Major milestones in JCUA’s Police Accountability work

Yesterday morning, I traveled to City Hall to speak alongside powerful movement leaders from across Chicago — folks who’ve been organizing on the ground for years to build a city where all of us are safe.

We were there together as the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) coalition to celebrate an enormous milestone and to launch an exciting new chapter of our work to bring accountability and oversight to the Chicago Police Department.

First, the milestone. On Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed the Interim Commission for ECPS, choosing seven community leaders who will take on a historic new role representing the people of Chicago in police accountability and reform. These seven commissioners have the power to draft and set CPD policy, help select police leadership, make recommendations for CPD’s 2023 budget, and bring transparency to all levels of policing.

Mazel tov to the seven members of the Commission, including four members from our ECPS coalition: Oswaldo Gomez, Clifford Nellis, Rev. Beth Brown, and Anthony Driver!

Now we enter an exciting new chapter of the work, since we know the Interim Commission is only half of what makes ECPS so transformative. Alongside the commission’s work at the citywide level to bring forward police accountability and reform, ECPS creates new District Councils in each of Chicago’s 22 police districts, where three elected community members will work to ensure public safety at the neighborhood level.

Yesterday was the official launch of the petition period for District Council candidates, who now have three months to collect the signatures required to appear on the February 2023 ballot! District Councils represent an enormous opportunity to empower 66 community leaders across Chicago who are dedicated to transforming our systems of policing and public safety.

Taken together, the system ECPS creates is arguably the most ambitious, progressive, and democratic community police accountability endeavor anywhere in the country. We need you to continue fueling our forward momentum. Let our coalition know if you or someone you know is interested in running for District Council.

Learn more about District Councils in our coalition’s new video!