Welcome to the new 2019-2020 Illinois Judicial Council.  We are an organization of talented individuals from various backgrounds that are united in our belief that “we serve to enhance the images of the judiciary by serving as a collective voice in strong support of its members and encouraging judicial participation in the Cook County Bar Association, National Bar Association and the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association; to serve the community by dispensing scholarships, encouraging the youth of the community in their positive goals, serving as ‘role models” and as constructive resources for the youth, educating and enlightening the community about the legal process and striving to provide equal access to the courts and to justice.” And indeed, with the help of our members we once again worked on each of those tenants of our mission statement as written in 1982.  This year again we are planning to hit all those marks and a few more.

Now that you know what our Mission is, let me introduce you to who we are. For all those who joined us at the 37th Installation Banquet, we truly, truly appreciate your support.  For those that were unable to join us it was a great affair, chaired by past Chair Hon. Dominique Ross.  We had rousing remarks by a wonderful speaker, Mr. Dorian Warren, Pres. Of the Center for Community Change Action. Our member, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans honored us by administering the oath to our new Officers and Board members and our member and past Chair, Illinois Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville, Jr. administered the oath to me.  Your new Board is comprised of the Hon. Thaddeus L. Wilson Pres-elect; Hon. Bonita Coleman, Secretary; Hon. Toya Harvey, Asst. Secretary; Hon. Carl B. Boyd, Treasurer; Hon. Kevin T. Lee, Asst. Treasurer; Hon. Fredrick H. Bates, Hon. Kimberly D. Lewis, Hon. Allen P. Walker, Hon. Steven G. Watkins, Hon. Cynthia Y. Cobbs, Ex-Officio and myself, Hon. Freddrenna M. Lyle President.

We are starting this year off with a full Agenda.  We are re-tooling our Robes in the Classroom by increasing our Law Day program and will be looking for more Judges to spend a morning in a high school during the first week of May 2020. We’ll of course continue to encourage and support Judges speaking to classes at elementary and high schools throughout the year.  Judge Kevin Lee is the Chair of this Committee.  Judge Allen Walker in co-chairing the Robes in the Classroom Committee will continue to work on pairing high school students for summer internships throughout the summer.  We are reaching out to Churches across the County to advise them that we have Judges who will visit and hold sessions with their parishioners i.e. Conversations with Judges.  Judge Toya Harvey is the Chair of this Committee.  We have an Ad Hoc Committee that is discussing the IJC’s position on Associate Judge Selection and Judge Robert Johnson is chairing this effort.

We are investigating means of strengthening the IJC Foundation. More to come on this issue. We have Judges scheduled to do public service programming to discuss Bail reform and we’re setting up meetings with BALSA Chapters.  We’ll be calling upon our Past President’s again to enlist their sage council.  We will again honor our history during Black History Month, so now is the time to take new Black and White photos.  Plus, we have a few other things we’ll be working on.  But enough for this my first Chair/President’s message.  (Bylaw amendments passed last year change the title from Chair to President, so it will take a little getting used to.)

Welcome. Join us. Pay your dues. Get involved. To whom much is given…….