I am a lifelong resident of Aurora. Raised by a single mom, I grew up living in low-income housing on the east side of Aurora. I witnessed gang violence, drug sales and drug use. Despite having lived among these societal challenges, I made a conscious effort at a young age to live a life of achievement. I set forward towards a goal to become the first in my family to graduate high school, specifically, East Aurora High School.
After high school, Richard enlisted in the United States Army where he served our country as a U.S. Army Specialist during the Gulf War-Desert Shield/Desert Storm operation. Upon his return from the Army, he was accepted and graduated from Robert Morris University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. It was the combined experience of being a war veteran and a college student where Richard learned the simple strategy of success: focus, determination and grit. He continued to apply this strategy upon graduation and consequently, was accepted to and graduated from NIU law school with a Juris Doctorate. Though he was proud of this achievement, Richard had more he wanted to accomplish. Onward and upward.
After passing the bar exam and becoming a licensed attorney for the state of Illinois, Richard accepted a position as a law clerk with Camic, Johnson, Wilson & McCullough, P.C. and then as prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. However, he came into prominence when he returned to Aurora as a highly regarded director of the Aurora Community Based Prosecutor Unit of the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. In that capacity, Richard worked with police, state and local agencies, local elected officials, prosecutors, and residents to fight crime and address quality of life issues in the City of Aurora
Successful Business Owner
Now Richard is a private practice attorney and businessperson, owning the successful Law Office of Richard C. Irvin & Associates, LTD. in downtown Aurora; ironically, not far from where he grew up in low-income housing. It is no secret that he is a criminal defense attorney, among many other areas of law that his firm practices. But when he represents a person charged with a crime, he is representing the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Illinois. He took an oath; similar to the one he took as Alderman, to protect the constitution and an individual’s due process rights. That’s his job. “When I was an Assistant State’s Attorney, my oath was to protect the constitution and the citizens of IL, and I did that well. I’ve followed those oaths I took to the letter of the law and I will continue to do so as Mayor.” Abraham Lincoln, who was an accomplished criminal defense attorney before he became president said: “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Richard truly believes that.
Richard never sits on the sidelines or becomes a bystander. He dives in and gives of his time and effort for the betterment of Aurora. He knows that when citizens are engaged things can and will happen. He has served as the Chairman of the Fox Valley Credit Union, sponsors community events and activities that helps children, seniors and young adults to live productive lives. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Richard embodies that quote.