120 candidates file petitions for Chicago’s all-new District Council seats

Press release issued by Empowering Communities for Public Safety. BPI has and will continue to work alongside this Coalition to raise awareness about these newly elected positions and to connect candidates with resources and information.

November 29, 2022

120 candidates file petitions for Chicago’s newly-created District Council positions

In the latest step toward bringing Chicago the most powerful and progressive civilian oversight system in the United States, we’re proud to share that 120 candidates have filed petitions for the all-new District Council positions.

District Councils were created with the passage of the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance in July 2021. This February, for the first time ever, residents in each of Chicago’s 22 police districts will elect three District Council members — 66 total across the city — who will take powerful and important new roles for public safety.

District Council members will serve as the community’s eyes and ears on the ground, develop localized safety initiatives, gather input on police department policies and practices, and serve as a bridge for the community to law enforcement and the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA).

Of the 120 candidates who filed, 71 used resources and support developed by the ECPS coalition, which is working to ensure that Chicago’s new oversight system is truly community-led and community-driven.

The ECPS coalition celebrates the community members who have filed for District Council positions with the intent of making CPD accountable to the community, as well as the hundreds of volunteers who helped collect thousands of signatures from residents who want and demand change in how our communities are policed.

Candidates will know if their names are on the ballot by Thursday, Dec. 22 — the last day for the Board of Elections to certify the names of candidates who will be printed on the ballot on Feb. 28, 2023. Once elected, District Council members will be seated the following month and begin four-year terms.

The ECPS coalition is a citywide group of community organizations, faith-based groups, labor unions, youth organizations, and activists, who came together to bring an end to police violence and lack of accountability within the Chicago Police Department. The coalition took the first step toward achieving that goal in July 2021 when our ECPS ordinance passed through City Council with 36 aldermanic votes. Its creation and passage were the work of the ECPS Coalition, primarily led by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) and the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA). 

District Council roles and responsibilities:

  • Build stronger connections between the police and the community at the district level, where the community is a true partner in making the neighborhood safer. District Council members can work with the police to solve problems and set priorities.
  • Hold monthly public meetings, where residents can work with police on local initiatives rooted in community concerns and priorities. District Council members can also raise and work to address concerns about policing in the district, and increase accountability.
  • Collaborate in the development and implementation of community policing initiatives.
  • Work with the community to get input on police department policies and practices.
  • Work to develop and expand restorative justice and similar programs in the police district.
  • Ensure that the Commission gets input from the community, so that the Commission’s work will be based on what people in neighborhoods across the city are concerned about.

For more information, visit the ECPS website at chicagoecps.com

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