Roundup: March 10, 2023

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1. People’s Hearing for Bring Chicago Home

Join us Sunday for the Bring Chicago Home People’s Hearing. We’ll hear testimony, engage in collective art and storytelling, and envision together what a world where we are truly taking care of our neighbors will look like. Food, childcare, and Spanish interpretation will be provided. Sign up for this powerful event here.

In addition to neighbors with lived experience with homelessness, service providers, and faith leaders who have been in the fight for Bring Chicago Home, we’ll also hear from mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson, Alderwoman-elect Julia Ramirez, and BCH chief sponsor Alderwoman Maria Hadden. See you on Sunday afternoon as we continue the fight for housing justice.

2. Department of Justice investigates policing 

The US Department of Justice is investigating the Louisville and Memphis police departments after the murders of Breonna Taylor and Tyre Nichols. Police conduct in Louisville was found to discriminate against Black people, and Attorney General Merrick Garland called police conduct “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking.” The Department of Justice will now investigate the Memphis Police Department use of force, de-escalation policies, and specialized units, and plan to expand the investigation of special units countrywide. With national attention on police reform, we are hopeful that Chicago’s police accountability efforts and newly-elected District Councils will make headway.

3. Six generations of Jewish life in Chicago

JCUA member and consultant Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein’s family has a storied history in Chicago, and as a fifth-generation South Sider, got the chance to share that story with WBEZ. Aryeh’s paternal ancestors from Lithuania settled in South Chicago and got involved with Jewish life at the first synagogue on the Southeast Side. His maternal ancestors also settled in the area, resisting the pull of white flight and developer offers to sell their Pill Hill home. The Bernstein family’s Chicago history, and Aryeh’s commitment to raise another generation where he grew up, is a beautiful testament to Chicago and underlies his work with JCUA.

4. Endangered prairie under threat

Construction at Chicago Rockford International Airport began this week despite concerns from environmentalists. The airport is constructing a new road through The Bell Bowl Prairie, one of the last remaining ancient prairies in the state. Bell Bowl Prairie is a rare dry gravel prairie and home to several endangered species, and construction is likely to damage this unique biome.

5. Non-Violent Direct Action Training

JCUA is holding our second ever training on Non-Violent Direct Action on Sunday, April 30 from 1-5pm. No matter how the Chicago municipal elections go, JCUA members will have work to do to win housing, dignity for immigrants, mental healthcare, and safety for all. Join us to learn about an important way we can fight for our values.

This training is meant to give JCUA members the theoretical background, skills, and grounding necessary to participate in non-violent direct action, including potential civil disobedience. Attending the training is not a commitment to join any action, but we hope that attendees will be open to taking action with JCUA and our coalition partners in the future.

We are asking everyone who attends to take a rapid Covid test before coming and wear a mask. Register here.