Local Honors Former President, Martha Marie Fitzsimmons

Brothers and Sisters:

As some of you may know, our sister, Martha Fitzsimmons left the office after her battle with lung cancer took a turn for the worse.  The Executive Board, voted to honor Martha and her service to our clients and this union by making a donation in her honor to a cause she has felt strongly about for many years.  What follows is a letter that we sent along with a donation to the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. 

 Martha is also our Member of the Month.


February 5, 2010
Illinois Coalition To Abolish The Death Penalty
332 S. Michigan Ave
St. 500
Chicago, Il 60604
Re: Martha M. Fitzsimmons
         Enclosed is a check for $ 1,033.15, from the attorneys employed as Cook County Public Defenders as members of AFSCME Union 3315, to honor our good friend and leader, Martha M. Fitzsimmons.
         We are keeping Martha and her family in our close thoughts and prayers during her illness. And we reflect on the many years of service she dedicated to the cause of upholding the Constitutional protections for indigent citizens charged with crimes. She has worked tirelessly for nearly 25 years in Cook County courtrooms since joining the Office of the Public Defender in April, 1986.
         But it was Martha’s work outside of courtrooms to abolish the Death Penalty, and in support of our Union and organized labor, where she happily applied her strength, insight, determination and humor.
        Martha could always be counted on to provide good advice and a shove in the right direction.  Please accept the contribution from our members in her name.  And put the money to good use to continue the necessary work to abolish the death penalty in Illinois.
Public Defenders of Cook County
The Executive Board
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  1. Justice Cardozo
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Martha is a tireless advocate for her clients.
    We were partners in Judge Schreier’s room in the 1980s.
    I watched in amazement as she would put hour after hour into her work…she would devote as much time and effort into a simple PSMV as she would a class X.
    Her clients were and are damned lucky to have her as their lawyer…she leaves no stone unturned.
    Martha, more importantly, is one of the most selfless people I have ever known….She has consistently put anybody and everybody before her own interests…..She is remarkable.

  2. Monique Patterson
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Martha is an amazing person. During a recent visit I found her discussing Union issues before I even entered the room. Her priority is to stand up for what is right and fight like hell while doing it. She deserves our admiration and respect and I am proud that I know her and consider her a friend.

  3. Posted February 10, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    What a fitting way to honor her.

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