“No cop academy! 95 mil for a community!” The chants of passionate Chicagoans filled City Hall the morning of March 13. I found myself surrounded by angry members of my community as city council decided whether or not to fund Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $95 million cop academy. We stood around for hours, shouting relentlessly in opposition to the academy.
I wondered why this is so much more important than the schools they just shut down on the South Side. I wondered where the city would get this money if we’re so “broke.” I wondered why this amazing city has such deep roots in corruption. That’s when I knew that if I was going to live here, if I was going to make Chicago my home, then I had a duty. As a Jew, as a Chicagoan, as a student, a woman, a queer person, a person who claims to be “socially conscious.”
I knew I had to stand up for what I believe in. I needed to show up, use my voice, and shout my truth and my community’s truth. I had to make my voice heard and make it known that my community comes first. That I’m tired of seeing POC in my community slain in the streets and hauled away for crimes they didn’t commit, and that I have to stand up against the machine that reinforces that.
I am only one person, but so is anyone else who has ever made a difference. I may only be one person, but my community needs bodies, needs souls, to stand united against bigotry. Against violence. Against the pain constantly being caused by those who control Chicago’s Machine.
Although on March 13, Rahm’s $95 million cop academy still passed, we continue to stand strong and organize to fight the racism and bigotry that CPD carries with them every day. You will see me there, standing with my community, for as long as I’m a part of it.