click to enlarge Denise Church (left) organized attorneys from the Sangamon County Bar Association who volunteered their time and Joy Burgess (right), who works at the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, served as the chief organizer for the second annual expungement summit held in October. - PHOTO BY FLETCHER FARRAR
Photo by Fletcher Farrar
Denise Church (left) organized attorneys from the Sangamon County Bar Association who volunteered their time and Joy Burgess (right), who works at the Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, served as the chief organizer for the second annual expungement summit held in October.

EXPUNGEMENT SUMMIT HAD HELP

Thank you for the great article about the recent expungement summit ("A Second Chance in Life," Oct. 31). On behalf of the Sangamon County Bar Association (SCBA), who cosponsored the expungement summit with the Springfield Urban League, we would like to thank the many groups that came together to help people clear old criminal arrests and court cases from their public record.

In addition to the groups listed in the article, SCBA, Joy Burgess, Land of Lincoln Legal Aid, Goodwill Industries and Cabrini Green Legal Services were key players. Memorial Medical Center provided a perfect venue. The Baha'i Center, Public Interest Law Initiative, Identi-check and many others were of great help. Pizza Ranch graciously donated pizza for the hardworking volunteers.

As pro bono coordinator for the SCBA, I can report that we had a wonderful group of dedicated lawyers from our organization, as well as the government bar, who spent hundreds of hours reviewing records ahead of the summit and meeting with clients at the event itself. We look forward to the summit in 2020.

Denise Church Pro bono coordinator, SCBA

DON'T ARM TEACHERS

The League of Women Voters of the Springfield Area opposes the arming of teachers and other staff in our community's schools. This month, the Illinois Association of School Board's (IASB) annual conference will consider two recommended resolutions. One would provide school boards the option to allow qualified district employees to carry a concealed firearm. Another would create and fund a school safety grant to help assist school districts in the hiring of school resource officers or security personnel. School resource officers would be authorized to carry a firearm, providing training is received.

The League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) believes there is not adequate evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of such proposals. A March 2018 Gallup poll found 73% of U.S. educators said they were opposed to arming teachers in schools. There are many areas of unanswered questions including standards for training, the impact on children's safety and the need to fund social services for at-risk children. Such concerns must be addressed prior to pursuing these resolutions.

The LWVIL urges members of the community to contact your local school board and urge a no vote on these resolutions at the IASB Conference in November.

Joan McGrath, President
The League of Women Voters
Springfield

LET CITIZENS BEAR ARMS

Illinois Democrats wish to enact legislation to compel law-abiding citizens to be fingerprinted (at their own expense) to possess firearms. Basically, they wish to criminalize the Second Amendment. What next, mandating a state license to speak in public, thus criminalizing the First Amendment?

This is rich coming from legislators who are being frog-marched out of the Capitol, one by one, for various alleged felonies following FBI raids. It may get so bad, when the roll call is taken at the beginning of the legislative session the response will be either, "present," or "not guilty."

Bill Klein
Springfield

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