Heavy Hitters: Anita Alvarez

By July 30, 2016Sylvia's Blog
Heavy Hitters with Sylvia Perez

It’s been months in the making. I’ve been putting together a wish list of names, and now it’s finally happening. As a journalist, storytelling is a natural desire of mine that constantly needs to be nurtured. It’s a passion that drives my sense of fulfillment.

That’s why I am very excited to announce my new venture, a web series called Heavy Hitters.  It’s all about movers and shakers. People we all know or have heard about. They are headline newsmakers, politicians, successful business people, sports figures, chefs and celebrities. We know their faces, we’ve heard their names, but how much do we really know about them?

That’s the idea behind Heavy Hitters. I’ll be profiling a different person every month. So instead of just reading or hearing about these people, we are letting them tell you their story.

Anita Alvarez

Anita Alvarez and Sylvia Perez

Anita Alvarez agreed to talk to me about the McDonald case, whether she believes she was treated fairly and the impact on her family.

My first interview is with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez. Alvarez has been well known as a tough prosecutor who eventually was elected to become the first Latina and first female in the second largest prosecutor’s office in the nation. It was a dream come true for someone who had spent her entire career working as an assistant state’s attorney.

She was elected to that office twice but lost the last election. Voters turned against her after a video was released that showed a white officer shooting a black teenager 16 times. The public was outraged that she hadn’t filed charges against the police officer earlier. There were cries of a cover up between her office, the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Anita Alvarez and Sylvia Perez

Under a firestorm of criticism, Alvarez recused herself from the case against the Chicago police, so a special prosecutor has been named.

Alvarez said yes to a sit down interview with me. Her first since she lost the March primary to her Democratic opponent Kim Foxx. I could tell she was a little nervous to do the interview but clearly wanted her side of the story told. In it, you will hear her talk about how she felt the mayor’s office used her as a scapegoat. At one point, she gets emotional talking about leaving office in December. But the most compelling video is one she shared with us of her 17-year old daughter, getting in front of her entire school and talking about how this experience personally affected her. It was part of a poetry slam contest she won, and it’s very powerful to watch.

I’ll be on NBC5 Monday August 1st at 11am to talk about the interview.

You can see the video here on my website Monday August 1st.  Was she used as a scapegoat, and treated unfairly? You be the judge.

Finally, if there is any “Heavy Hitter” you would like to know more about, let us know and maybe we will profile them in the upcoming months.

Sylvia Perez

About Sylvia Perez

Sylvia Perez is an Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, news and health reporter, and major market anchor. Her expertise in revealing the personal side of headline stories and drawing their impact into “news you can use” viewership is now the foundation of Sylvia Perez Productions, a multi-faceted company specializing in video production and event planning for non-profits.


  • mary ingala says:

    I miss seeing you on the Channel 7 news. Enjoyed your style of delivering the news precise and with feeling. Mary

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