Visit The TRiiBE Election Center to learn more about the upcoming 2023 Chicago municipal election. Click here to find your Chicago ward and police district.

This story was originally published by The Chicago Reader & South Side Weekly

After decades of struggle by thousands of people who organized, marched, petitioned, prayed, and collectively clamored for the right to have a say in how their communities are policed, on February 28 voters will elect 66 people to serve on police district councils across the city.

The battle for community control of the police has been waged for more than a half-century. Deputy chairman Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party sparked the first push in the late 1960s (see Fifty years of struggle). In the decades since, organizers have won incremental concessions. The Office of Professional Standards was created within the police department in 1974. It was replaced by the Independent Police Review Authority in 2007, which was in turn replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability a decade later. Each agency was created thanks to the tireless efforts of ordinary Chicagoans. None of the people serving on them were democratically elected. 

The police district councils will be elected. Three councilors will serve in each of the city’s 22 police districts for four-year terms. They’ll be tasked with building connections between police and communities, developing community policing initiatives, getting community input on CPD policies, and ensuring the citywide Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) hears the community’s concerns.

Read: What do police district councils do?

The Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) ordinance that created the councils and the CCPSA is the result of  a decade of organizing spurred by the 2012 killing of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd by Dante Servin, an off-duty police detective, in Douglass Park. Servin, found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter because the judge determined he’d shot Boyd intentionally, resigned from the department with a pension. In response to that killing, organizers began the push for community control of police anew.

In the ensuing years, as high-profile killings by police across the country mounted, they catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement, a nationwide effort to get government officials to do something—anything—to stem the epidemic of violence wrought upon Black and Brown communities by the very officers tasked with keeping them safe. In Chicago and elsewhere, the police kept killing people. The victims were often unarmed, and they were almost always Black. 

In 2014, then-officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him. When video footage of the shooting was released, thousands of Chicagoans protested downtown, shutting down the Magnificent Mile during Black Friday and staging a sit-in at the office of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who activists said had mishandled the prosecutions of both Van Dyke and Servin. In the wake of the protests, Van Dyke was found guilty of second-degree murder, and the U.S. Department of Justice placed the CPD under a federal consent decree.

Everything changed in 2020, as protests of the murder of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin swept the nation. In Chicago and elsewhere, the rebellions (and the police response to them) turned into a long, hot summer. In its midst, the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression formed a coalition, Empowering Communities for Public Safety. With thousands of ordinary people at its back and in the streets, the coalition negotiated the language of the ECPS ordinance with the mayor. It passed in 2021.

Chicagoans have been promised police reform before, and the department’s entrenched attitude against change could make some wonder how effective the district councils will be. One clue to the power they may wield lies in who’s on the ballot. In addition to ordinary residents and dedicated activists, several candidates with law enforcement ties are running. And the Fraternal Order of Police’s election attorney filed challenges to several progressive candidates’ ballot petitions, is listed as the contact person for six more on Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (CBEC) filings, and is himself running. 

We sent questionnaires to district council candidates, interviewed as many as we could reach, and researched their backgrounds using sources ranging from social media to biographies compiled by the ECPS coalition. We’ve compiled the responses below. Early voting begins on January 26 at the CBEC supersite, and on February 13 in all 50 wards. —Jim Daley

1 First district

An attorney, Brown graduated from the Catholic University of America and Columbus School of Law. She was a volunteer advisor for Daniel Biss’s 2018 bid for governor. Brown served on Chicago Votes’ board of directors for three years, served as its president, and is a precinct captain and zoning board community representative in the 25th Ward.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

Kammerer worked in Congress and on Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. She co-founded ChiWomenVote and IllinoisWomenVote and serves on the advisory council of the nonprofit New Politics and on the leadership council of ProPublica.

In a statement to the Reader, Kammerer wrote, “I’m looking forward to serving as a liaison between the community and the police to help build relationships and trust. My background leaves me well-positioned to excel in the role and create opportunities for better communication and safer, stronger, and welcoming neighborhoods.”

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

2 Second District

A Navy reservist for 24 years, Lee is pursuing a master’s degree in social work. He is the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy beat 215 facilitator.

