Community Safety

All Chicagoans deserve to live in safety. JCUA is organizing for robust accountability of the Chicago Police Department and the expansion of non-carceral approaches to public safety.

Chicago is a thriving multiracial city, where we all share a desire for safe neighborhoods. While much national attention is directed toward Chicago’s violent crime, too little attention is paid to its root causes. Chicago, like the United States, has a long history of systemic racism — including housing segregation and redlining, predatory lending, disinvestment, and state violence — whose effects continue to shape and harm the lives of Black and Brown Chicagoans.

To reduce violence, we need a broad and holistic approach to community safety. In reality, we entrust the Chicago Police Department with vast sums of public resources as the sole, and often deadly, authority to fix many of the city’s problems. Resistant to reform, unaccountable to the people it serves, and unequipped to address many social problems, CPD relies on ineffective strategies to reduce crime and often perpetuates violence by surveilling, criminalizing, and harming Chicago’s communities of color.

As Jews, we know that our safety is inextricably tied to the safety of our neighbors and that Jews of Color face a higher risk of violence. JCUA’s Community Safety Committee organizes in multiracial coalitions on campaigns to increase police accountability through Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) and expand non-carceral solutions through Treatment Not Trauma.

To learn more, sign up for email updates on our Community Safety work.

Treatment Not Trauma

The Treatment Not Trauma campaign aims to transform Chicago’s approach to mental health. We are seeking to re-open Chicago’s public mental health clinics and create a dedicated response where social workers and other experts could respond to mental health crises.

Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS)

For six years, JCUA organized to implement a powerful system of civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department — where the people could take on important roles for police accountability and public safety. Since the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance passed in July 2021, we have been working to fully implement and build on the new system.

Past Campaigns

When JCUA first adopted a community organizing model in 2014, our first campaign was to open a Level 1 Trauma Center on the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago.