Chicago’s New Police District Councils – 122 Candidates will Compete for 66 Seats
A total of 122 people have applied to represent one of Chicago’s 66 police districts in the city council. However, three districts where rising crime rates are a crucial worry don’t have enough people running to have an election.
Every one of Chicago’s 22 police districts will elect its three-person council thanks to the historic ordinance that opened the way for civilian oversight to rebuild confidence between the community and the police.
Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability will be responsible for holding regular meetings to keep the peace on local crime issues, building public trust, and filling seven open positions.
But just two candidates in each of the three districts where crime is on the rise — Central, Gresham, and Shakespeare — submitted their nomination papers by Monday’s deadline. The three available seats on the district council will be filled by appointments made by the mayor within 30 days of the candidates being elected in May.
Executive Director of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability Adam Gross expressed his delight at the high number of nomination petitions received (122 for 22 district council seats).
“I am pleased with the large pool of potential prospects.” Gross says
Gross zeroed emphasis on the races with seven candidates for three seats, such as the Englewood, Austin, Jefferson Park, and Near North districts, and the Deering District, where nine individuals are running for three seats.
“There’s a lot of excitement over this, I know. Consequently, I am pleased with the large pool of potential prospects. I might still be hopeful but anxious if you had asked me a month or two ago if we’d have this many candidates. Thus, I am pleased to see this,” Gross stated.
President of the interim commission Anthony Driver expressed similar satisfaction with the number of applicants. Some city residents doubted that you could fit into a body of that size. However, the mayor would only be able to appoint three out of 66 if ballots were sent today.
The chairman remarked, “That shows how passionate Chicagoans care about these issues and how much they care about these elections. If you consider that “little or no help from the city of Chicago to notify people that this exists,” as Driver put it, you’ll realize just how astounding the number of applicants is.
I wouldn’t argue that they actively want it to fail. Even still, city hall still needs to support this initiative fully. What may have prompted that? On the other hand, “the truth is that they have done next to nothing to promote the contests for the district council,” he remarked.
Following the uproar that followed the court-ordered release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video, the Task Force on Police Accountability, which Lori Lightfoot co-chaired, recommended that civilian oversight be implemented.
During his campaign, Lightfoot pledged to give a civilian oversight board full authority over the hiring and firing the police superintendent and all conflicts involving police policy and the department’s budget. Within her presidency’s first one hundred days, she pledged to implement civilian supervision.
The COPA administrator “shall be removed” if two-thirds of the city council vote no confidence
She has delivered significantly less than was promised at the 26-month mark of her four-year reign. The final language authorizes a commission of seven to vote no confidence in the Chicago police superintendent.
The head administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and any member of the Police Board could potentially be subject to a vote of no confidence from the commission. Those votes would need the backing of at least five of the seven members to be successful.
In the event of a vote of no confidence, the Committee on Public Safety of the City Council would have to take action within 14 days, followed by a vote by the full City Council at the following month’s meeting. The COPA administrator “shall be removed” if two-thirds of the city council vote no confidence.
The mayor would not be required to act on a vote of no confidence in the police chief or Police Board members.