This story was originally published by The Chicago Reader

In the 2023 municipal elections, three candidates will be elected to councils in each of the city’s 22 police districts. Along with the citywide Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA), the councils are the result of decades of work by organizers for community oversight of the police.

District Councils are tasked with improving policing and public safety, getting community input on policing, expanding restorative justice programs, holding monthly public meetings, and nominating members of the CCPSA.

Read “Community oversight of police: finally a reality?” by Kelly Garcia

To be eligible, you must be a registered voter who will have lived in the police district you’re running in for at least one year on February 28, 2023. People convicted of felonies cannot run unless the conviction has been expunged; neither can people who owe the city money. 

Candidates have until November 28, 2022 to collect and submit petitions signed by a required number of eligible voters. The minimum number of signatures is based on how many registered voters are in each district (see list below). To defend their petitions against Chicago’s time-honored tradition of challenging the eligibility of opponent’s signatures, candidates typically try to collect several times the required number of signatures.   

Candidate filings checklist

Find your police district here
A list of the number of signatures required for each district.

Below, check out some of the candidates for police district councils who are already gathering petition signatures to get on the February 2023 ballot. Some are running as individuals; others have joined up as slates of three candidates with shared political values and goals. We will update this section periodically as more candidates enter the race.

Second District (Douglas, Bronzeville, Woodlawn, Hyde Park)

Julia Kline, a Hyde Park sales and leadership coach who formerly taught in CPS, was previously the campaign manager for Gloria Williams, a candidate for 15th Ward alderperson. On a Facebook post about the District Council race, Kline wrote “the hope is to hold Chicago police accountable for the bad actions of a few.” She has filed a D-1 statement of organization. Ephraim Lee has filed ballot petitions.

Third District (Greater Grand Crossing, South Shore, Woodlawn)

Ana Marija Sokovic, a computational research scientist at UIC, has filed ballot petitions.

Fifth District (Pullman, Roseland)

Thomas McMahon has filed ballot petitions.

Seventh District (Englewood)

Dion McGill, a community outreach manager at Lurie Children’s Hospital, describes himself on his campaign website as a “public health professional focused on gun violence prevention and public safety for more than 7 years.” McGill formerly taught in CPS and was the program manager of the Student Voices Program, a youth gun-violence initiative at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. He has filed a statement of organization and ballot petitions. Teresa R. Chandler has filed ballot petitions.

Eighth District (Archer Heights, Chicago Lawn, Garfield Ridge, Ashburn)

Albert Caccatolio, a Streets and Sanitation superintendent, is described as an “advocate for police.” He has filed ballot petitions. Jason Huff, who supervises car booting for the Department of Finance, has filed a statement of organization and ballot petitions. Huff runs a neighborhood watch in the Eighth District on the far southwest side, and his social media pages regularly tout his volunteer work with Chicago Police Department programs. His campaign for District Council was endorsed by 15th Ward alderperson Ray Lopez (who halted an attempted mayoral run on November 21). On October 22, Huff posted a photo of himself gathering petition signatures with 23rd Ward alderperson Silvana Tabares. Additionally, Mark Hamberlin has filed a candidate statement of organization and ballot petitions. Letina Brady Pettis, who is active with the League of Women Voters as well as organizations such as the National Association of University Women, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the National Council of Negro Women, has filed a statement of organization and ballot petitions.

Ninth District (Chinatown, Bridgeport, Back of the Yards, McKinley Park)

On November 21, Robert Iu, Carlos Sanchez, Evelyn Razo, Nolberto Casas, Denise McBroom, Erin Vogel, Abe Matthew, and Monse Atala filed ballot petitions with the Chicago Board of Elections.

Tenth District (Lawndale, Little Village)

Rosemarie Dominguez is a born-and-raised resident of Little Village who describes herself as a longtime community organizer. Dominguez was endorsed by the 25th Ward IPO, but asked the organization to retract the endorsement. She said “residents and CAARPR were the ones that prompted me to run, and they are the ones that are going to shape me and my campaign.” Dominguez and Eliane Bahena have filed ballot petitions. Jocelyn Sida is a longtime campaign worker who was previously state director for Mi Familia Vota-Nevada and has worked for the Latin@s First Responder Alliance. Sida has filed a candidate statement. Tanya Lozano has indicated an intention to run, but has not yet filed.

12th District (Medical District, Tri-Taylor, Pilsen, Near West Side)

Juan Lopez and Leonardo Quintero have filed ballot petitions. Business executive Xiaoli “Alice” Hu, who ran as a Republican for 11th District Cook County Commissioner in the November midterms, has filed a statement of organization.

15th District (Austin)

Arewa Karen Winters is a community activist who founded the 411 Movement and has worked with Justice For Families and the Chicago Justice Torture Center. Chicago police shot and killed Winters’s 16-year-old great-nephew in 2016. She cochaired Mayor Lightfoot’s Use of Force Working Group, which released its report earlier this month. In August, Block Club reported that Winters said CPD needs to “confront its overwhelming tendency to police Black and Brown communities,” and that district councils “will afford us the chance to not only speak truth to power, but power to power.” Winters has filed ballot petitions. Deondre Rutues has worked as a community engagement specialist for the Policing Project’s Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative as well as for the Cook County Sheriff and Chicago Public Schools. Rutues has filed ballot petitions.