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Perez worked for Aurora’s mayoral department of communications for four years and was the director of community engagement for West Aurora School District 129 for over a year. Alderpersons Pat Dowell and Jeanette Taylor have endorsed.

A home care worker and a member of SEIU, United Working Families, and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR), Plummer has done community work in Washington Park since 2016.  “I want every neighborhood to have the policing it deserves,” he says, “and I want to be the vessel to my community that helps make that happen.” Alderperson Jeanette Taylor (20th ward) and SEIU have endorsed.

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A former CPS teacher, Kline is a community organizer, sales and marketing consultant, and voting rights activist. She is a cofounder along with Jocelyn McClelland and Morrow Cleveland of Neighbors Who Vote, which works on voter registration and turnout, cross-neighborhood organizing, and amplifying the work of other groups. 

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3 Third district

A computational scientist at UIC, Sokovic is a CAPS beat facilitator for Beat 215. In the late 1990s, she participated in the nonviolent student movement in Serbia that overthrew Slobodan Miloševic. “I experienced firsthand that the people together, with discipline, humor, and careful planning, can move mountains,” she said. She envisions a public safety approach where “the community is empowered, and healing and reconciliation are prioritized over punishment.”

Alderpersons Gregory Mitchell (Seventh Ward) and Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), and aldermanic candidates Martina Hone (Fifth Ward) and Desmon Yancy (Fifth Ward) have endorsed.

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A member of CAARPR, Blissitt has worked with a variety of community organizations including Resident Association of Greater Englewood and Chicago Community Trust. With the Woodlawn Children’s Community Promise Freedom School, he organized youth demonstrations against gun violence. He also worked with the Urban League to facilitate police board community input forums. Blissitt owns a secured transportation company that serves the cannabis industry.

Aldermanic candidates Desmon Yancy (Fifth Ward) and Patrick Brutus (Sixth Ward) have endorsed.

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Jones is facilitator for CPD beat 334. She says, “No single approach is right for every community.” Alderperson Gregory Mitchell (Seventh Ward) has endorsed.

A political strategist and mother of three, Franklin has lived in the third district her entire life. She says she wants to improve transparency between CPD and residents. She supports a two-strike rule for officers who garner racial and violent complaints, and wants to end qualified immunity, the legal principle that protects police officers from being personally sued for civil rights violations.

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A community court case manager for the Restorative Justice Community Court in Englewood, Carrington has also worked as a court liaison for the Cook County Adult Probation Department, as a community organizer for St. Anthony Hospital, and as a paralegal in the office of the Illinois Attorney General.

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Bryant has worked as a government affairs associate for Metropolitan Family Services, as a legislative administrator for State Representative Lamont J. Robinson, and as a community outreach and engagement associate for The TRiiBE.

Alderperson Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), Desmon Yancy (5th Ward candidate), Jocilyn Floyd (7th Ward candidate), Coalition of African American Leaders (COAL), and Center For Racial & Gener Equity (CRGE) have endorsed.

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4 Fourth District

An attorney in real estate law, contract law, and trust and estate planning, Hammer is founder and CEO of an Indianapolis real estate law firm. She served as deputy general counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, where she advised on investigatory and contract matters. Hammer ran for Cook County judge in the 2022 primary. 

Hammer says she’s running because she believes the whole community should be brought into a discussion around public safety with CPD and elected officials. She also says police officers need mental health crisis response training—and at the very least, training on how to recognize when a person is having a crisis. She wants a part of CPD’s funding to be redirected to that and other wraparound services, including “restorative justice programs, conflict resolution and crisis management training, partnering with community-based violence interrupter initiatives and reentry programs and organizations for the formerly incarcerated.”

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A community organizer and social infrastructure engineer, Miramontes was formerly Tenth Ward alderperson Susan Sadlowski Garza’s director of community engagement and government affairs. He cofounded the Southeast Side of Chicago Food Pantry and helped establish the United Neighbors of the Tenth Ward Independent Political Organization.

