Roundup: August 11, 2023

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JCUA builds power with our elected officials 

Thank you to the nearly 100 members, partners, and elected officials who joined us on August 8th for “Co-Governance Reimagined!

With Chicago’s new progressive leadership, we can make immense progress on JCUA’s campaigns for Bring Chicago Home, Treatment Not Trauma, and Immigration Justice. In order to win, we need strong relationships with elected officials, a shared strategy, and systems of accountability.

At the event, we brought members into conversation with Alds. Carlos Ramirez-RosaMatt Martin, Rossana Rodriguez SánchezAndre VasquezLeni Manaa-Hoppenworth, and District Councilors EdVetté JonesMaurilio Garcia, and Beth Rochford.

We discussed our personal stake in the work and how we can collaborate over the next four years to build a just and equitable city. See photos here!

This is the moment for Bring Chicago Home!

Speaking of co-governance, JCUA’s Jimmy Rothschild and our partners from Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, United Working Families, and Communities United met with Mayor Brandon Johnson yesterday to discuss Bring Chicago Home (BCH).

Thanks to our coalition’s steady organizing, we’re closer than ever to getting BCH on the ballot and providing housing and wraparound services for the 65,000 people experiencing homelessness. But we know that getting over the finish line won’t be easy.

As we prepare to introduce BCH into City Council, join JCUA on Wednesday, August 30th for a South Side Town Hall, where neighbors are coming together to demonstrate our collective power and learn what each of us can do to ensure BCH’s passage. We’ve invited Alds. Lamont Robinson, Desmon Yancy, Gregory Mitchell, and Michelle Harris to attend, and we hope you’ll be there too.

The FOP is undermining democracy

An arbitrator has ruled in favor Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) as the police union works to diminish accountability for officers accused of the most serious offenses.

When the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) recommends that police officers are fired or suspended for more than one year, the case is decided on by the Police Board. Police Board members are nominated by Chicago’s civilian oversight commission, which was created through ECPS, and are required to bring their findings to the public.

Now, police can bypass the Police Board altogether and bring their case to an independent arbitrator, creating a closed-door process outside of public view. This is bad for police accountability, and bad for democracy.

We are taking action with our partners, calling on the FOP to cease its attempts to undermine democracy and demanding that alderpeople vote against ratification of this ruling when it comes before City Council. You can join us at a demonstration on Monday at Union Park (contact Community Organizer asia smith,, if you’re planning to attend).

JCUA supports co-operative housing for formerly incarcerated individuals

We’re pleased to share a new CVP partnership with ChiFresh Kitchen and the JumpStart Housing Cooperative.

Formerly incarcerated individuals experience significant barriers to housing, and homeownership. Discrimination by landlords against tenant applicants with criminal records and the lack of affordable housing stock in Chicago are contributing to the high housing insecurity experienced by low- to moderate-income returning citizens.

Given the over-incarceration of Black Chicagoans and the important role of homeownership in building financial security, wealth, and agency, efforts to increase accessible homeownership opportunities for returning citizens — particularly Black women — are important interventions to closing the racial wealth gap.

JumpStart Housing Cooperative is breaking this cycle by developing affordable housing cooperatives co-owned by Chicagoans with barriers to housing security. JCUA is proud to support this important work through CVP.

Thank you to our amazing summer interns!

Our fabulous youth organizers Leela Wittenberg Trubowitz, Megan O’Connor, Aviva Rappaport, Ronen Ousley, and Dalya Lessem Elnecave completed their summer internships with JCUA this week.

Throughout the summer, they built relationships with JCUA members, canvassed for our campaigns, hosted educational events, and brought infectious energy to SketchPad. They went out in style on their last day by taking over JCUA’s Instagram page. Check it out!