down in Aurora because the police budget is up.”

Irvin Increased Aurora’s Police Budget by 17 Percent, and Aurora was Recently Ranked the Sixth-Safest Large City in America

A 2021 Study By WalletHub Ranked Aurora As The Sixth-Safest Large City In America. (“Best- & Worst-Run Cities in America,” WalletHub, 6/22/21)

When Irvin Was Elected Mayor Of Aurora In 2017, The Police Budget Was $67.1 Million; In 2021 It Was $78.6 Million. (Aurora Annual Budget – 2017; Aurora Annual Budget – 2021)

“I’ve hired more cops every year. We’ve got more police officers than in the history of our city.”

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Irvin Increased The Number Of Uniformed Police Officers In Aurora For The First Time In Six Years

When Irvin Was Elected Mayor Of Aurora In 2017, The City Had 235 Uniformed Officers; In 2021, The City Had 250. (Aurora Annual Budget – 2017; Aurora Annual Budget – 2021)

“When people feel safe, it creates opportunity. That’s what Illinois needs.”

Aurora Has Attracted New Companies Bringing Hundreds of New Jobs

In 2021, Amazon Announced It Would Open A New Fulfillment Center In Aurora That Would Employ 600 People. “CBS 2 is Working for Chicago, and we have an announcement to pass along about some new job openings with Amazon. The online retailer is opening a new fulfillment center in west suburban Aurora, set to launch Oct. 3. Amazon said it will be bringing 600 jobs to the area.” (“Amazon To Open New Fulfillment Center In Aurora, Bringing 600 New Jobs,” CBS 2 Chicago, 8/31/21)

In 2021, Factor, A Food Preparation And Delivery Company, Relocated A Facility To Aurora. “A grand opening was held Thursday for Factor, a packaged meal preparation company which has relocated a facility to the far West Side of Aurora. The subscription-based, ready-to-eat food preparation and delivery company moved late last year into the former Cosmopolitan Market building at 2372 W. Indian Trail.

Grand Opening

At the grand opening Thursday, Mike Apostal, Factor chief executive officer, said it was ‘a phenomenal day for Factor.’ He said since beginning operations in Aurora in the past four weeks, the company has already prepared 250,000 meals, and has donated more than 7,000 meals and 10,000 pounds of cooked food to various organizations and hospitals in the area. ‘And we’ve controlled spending, balanced budgets, so residents got property tax relief’” (Steve Lord, “Packaged Food Company Holds Grand Opening In Aurora,” Beacon-News, 1/21/21)

  • Factor Hired 250 People To Work In Its Aurora Facility. “Hello Fresh, the world’s largest meal kit company, recently announced its acquisition of Factor for $277 million. Factor, founded in 2013, will continue to operate as a stand-alone company. Factor has hired about 250 employees since it moved to the Aurora facility, officials said.” (Steve Lord, “Packaged Food Company Holds Grand Opening In Aurora,” Beacon-News, 1/21/21)

New Food Inspection Facility

In 2020, FlexXray Opened A New Food And Product Inspection Facility In Aurora With Plans To Hire 150 People. “FlexXray today joined Invest Aurora, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and Aurora officials to cut the ribbon on the company’s new state-of-the-art food and product inspection facility, with plans to hire 150 workers from the community.

FlexXray, a leading x-ray inspection and recovery service for the food industry, is expanding to serve the increased demand for its services and to meet the changing demands facing the US food supply chain due to COVID-19, while building on Aurora’s steady growth as a regional hub for manufacturing.” (Invest Aurora, “Invest Aurora Joins FlexXray In Announcing Plans to Hire 150 at New State-of-the-Art Food & Product Inspection Facility in Aurora,” Press Release, 10/28/20)

viaPhoton

In 2020, viaPhoton Opened A Fiber-Optics Factory In Aurora That Was Expected To Employ 230 People. “Capitalizing on growth in 5G technology and with support from state and local officials, a startup company called viaPhoton has opened a fiber-optics factory in Aurora, where it is hiring 30 people and hopes to add another 200 employees in three to five years. CEO Baber Abbas said the company will supply data centers and mobile communications companies throughout the Midwest. Its presence here will help Illinois expand access to 5G services statewide, he said.” (Davie Roeder, “Company Opens Fiber-Optics Factory In Aurora,” Chicago Sun-Times, 7/27/20)