Bernard joined the Black Panther Party as a teenager and was one of the first patients at the Party’s free clinic. She says she remembers viewing the aftermath of the CPD assassination of Fred Hampton and attending his funeral. Since 2021, she has worked as an assistant to Seventh Ward alderperson Greg Mitchell. Mitchell has endorsed.

Aresident of Calumet Heights, Jenkins did not respond to requests for comment. Alderperson Greg Mitchell (Seventh Ward) has endorsed.

A healthcare worker for almost 50 years, Waters is the president of Friends of Merrill Park and serves on the Merrill Park Advisory Council through the Park District. She told the Reader her sister was shot in the back by CPD in the 1990, but survived. If elected, she says she’ll “insist on building stronger connections between police and the community and getting community input” on policing.

5 Fifth District

A retired Chicago police captain, McMahon was a gang homicide detective from 1980 to 1996 and a CPD member until 2010. The Invisible Institute’s Citizens Police Data Project reports he had 21 allegations of misconduct over his career, more than 77 percent of officers in the department; two were sustained.

A labor-grievance representative for SEIU Healthcare Illinois, a union of healthcare workers, Moore has attended protests against police brutality in the past. She believes “all Chicago citizens deserve fair policing and community services that are tailored to the challenges and needs of our communities despite our social or economic backgrounds.” Soul Chicago has endorsed.

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A retired city worker, McKay worked of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and later was an investigator at the Office of Fire Investigation. He has also served as safety director and fire marshal at Providence Hospital.

In 1995 while working at the CFD, McKay was part of a group of firefighters who challenged discriminatory hiring practices that prevented Black applicants from being hired. That effort ultimately resulted in a 2009 Supreme Court decision that ordered lower courts to provide relief for affected applicants. In 2021, McKay was involved in an effort overturn the CFD’s decision to remove a specialized fire engine with a “tower ladder” for reaching high-rise apartments from a firehouse at 79th and Stony Island. The department ultimately decided to move the fire engine to another station at 118th and Michigan, a move McKay describes as it having been improperly allocated.

“It is my intention to use the authority vested in this new citizen’s review panel to highlight and compel the city to respond quickly and effectively to instances of malfeasance and or criminal conduct when it comes to public safety in the delivery of police and fire services,” McKay told the Reader.

Democracy for America has endorsed.

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6 Sixth district

Russell is the founder and executive director of Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois, a nonprofit that advocates for police accountability and provides services for families affected by police violence. Alderpersons David Moore (17th Ward) and Pat Dowell (Third Ward), State Representatives La Shawn Ford (8th District) and Marcus C. Evans Jr. (33rd District), State Senator Willie Preston (31st District), Congressmen Jonathan Jackson (IL-1) and Danny Davis (IL-7), and St. Sabina parish priest Michael Pfleger have endorsed.

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A musician, educator, and high school counselor from the west side, Boykin has lived in the district for over a decade. As a counselor, he works extensively with teenage Black boys, whom he says are “the most at-risk demographic to be subject to interaction with the police and the carceral state” and that his experience has given him “an understanding of the need for alternative policing strategies.”

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Humphries, a write-in candidate, serves on the executive board of Chatham United, a coalition of neighbors, block clubs, and organizations she described as “working to improve and sustain safety and community.” She is also an active member of Reunite Chatham as well as her neighborhood park advisory council and block club.

Humphries told the Reader she also volunteers a CAPS facilitator in Gresham for Beat 0631 in the Sixth District. She has also participated in or attended CPD and CAPS events such as National Night Out, Conversations with the Commander, and community engagement town halls.

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Also related

7 Seventh district

Acommunity outreach manager at Lurie Children’s Hospital, McGill describes himself as a “public health professional focused on gun violence prevention and public safety for more than seven 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.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the last decade of my life working as a gun violence prevention advocate and activist,” McGill says. “I’ve even had the pleasure of facilitating a program for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence entitled the Activist Institute, which engaged youth in developing their skills as community activists and having their voices heard on topics of public safety.

