On the Issues
As a prosecutor and a legislator, Kwame Raoul built a reputation for taking the lead in defending the rights of Illinois families. Please explore the topics below to learn more about Kwame and why he’s the best choice for attorney general.
As the state’s chief legal and law enforcement officer, Kwame works in a bipartisan manner with prosecutors and police chiefs across Illinois to fight crime and develop criminal justice policy.
Kwame partners with federal and local law enforcement to prosecute crimes of murder, violence and sexual violence, and gun trafficking.
With retail theft crimes on the rise, Kwame created the state’s first Organized Retail Crime Task Force with law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute the criminal organizers behind smash-and-grab crimes. The Task Force recently busted a car theft ring and has recovered over $1 million in stolen merchandise.
To fight the prevalence of gun violence, Kwame works in partnership with the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center to conduct trainings to better prevent mass shooting threats in schools, places of worship, and other public places.
Kwame also pushed for stronger federal regulation of so-called “ghost” guns that criminals, carjackers, and domestic abusers prohibited from purchasing a gun can access without important safety measures and can evade gun tracing by authorities. Kwame also holds gun manufacturers accountable, suing to revoke the license of a rogue gun maker that produced cheap guns criminals use in carjackings and other crimes.
In the face of an uptick in crimes tied to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Kwame also partners with the FBI to investigate unemployment insurance fraud and other COVID-related fraud.
In 2020, Kwame was honored as Public Official of the Year by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police for his leadership. The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police represents over 1,200 members of law enforcement who work across 450 agencies in Illinois.
As a state senator, Kwame sponsored tougher penalties for child pornography, updated the state’s law against cyberstalking, strengthened penalties against gun traffickers and repeat gun offenders, and created sentencing guidelines that help keep violent criminals off the street and hold adults responsible for gun crimes committed by minors. He successfully pushed for common sense gun laws that expanded background checks, required gun owners to report lost or stolen guns, and kept guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
Kwame is a national leader in the fight for women’s equality to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment is recognized as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. During his Senate career, Kwame proudly co-sponsored Illinois’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and the Equal Pay Act to combat wage discrimination based on wage history.
Throughout his career, Kwame has worked to protect a woman’s right to access health care, believing a woman should make her own decisions about her family and her health. Kwame is leading national efforts to protect access to reproductive healthcare in response to an increasing number of states, especially in the Midwest, denying women the reproductive rights afforded in Roe v. Wade. As a Senator, Kwame also proudly voted for House Bill 40 to protect reproductive rights in Illinois if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Kwame previously worked to expand Medicaid in Illinois and guarantee coverage of birth control and mammograms. He co-sponsored the law that ensures women are given information about how to access health care even when their providers have moral objections to furnishing the treatment they choose. He also fought for comprehensive, medically informed sex education in schools.
Kwame is committed to helping reduce the long-lasting effects of violence and provide support to survivors and their loved ones. He has improved the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Program and increased funding for the Violent Crime Victims Assistance Program to provide increased financial support to victims and witnesses of violent crime.
Protecting survivors of sexual assault is also a top priority for Kwame. His office ensures sexually violent predators are committed to keep our communities safe. Kwame also strengthened protections for survivors through the Illinois Address Confidentiality Program to help them create and maintain a safety plan.
Kwame supported the sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights to ensure survivors are treated with respect and given the information and services they deserve. He updated the Workplace Violence Protection Act to strengthen protections for those threatened at work by their abusers and led efforts to shield domestic violence survivors from liability if they terminate their leases early to escape unsafe living arrangements.
As a father, Kwame understands the importance of protecting children. He leads the Illinois Crimes Against Children Task Force that investigates and prosecutes predators in communities across the state for preying on children online.
Kwame works to train teachers, administrators, and parents on how to avoid mass shooting incidents in schools. He also provides trainings and support in communities across Illinois for parents, caregivers, schools, and children to prevent online bullying and help promote safe online behavior.
Partnering with product safety advocates, Kwame also works to ensure children’s products and toys are safe and alert parents and caregivers of dangerous and harmful toys and products in their homes.
Ensuring that every Illinois resident has access to affordable health care is particularly important for Kwame as Attorney General and for his own personal health journey. As a cancer survivor, Kwame benefitted from early detection and excellent medical care, solidifying his commitment to protect and defend everyone’s right to access care and build a healthy future.
Kwame is also grounded by the work of his father, a community physician who spent 30 years on Chicago’s south side caring for patients regardless of their ability to pay. Watching his father’s dedication to providing care to all patients instilled in him that healthcare is a right for all of us and not a privilege for the few.
Kwame joined with his counterparts to fight to protect access to affordable health care in the Affordable Care Act in the face of repeated Republican attacks. He has fought in court against other attempts to block access to care, including allowing health care providers to refuse to provide necessary health care to patients based on providers’ religious or moral beliefs.
As prescription drug addiction has grown into a nationwide epidemic, Kwame filed lawsuits to hold drug manufacturers accountable for peddling opioids and brought millions of dollars in relief for Illinois communities that have felt the devastating impacts of opioid addiction.
Kwame previously co-sponsored the law that enabled Illinois’ early adoption of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. He has also passed legislation to expand the availability of drug treatment facilities, cancer treatment centers, and HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
Recognizing the severity of the opioid epidemic, he sponsored legislation establishing penalties for the manufacture and sale of fentanyl, a substance many times more dangerous and addictive than conventional opioids. He has led the way in banning new synthetic drugs and preventing heroin manufacturers and dealers from going on probation instead of serving prison sentences.
Together with state attorneys general across the country, Kwame defends voting rights and attempts to suppress voting rights and enact discriminatory laws that disenfranchise communities color waged by the Republican Party.
Kwame helps oversee and investigate instances of voter fraud during elections and advocates for Illinois’ strong voter protection laws to ensure all eligible voters are allowed to register and cast a ballot.
As a senator, Kwame sponsored the Illinois Voting Rights Act as well as a constitutional amendment prohibiting discrimination against eligible voters based on their race, sex, income, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation.
Kwame has a long history of championing the rights of working families and organized labor. Throughout his career, Kwame has fought to protect workers’ rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining, aggressively enforce labor laws, and defend working families. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kwame continues to defend lifesaving COVID mitigations to better prevent illness and death and defends safeguards for essential workers.
Kwame created a Worker Protection Unit in his office that enforces violations of worker protection laws and leads a statewide task force to better protect workers’ rights and prevent discrimination, wage theft, misclassification, and other unlawful practices affecting Illinois workers.
Kwame believes that no one who works a full-time job should live in poverty. He was a strong advocate for raising the minimum wage to help working families across Illinois and fought for wage security and health insurance for caretakers who work with older citizens.