Aurora Has Redeveloped its Downtown, Turning Vacant Buildings Into Thriving Businesses

In 2021, Aurora Approved A Deal To Redevelop The Long-Vacant Hobbs Building In Downtown Aurora Into Commercial, Retail, And Restaurants Uses On The Ground Floor, And Apartments On The Upper Floors. “Aurora City Council approved a $13 million redevelopment agreement for the long vacant historic Hobbs Building in Downtown Aurora. The deal with the locally based JH Real Estate Partners LLC to renovate the 126-year-old building, at Galena Boulevard and River Street, and two buildings next to it will include a combination of commercial, retail and restaurant uses on the first floors, and apartments on the upper floors.

The agreement will save the building that many thought would end up being torn down, despite being on the National Register of Historic Places. Several years ago, the organization Landmarks Illinois listed it as one of the most endangered historic buildings in Illinois.” (Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, “Redevelopment Of The Historic Hobbs Building,” Press Release, 7/20/21)

  • “The Agreement Will Save The Building That Many Thought Would End Up Being Torn Down, Despite Being On The National Register Of Historic Places.” (Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, “Redevelopment Of The Historic Hobbs Building,” Press Release, 7/20/21)

Relocation of Manufacturing Facility

In 2020, Lindsay Windows Announced It Would Relocate A Manufacturing Facility To An Aurora Location That Had Stood Vacant For 13 Years. “The Aurora City Council has approved a sales tax rebate incentive to help a window treatment manufacturer relocate to Aurora. Lindsay Windows intends to move its North Aurora manufacturing site to the former Cub Foods at 505 S. Constitution Ave., just off Galena Boulevard.

The 66,000-square-foot building, which sits on a 9.46-acre site, has been vacant since the grocery store closed there 13 years ago.” (Steve Lord, “Aurora Oks Sales Tax Rebate For Company Intending To Move To Old Cub Foods Site,” Beacon-News, 10/30/20)

  • Lindsay Windows Said It Intended To Hire 50 New Full-Time Employees At The Aurora Location. “At the Aurora site, the company will repair and replace the building’s roof, and build five truck bays on the south end, as well as covered storage and a pull-in drive for people picking up windows. The company has 25 full-time employees and 70 part-time, but plans on adding 50 full-time jobs at the new facility while phasing out some of the part-time employees, company officials said.” (Steve Lord, “Aurora Oks Sales Tax Rebate For Company Intending To Move To Old Cub Foods Site,” Beacon-News, 10/30/20)

Wedding Events Company

In 2018, Company 251, A Wedding Events Company, Took Over The 100-Year-Old Former International Harvester Building In Downtown Aurora. “That next step brought the company to Aurora, where Moveable Feast & Co. has opened Company 251 in the more than 100-year-old former International Harvester Building at 251 S. River St. The building is in the four-block Belle-Gale Historic District in a somewhat neglected part of the city’s downtown.

But, similar to what the recent opening of the Bureau Gravity Building could do for the East Side of downtown on historic LaSalle Street, Company 251 could be the anchor for more owner-occupied businesses rekindling that part of Aurora’s downtown footprint. ‘It is clear that the city is on the rise and the opportunity to be a part of this renaissance, to create a space that allows for greater opportunity in the historic downtown area, was one we couldn’t pass by,’ Marquez said.” (Steve Lord, “Business Breathes New Life Into Historic Aurora Building,” Beacon-News, 6/11/18)

Company 251 Access Federal And State Tax Credits

Aurora Officials Helped Company 251 Access Federal And State Tax Credits. “Because the building is in an historic district, it was eligible for federal historic area tax credits. It was also eligible for state tax credits because it is in the city’s River Edge Redevelopment Zone. Aurora economic development officials have been touting the possibility of the tax credits in pursuing developers throughout downtown for such properties as the Terminal Building at Broadway and Galena Boulevard, and the Crosby Building at Galena and River Street.” (Steve Lord, “Business Breathes New Life Into Historic Aurora Building,” Beacon-News, 6/11/18)

Irvin’s Campaign for Govenor of Illinois Launches New Ad Featuring Tough on Crime Record

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