“Though I’ve never volunteered, of course I’ve had interactions with Chicago police officers. I’ve lived in multiple over-policed communities throughout my life. I’ve also interacted with officers professionally in experiences ranging from engaging in youth programming, interacting with school resource officers as a public school teacher, and  attending both CAPS and beat meetings.”

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A community outreach specialist at the Cook County Assessor’s Office, Chandler has a master’s in Inner City Studies and a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Corrections.

Cherli Montgomery is a member of Teamsters Local Union 727 (IBT) and served on the Local School Council for Charles W. Earle elementary school. Alderperson David Moore (17th Ward), State Representative Sonya Harper (6th District), and Congressman Danny Davis (IL-7) have endorsed.

Aresident of West Englewood, Williams did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A resident of West Englewood, Swan did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A resident of Englewood, Austin did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A member of the Workers Center for Racial Justice, Peters also serves as a district leader for the Center for Racial and Gender Equity (CRGE). She criticized CPD’s proposed gang-database redux at a November meeting of the Interim Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, and is “committed to advancing community public safety and police accountability practices [and] ensuring Black communities have a voice at decision-making tables.” CRGE has endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

8 Eight district

A superintendent at the Department of Streets and Sanitation, Cacciottolio is described as an “advocate for police.” Alderpersons Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward), whose campaign committee Cacciottolo donated $250 to in 2021, Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), and Local 150 have endorsed.

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A technician at Rentokil Boecke, Hamberlin is a union steward of the Teamsters Local 781. He is active in the Facebook group 18th Ward Connection, and Alderperson David Moore (17th Ward) recently recognized Hamberlin with a service award. His vision for the district council is “to ensure everyone is held accountable for solving problems.”

Alderpersons Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward), Moore, Derrick Curtis (18th Ward), State Senator Willie Preston (16th District), and the Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed.

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A car-booting supervisor for the city, Huff did not respond to requests for comment. He runs a neighborhood watch, and his social media pages regularly tout volunteer work with CPD programs such as youth soccer events and catalytic converter anti-theft efforts.

“I have lead a local neighborhood organization for the last 6 years,” Huff says. “We’ve kept the community informed through meetings and events. In addition, our organization has to worked with residents, schools, and church to address issues with local leaders.”

Alderpersons Raymond Lopez (15th Ward), Derrick Curtis (18th Ward), and Silvana Tabares (27th Ward) have endorsed.

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Pettis 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. Her spouse was a CPD lieutenant who worked in the department’s Internal Affairs. Alderpersons Stephaine Coleman (16th Ward), David Moore (17th Ward), Derrick Curtis (18th Ward), Silvana Tabares (23rd Ward), and the Chicago Police Sergeant Association have endorsed.

9 Ninth district

A former co-executive director of I Grow Chicago (now We Grow Chicago), an Englewood community organization, Vogel has participated in gun-violence prevention and criminal justice reform since 2016. She has completed the CPD’s Citizen Academy and has trained officers in restorative justice practices. She believes in “keeping the integrity of the ECPS ordinance and connecting communities through healing.”

Vogel is running on a slate with Abe Matthew and Monserrat Ayala.

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A resident of McKinley Park, Sanchez did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A political liaison at Chicago Gig Alliance, Casas describes himself as a community activist and organizer for environmental justice, living wages for ride-share drivers, and public safety. He attended Brother Rice High School  and DePaul University. 

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A CPS teacher who was the last chief of staff for former alderperson Patrick Daley Thompson (who was convicted on federal charges related to an alleged bank-loan fraud in 2022), McBroom applied to be appointed to replace him but was not selected by the mayor.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A resident of Back of the Yards, Razo unsuccessfully challenged the ballot petitions of Vicko Alvarez, a socialist candidate who is running for alderperson of the 15th Ward. Alderperson Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) has endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A Bridgeport injury attorney, Matthew says he’s “a firm believer that transparency and community input into public safety decision-making will improve outcomes and protect both officers and our neighborhoods.” He ran for Congress in 2020 before withdrawing and endorsing Marie Newman, and recently testified before the Illinois General Assembly.

