We start the new year with information and links throughout the website to upcoming programs and new resources that advance the increasingly robust focus we are seeing on improving the experience and opportunities of those released from prison in Illinois.
Calling Your Alderman Now To Preserve Police Accountability for Serious Offenses
But the immediate need is for each of us in Chicago is to call our aldermen, and a few others on the Chicago City Council who may be wavering, to vote to reaffirm the Council’s decision at its December meeting to override the decision of an arbitrator that police officers can escape accountability for serious misconduct by removing disciplinary proceedings to secret arbitration, which has a history of exonerating police officers that CPD has charged with serious offences. Failure to override the arbitrator’s decision with this final vote would gut police accountability in Chicago through arbitration overrides of police disciplinary proceedings.
- Find your Ward, your Alder and the Alder’s Phone number here, by entering your Street Address, and call her or him on Monday if possible
- Call each of the following alders, who may be wavering on the issue:
- call Bennett Lawson (44th Ward) at 773- 525-6034 and Ruth Cruz (30th Ward) at 773-628-7874
– to thank them for voting to override the arbitrator’s decision and
– to ask them to vote again on Wednesday to override that decision, to preserve public safety
- call Nicole Lee (11th Ward) at 773-254-6677, who voted against the override in December
– to emphasize the threat that the arbitrator’s decision poses to public safety and
– to ask her to vote to override the arbitrator’s decision on Wednesday.
Here is a link to a Fact Sheet about this issue, and what the City Council needs to do about.
Thanks to those who made a difference by making calls in December. Calls are needed again now because every vote is needed to confirm the City Council’s decision in December in the interest of promoting justice and protect public safety in our city.
Illinois General Assembly
Legislative committee meetings will begin soon, requiring quick responses with witness slips, but the need now is to get a couple of important bills that have passed one house of the General Assembly to be called for consideration by other house in the upcoming shortened legislative session.
- Call Senator. Elgie Sims – (773) 933-7715 to urge that he post HB 2347 in committee asap. That bill has already passed the House. It would raise the Minimum Age for Pretrial Detention of Juveniles in Illinois gradually from 10 to 13, and it represents a compromise after a decade of negotiations on how to raise the age of detention to avoid harming children. You can access a fact sheet on the bill here.
- Call Senate President Don Harmon at (217) 782-8176 to ask that he schedule a vote on House Bill 1496, which has already passed the Senate. It would help with the proper implementation of the Illinois ban on prison gerrymandering.
Please also take a look at the new resources on justice reform and on improving the lives of returning citizens that you can find linked at various section of the website.