I’m Araceli Reyes De La Cruz and I will work relentlessly to bring integrity, fairness and
grace under pressure to the bench. I hope you "Choose De La Cruz" on March 17, 2020!
As a fellow Cook County resident...
I am a lifelong resident of Albany Park and the proud product of CPS. Scholarships enabled me to attend UIC where I studied English and Political Science. I worked while attending The John Marshall Law School where I competed in Mock Trial, was on the Dean’s List and earned the Elmer Kissane award for public service. I’m the first in my immediate family to go to college. This happened because of the strong people who support and believe in me.
Hard work and community were instilled in me early. My parents were born in Puerto Rico and raised their children working as public servants and union workers. They taught us to appreciate the value of education and the importance of empowering others. This is why, since 2012, I’ve served as a Casa Central board member. Understanding our legal systems requires fairness, empathy and a balanced approach. I’ve helped crime victims and witnesses navigate the justice system and presently support and promote fair and restorative practices within our schools.
My husband, a Filipino immigrant, is an architect and develops and beautifies affordable housing for seniors. We are raising our two children in the neighborhood where I grew up. My husband also believes in being the change we want to see. He supports the community and our son as a Philippines Basketball Association of Chicago volunteer coach.
My work as an attorney
I’ve been charged with the public’s trust for eighteen years and focused on developing my skills by working in leadership roles across many sectors. This has helped me develop strong litigation skills and diversified practice. The Chicago Bar Association agreed and found me Qualified to be your judge.
As an Assistant State’s Attorney I tried misdemeanor and felony jury trials, over one hundred bench trials and hundreds of evidentiary hearings. I managed vertical prosecution of narcotics cases. I also specialized in child victim sexual assault cases.
At CTA, I oversaw the Bus and Rail System Safety Plans, external audits by state and federal agencies and coordinated security with the CPD and private security companies in service of 1.7 million riders.
As Chief of General Prosecution at IDFPR, I prosecuted hundreds of professional license violations so that the interests of every-day consumers were protected.
I’m the General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer for Acero Schools and laser focused on safeguarding the educational and privacy interests of 7,500 public charter school children. I keep a careful watch on compliance with the collective bargaining agreement between our schools and over 500 members of the CTU. I also conduct internal investigations and oversee outside attorneys that represent Acero Schools in any state or federal proceedings.
Who I will be as a judge
My priorities are simple - serve as a fair, effective and diligent judge. I will not only bring legal knowledge and expertise to the bench, but also executive skills that will translate into an efficiently managed courtroom that provides equal access to our judicial system.