“My passion for my community is evident in the wide range of civic organizations I participate in,” Matthews says. “Most recently, I testified before the joint Redistricting committee of the Illinois General Assembly and asked the members to amend the proposed map to include all of greater Chinatown and Bridgeport within one subcircuit, so that our diverse community would be able to have a unified voice when electing judges to the bench.

“As an attorney representing injury victims, I interact with our courts on a regular basis. My role is to fight for the injured against those who have wronged them and attempt to recover for the harm suffered. Often this requires collecting evidence from city and state government entities and advocating for access to information.”

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A Bridgeport resident, Finucane filed ballot petitions with the assistance of the FOP’s election attorney, Perry Abbasi, who told the Reader the FOP referred her to him. She did not respond to requests for comment.

An organizer from the southwest side, Ayala cofounded #IncreaseThePeace, an organization that promotes youth leadership, peace, and community organizing. She has also worked for the Southwest Organizing Project where she led get-out-the-vote efforts in 2019.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

10 Tenth district

ALittle Village resident, Bahena has worked in nonprofits advocating for domestic violence survivors and for immigrant rights. She serves as the director of policy and community outreach for the 22nd Ward Public Service Office. Bahena also serves the boards of Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Enlace Chicago, and HACE Chicago. Alderperson Michael Rodriguez (22nd Ward) and the 22nd Ward IPO have endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A lifelong Little Village resident and longtime community organizer, Dominguez has a master’s in Latin American and Latino studies from UIC. In her ECPS bio she says, “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.”

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A Chicago Public Schools educator for the past 27 years, Henderson was also a Chicago police officer from 1998 to 2004, during which time he garnered six complaints, one of which was sustained. He says that his experience as an officer can help “bridge the gap between our neighborhoods and the police officers,” adding, “it starts block-by-block and district-by-district.”

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A lifelong west-sider, Lawrence is the senior pastor of Praise Temple of Restoration in Austin. He works with youth at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, and says he’s running “to help [bridge] the divide between our police and the communities in which they serve.” SEIU has endorsed.

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A lifelong Little Village resident, Guzman started the Little Lawndale Neighborhood Studio, a community gathering space that has invited police officers to host and participate in events in order to interact with community members.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A youth and community advocate from Lawndale, Smith says she knows “exactly what it’s like to be harassed by the police as well as to call them and NOT receive the help, assistance, or protection I needed.”

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

11 Eleventh district

A physicist at Fermilab, Ramson says, “the simultaneous overuse and lack of effectiveness of the CPD is one of the key factors limiting the rehabilitation of the more troubled areas of the city including much of Chicago’s west side. Solutions to the chronic problems plaguing the operation of this department exist. I intend to find those solutions and assist in implementing them.”

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A senior field representative for the AFL-CIO, Woodards has previously worked for Obama For America, the Democratic National Committee, and as an advisor to former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

Afaith-based community organizer, Edwards has been a block club president on the west side for over four years. Edwards currently serves as one of the co-chairs for the mayor’s African American Engagement Council ​​and is the founder and executive director of Drawn Out Ministries, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing to women returning from prison. Alderpersons Walter Burnett (27th Ward), Emma Mitts (37th Ward), and the 1000 N. Harding Block Club have endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

12 Twelfth district

An organizer around youth and family issues such as schools, jails, and funding, Quintero says, “By prioritizing both police accountability and restorative justice, it is possible to create a more just and equitable criminal justice system that promotes public safety and helps to build stronger, more trusting relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

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Lopez was an Illinois state police trooper from 2009 to 2018.

In 2015, he was charged with seven felony counts for firing six shots into his ex-girlfriend’s home after seeing her with another man. He was acquitted of the felonies, for which he was facing a minimum of 26 years in prison, and convicted of misdemeanor reckless conduct, for which he received 18 months of court supervision.

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A CPS teacher assistant, Page has worked with the Community Renewal Society, a faith-based organization that addresses racism and poverty and helped work to get the ECPS ordinance passed. “I know all too well how Black and Brown people are treated, or shall I say mistreated,” she says. “This is an opportunity to change some of the wrongs that have been going on for so long.”

