A Life time in Public Service
Rebecca has had a lifelong commitment to public service and working to make her neighborhood, community, and country a better place to live. After earning a law degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1976, Rebecca joined the Legal Assistance Foundation, representing indigent clients in court, and she later joined the South Dakota Legal Services as a Staff Attorney. At the SDLS, Rebecca represented indigent members of the Native American Community, helping to protect their interests in State, Federal, and Tribal courts. It was at the LAF and the SDLS that she gained first hand experience in helping people who couldn’t afford to help themselves, such as her work in the case of Innocent Victims of the Occupation of Wounded Knee v. the United States Government.
Dedicated to Chicago
After leaving the SDLS in 1979, Rebecca returned to Chicago to practice law until 1995. During her time as an attorney, Rebecca represented numerous clients in court, including multiple Chicago based small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Afterwards, she became the special assistant to Toni Preckwinkle while she was an Alderman. During her time as Special Assistant, Rebecca worked to protect numerous historical buildings and affordable housing units from demolition.
Building and strengthening Communities
Rebecca left Ms. Preckwinkle’s office in 2001 to join the Chicago Public School System, working as a Coordinator for Special Projects for the office of the CEO. She later became involved in the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, where her focus was providing education to former inmates in order to help them with their reentry. Rebecca was also a Board Commissioner of the Illinois Office of the State Appellate Defender, where she helps those who cannot afford legal services find representation in court. She further works as a Special Assistant for Legal Affairs for the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, where she has taken leave to campaign for representing the 43rd Ward in the City Council.
A family tradition of standing for what is right
Rebecca’s grandmother, Rose Meyers Janowitz, born Rachel Meyerovich, opposed both the tyranny of the Russian Czar and Lenin before emigrating to the United States. Her activities were commemorated and applauded in 1930 in a special edition of the Vorwarts, a Yiddish newspaper published in New York.
Rebecca’s father, Morris Janowitz, ran for the Michigan State Legislature as a supporter of Governor G. Mennon “Soapy” Williams, a staunch liberal and an advocate for Civil Rights. Later, he was the campaign manager for Ann Arbor Mayor, Samuel J. Eldersveld, a professor and a liberal Democrat who defeated Ann Arbor’s 6-term incumbent Mayor.