With Chicago’s municipal elections on February 28, our communities have taken an enormous step forward in the decades-long work to transform policing.
The Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance, which JCUA and our partners fought long and hard to pass, created District Councils in each of the city’s 22 police districts. District Councils are hyper-local spaces dedicated to public safety. They are where neighbors will come together to build relationships, hold police accountable, and develop local initiatives that keep us all safe.
The first 66 District Councils members were elected this week, and it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk. Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) — consistently an obstruction to reform — vigorously opposed ECPS and the establishment of District Councils. Then, they went on to endorse 18 candidates and tried to throw off the ballot more than 10 progressives.
But the FOP’s plan failed. The huge majority of elected District Councils members are community leaders connected to the ECPS coalition, people who are committed to robust police accountability and community oversight.
These results demonstrate that Chicagoans reject the business-as-usual approach to public safety and embrace a holistic approach rooted in democracy, accountability, and community investment.
This victory is shared by so many within JCUA and in our broader community. District Councils will be inaugurated in May. We can’t wait to continue the work to ensure public safety for everyone.