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A 21-year-old artist from Pilsen, Guerrero has organized community events such as open mikes, pop-ups, and peace initiatives. He says he wants to bring a youth’s perspective to the district council. He says he’s running to hold elected officials and public servants accountable and make sure there is accountability and transparency from them. Alderperson Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward) has endorsed.

“As someone at the age of 21, I completely am aware of the challenges we face in our community,” Guerrero says. “It would be a disservice to lay back and do nothing. Since 2019 I’ve been active in volunteering and advocacy work. Hosting youth-led vendor markets, open mics, and much more events for Pilsen.”

A journalist who has worked with City Bureau’s Documenters program, Vitale is also a member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 21.

“I marched for the ECPS ordinance when it was #CPACnow,” Vitale says. “I have also participated in rallies to release people convicted of nonviolent crimes during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also joined Ja’Mal Green to close down Chase Bank branches until they decided to answer for their massive disinvestment on Chicago’s south and west sides. ”

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A real estate broker who lives in the West Loop, Donatelli says he’s concerned with crime and accountability. He hopes “to further open dialogue between the [police] district and the neighborhood” and says the CPD’s budget should be increased.

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14 Fourteenth district

A grassroots organizer, Orlikoff was the #DefundCPD outreach lead for the 35th Ward, and has advocated to reduce CPD’s budget by 75 percent and reinvest in communities. United Neighbors of the 35th Ward and Northside Democracy for America have endorsed. 

“I started seriously organizing for democratization of power and resources with Occupy Chicago during college in 2011,” Orlikoff says. “I helped bring together local National Nurses United and Iraq Veterans Against the War to form a campaign to fully staff mismanaged veterans hospitals where administrators awarded themselves bonuses for cutting medical personnel. I helped organize a meeting between Women’s Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Shirin Ebadi and local organizers, along with a written statement in support from Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire. I helped organize a direct action workshop by Lisa Fithian, and aided in early activities for the Movement for Black Lives.”

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A legal assistant, Laurent says he “works directly with city officials and their legal counsel.” His goal as a council member will be “to provide the support and accountability to the police force.” The Libertarian Party of Chicago has endorsed.

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Awrite-in candidate, Vargas has worked for the past year as a field organizer in progressive political campaigns and voter engagement and mobilization, as well as with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association on affordable housing. United Neighbors of the 35th Ward has endorsed.

“I have experience working on successful grassroots progressive campaigns, voter engagement and mobilization for the last year,” Vargas says. “I also worked with Logan Square Neighborhood Association during the summertime, being home from college, organizing for affordable housing in the neighborhood.”

United Neighbors of the 35th Ward has endorsed.

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15 Fifteenth district

A community organizer and engagement specialist for NYU’s Policing Project, Rutues helped launch its Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative and leads its outreach efforts in the 11th, 15th, and 25th Districts. He says his role “is to build and repair the relationship between the Chicago police and the communities they serve” via monthly meetings between CPD and residents and by locating resources to assist public safety efforts.

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An administrative coordinator for the United Congress for Community and Religious Organizations, Winters became active in police reform efforts after CPD shot and killed her 16-year-old great-nephew in 2016. She founded the 411 Movement for Pierre Loury and has worked with Justice For Families and the Chicago Justice Torture Center.

Winters cochaired Mayor Lightfoot’s Use of Force Working Group, which convinced CPD to begin requiring officers to use de-escalation techniques before using force.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

Formerly a member of the 25th District steering committee, Johnson cofounded the Voters for a Change Coalition of Illinois and United Front Anti-Crime. He’s running “to be a spokesperson and ambassador for the people and bring change to the way that the Chicago police serve and protect our communities.” Voters for Changes Coalition of Illinois has endorsed.

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A resident of Austin, Newsome did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire

An outreach coordinator, Melton attends faith-based meetings led by 15th district CPD officers. She says, “It’s important to bridge the gap between the community, church, and the police department.”

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A retired Chicago Fire Department chief, Earls had a 32-year career and commanded the Fire Academy; in that role she worked with CPD, which she says “enhanced our on-scene rapport.” Her duties were to “formulate, implement, and enforce policies of public safety.” In 2021, she requested a demotion because she had to place two firefighters on no-pay status for vaccine noncompliance. Earls has been a block club captain, precinct captain, aldermanic candidate, ward committeeperson, and president of the Women’s Council of Community Intercession.