16th District (Jefferson Park, Norwood Park, O’Hare)

David Feller, Daniel Martin, Colleen Mary Dillon, and Colleen Murphy have filed ballot petitions. Adam Vavrick has filed a statement of financial interest. He wrote that he “supports the police reform movement . . . disproportionate policing of BIPOC communities stems from structural racism,” but that as the son of a police officer, he relates to police families’ fear of “the reform conversation.” Dan Butterworth, a vice president of member experience at First Financial Credit Union who has been enrolled in the Citizen Police Academy, indicated an intent to run but has not filed paperwork.

17th District (Albany Park)

Janie Pochel co-founded the Chi Nations Youth Council, an organization that works to promote healthy living and cultural identity among Native youth; to that end, the Council turned a vacant lot at Pulaski and Wilson into a First Nations garden. Pochel has filed a candidate statement and ballot petitions. Anthony Michael Tamez, the co-president of Chi Nations Youth Council, has demonstrated at Standing Rock and works to get rid of race-based sports mascots. Tamez has filed a statement and petitions. Steve Spagnolo, the chief of government relations and external affairs at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, has worked for numerous political campaigns as well as for 43rd Ward alderperson Michele Smith. Spagnolo has filed ballot petitions. Julie Kaviar, the chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, is credited by the Jewish United Fund for “leading Cook County’s adoption of the NAACP and Association of Police Chiefs Principles.” Kaviar has filed a candidate statement. Brian Sullivan regularly tweets about gang activity in Albany Park; regarding his campaign, he recently tweeted, “Our voices will be louder then the gangbangers and their apologists. Albany Parks gang factions will be on cpd radar.” Sullivan has filed a candidate statement and petitions. Elizabeth A. Rochford (no relation to Judge Elizabeth M. Rochford, who is seeking a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court) has filed a statement and petitions.

19th District (Lakeview, Uptown, North Center)

A slate of candidates—data analyst Maurilio Garcia, parent Jenny Schaffer, and attorney Sam Schoenburg—have filed ballot petitions. Schoenburg says policing is the government institution that is “least accountable and most shielded from genuine community input.” Garcia says he wants to ensure all residents’ experiences with the police are “positive [and] productive.” Schaffer says she wants to expand the umbrella of emergency services to include people like mental health care professionals, drug rehabilitation specialists, and homelessness response providers. All three candidates have filed candidate declarations. The ONE People’s Campaign and 47th Ward alderperson Matt Martin have endorsed the slate. Demerike Palecek is a former member of the USAF Security Forces and Army National Guard who most recently worked as marketing director for 36th Ward alderperson Gil Villegas during his unsuccessful primary challenge against state congresswoman Delia Ramirez. On her campaign website, she says her mission is to build a community that is “stronger, and safer, together, for a brighter future for everyone.” Palecek has filed ballot petitions. Dan Richman, the general sales manager at Cumulus Media, serves on the Roscoe Village Neighbors board of directors, where he manages the safety and security program and works in roles such as liaising with the 19th District CAPS, holding safety seminars about calling 911, engaging in a Police Appreciation Day, and petitioning to reopen the Belmont and Western police station. Richman has filed ballot petitions, and 46th Ward alderperson James Cappleman and 32nd Ward alderperson Scott Waguespack have endorsed his candidacy.

20th District (Edgewater, Andersonville)

Violence-prevention outreach worker Darrell Dacres, former precinct captain and 40th Ward Office volunteer Deidre O’Conner, and Jewish Council on Urban Affairs organizer Anna Rubin make up a slate of candidates running for the 20th District Council. They have filed ballot petitions. The slate’s campaign website emphasizes building a community where “every resident is safe, feels safe, and is able to access the services and professionals they need to thrive.” The ONE People’s Campaign and 40th Ward alderperson Andre Vasquez have endorsed the slate.

24th District (Rogers Park, West Ridge)

Three longtime community organizers—EdVetté W. Jones, Reverend Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks, and Veronica I. Arreola—have formed a slate running for the 24th District Council, and filed ballot petitions. Jones is a trustee of the United Church of Rogers Park and works with the Circles and Ciphers Youth Organization. Pagán-Banks is the director of the nonprofit A Just Harvest and is a founding member of the Coalition to End Money Bond. Arreola founded the 50th Ward Action Network and worked with The People’s Lobby during the 2019 municipal elections. The slate’s campaign website calls district councils “the most progressive community-led police accountability device in the country” and says “it is important to elect the most progressive voices possible.”   David Earl Williams III has filed ballot petitions. Williams, who ran for 48th Ward alderperson in 2019, wrote in his campaign announcement that if elected he’ll “tirelessly fight to improve public safety (including reasonable fund reallocation to help lessen crime) . . . support ending taxpayer bailouts for CPD officers’ misconduct settlements, [and] hold police violence against civilians and cop killers equally accountable, and will work to bridge the divide between the community and the police.” 

25th District (West Humboldt Park, Belmont Cragin, North Austin)

Saul Arellano, the son of immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who sought sanctuary from ICE agents in a Humboldt Park church for a year beginning in 2006, has since become a human rights activist in his own right. Saul, now in his 20s, has worked alongside Centro Sin Fronteras and Healthy Hood Chicago on immigration and mutual-aid fronts. “We must invest in life-changing social services, and offer well-funded social institutions (schools, mental health clinics, youth programs, and mentorship programs),” he wrote in an email to the Reader. “In addition, we must hold the police accountable, our communities deserve better, and must be treated with the utmost respect.” Arellano has filed a candidate statement of organization and ballot petitons.

CPD Officer looking back at the camera
Photo by Darius Griffin for The TRiiBE ®