With. By. For. Our Community


About the Candidate

Perla Tirado was born and raised on the Southwest side of Chicago. Her family’s story begins in Pilsen, where her mother grew up. Later, her grandfather settled his entire family in the Little Village neighborhood, where Perla grew up surrounded by her uncles, aunts, and cousins. Places like Home Run Inn Pizza and Piotrowski Park were the sights and sounds of Perla’s childhood. Perla’s parents worked at Brach’s Candy Company and were lifelong Teamster union members. They instilled a solid work ethic in Perla and her older brother Jose. Throughout her childhood, Perla witnessed the many sacrifices that her parents made to provide her and her brother with a good education and to pave the way for them to make their mark on the world. Jose went on to serve our country in Iraq & Afghanistan and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army.

Perla attended grammar school at Blessed Agnes (now known as St. Agnes of Bohemia). Perla later graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep, where she was actively involved in social justice-related activities and was the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year of her graduating class. She earned her BA degrees double majoring in both Philosophy & Theology with a minor in Faith, Peace & Justice at Boston College. She was nominated for the prestigious Oscar Romero award which recognizes those with superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service and involvement with social justice issues. Post-graduation, Perla continued her service to the community working for the Archdiocese of Boston as a teacher and then returned to Chicago joining Mercy Homes for Boys & Girls where she worked as both youth advocate and case manager, serving as a role model for young men and women who were considered “at risk.”

As a law student at DePaul, Perla was a Sullivan Fellow for the International Human Rights Institute and a Presidential Fellow. While at DePaul she traveled internationally to participate in the Chiapas Human Rights practicum working with NGOs training advocates on human rights law and provided outreach support to indigenous communities in the region. In addition, she traveled to Costa Rica to work with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on highly sensitive cases from throughout Latin America where the Inter-American Convention had been violated. She also helped train international attorneys on the adversarial system of the United States. She taught them trial advocacy skills related to conducting effective direct and cross-examinations, developing theories of the case, and preparing opening and closing arguments.

Since earning her degree, Perla has been practicing law for over fourteen years, Perla started her career as a Public Defender in Cook County and later ran her own private practice focused on criminal and civil law. Perla gained valuable experience as a litigator working on both felony and misdemeanor cases. She has extensive trial experience having tried both bench and jury trials in all of Cook County. Currently, Perla works for the Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA) as a community lawyer at Enlace Chicago in Little Village. At CALA, Perla also serves as a Supervising Attorney, where she helps recently admitted attorneys in developing their lawyering and trial skills. Her main practice areas include: criminal law, immigration and removal defense, family law, and criminal records.

When the judgeship opened up for the 14th Judicial Subcircuit, Perla was strongly encouraged by those around her to run for the position given her law background and unwavering commitment to public service. Her career has been dedicated to working with, by and for her community and she will carry that forward as a judge should she be elected into the seat this March 2020.

Perla believes that everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and dignity. Perla lives in Pilsen with her husband, Patrick, a civil engineer, at O’Hare International Airport, and their son, Joshua, a Chicago Public School student. Please help Perla get elected as Cook County Judge for the 14th Judicial Subcircuit, the very same community where she was born, has lived and served throughout her professional career.

Perla is asking for your vote on March 17, 2020.