People’s World provides links that list progressive candidates in Feb. 28 police accountability board elections
Demonstrators in Chicago call for community control of the police. | Photo courtesy of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

Chicago voters have the historic opportunity to assert democratic accountability over the Chicago police department in the upcoming Feb. 28 municipal elections when they elect local representatives to deal with policing issues in the city’s police precincts.

Under a groundbreaking ordinance passed by the City Council in 2021, voters can elect 3-person District Councils in each of the 22 police precincts. The district councils will meet monthly to discuss public safety and policing issues, gather information, and follow up on investigations of complaints against officers. Representatives will serve four-year terms.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) website provides a “People’s Guide” to the Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) Ordinance, explains the function of the district councils, and links to information about candidates.

The Empowering Committees for Public Safety Coalition (ECPSC), which the CAARPR is a member organization, led the year’s long fight for the passage of the ordinance. The coalition also issued a voter guide with a tool for voters to look up their district and provides information on the candidates and their endorsements.

The Chicago Reader voter guide also provides information based on survey responses from each candidate.

The ECPS ordinance also created a seven-member citywide Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA). Once elected, each district council can nominate a list of 14 candidates to the CCPSA, from which the mayor must choose seven.

According to the Chicago Reader, “When there is a vacancy of the police superintendent, Police Board members, or the COPA chief administrator, the CCPSA sends a list of candidates to the mayor, who selects one whom the City Council confirms.”

The movement for complete democratic control of the police is ongoing. But the ECPS ordinance is a huge step in that direction and offers a nationwide example of citizen police accountability.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.