Chicago Firefighters Local 2 and members of the Women Council of Community Intercession have endorsed.

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An advocate for families impacted by the child welfare system, Thompson helps provide food, shelter, clothing, and other resources to residents in Humboldt Park and Austin. “I currently am assisting two fellow neighbors against police brutality and also working closely to keep our people safe and secure, and I’m certain that I can be a huge attribute for this office,” she told the Reader. “In 2018, I assisted with securing a couple of abandoned properties to slow up the drug trafficking, trespassing and nuisance in the Austin Area especially District 15.”

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16 Sixteenth district

A senior adviser for legislative affairs at the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Feller ran Sheriff Tom Dart’s 2022 reelection campaign. He is the the 38th Ward Democratic Organization president and serves on a local school council.

Feller co-founded Dunning Square Neighbors and the West Portage Park Neighbors Association. With Dunning Square Neighbors, he helped lead a successful effort to stop a community hospital from closing. He served on former president Obama’s political staff before Obama became president, and is currently the volunteer President of the 38th Ward Democratic Organization. 

Sheriff Dart, state senators Omar Aquino (2nd District) and Robert Martwick (10th District), state representative Lindsey LaPointe (19th District), state treasurer Mike Frerichs, IUOE Local 150 and Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council have endorsed.

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An Edison Park resident, Dillon told the Reader, “I know what it’s like to worry about the safety of our children and the future they face.”  The Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Firefighters Local 2, Alderpersons Anthony Napolitano (38th Ward) and Nicholas Sposato (41st Ward) have endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A former intern for 41st Ward alderperson Anthony Napolitano, Martin has worked for 38th Ward alderperson Nicholas Sposato since 2019. He told the Reader he believes police funding should be increased, adding, “we hold an annual ‘support the police’ rally outside the 16th District police station.” Alderpersons Napolitano and Sposato have endorsed.

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A resident of Jefferson Park, Murphy did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A resident of Norwood Park East, Marcatante filed ballot petitions with the assistance of the Fraternal Order of Police’s election attorney, Perry Abbasi, who told the Reader the FOP referred Marcante to him. Marcante did not respond to requests for comment. 

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A realtor who lives in Jefferson Park, Kannon has been endorsed by Local IUOE 399 and Alderperson Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward).

She provided the following statement to the Reader:

Through my work as a real estate agent and an active member of our community, I have long understood the concerns for improving policing and public safety in the district. 

Over the past decade, I have worked to bring our police officers and neighbors together through holiday catering events and thoughtful dialogue.

As your elected member of the District Council, I will work to bring stronger connections between the police and our community, develop and implement community policing in a collaborative setting, develop proactive programs and ensure that we have a voice in the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability.

Please vote for me on February 28, 2023 and I will make sure we are true partners with our police by solving problems, addressing manpower levels and setting priorities together to make our neighborhoods safer.

The candidate declined to respond to our questionnaire.

A bank vice president, Butterworth enrolled in the Citizen Police Academy in suburban North Chicago. He has expressed support for police officers—and also for the Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted people. He says, “Citizens must keep a watchful eye to ensure the fine line between safety and liberty is walked.”

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17 Seventeeth district

The chairman of the Center for Native American Youth’s Advisory Board and a member of the Chi Nations Youth Council, Tamez says, “Enforcing the consent decree is critical to our community’s safety,” and believes “police accountability can become a reality through co-governance.”

Alderpersons Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) and Andre Vasquez (40th Ward), United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, 30th Ward United, 50th Ward United Working Families, and 39th Ward Neighbors United have endorsed.

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A nurse practitioner, Rochford works with ONE Northside on the organization’s Police Accountability Task Force. She helped write the ECPS ordinance.

Alderpersons Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward) and Andre Vasquez (40th Ward), the ONE People’s Campaign, 39th Ward Neighbors United, 30th United, United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, and United Working Families of the 50th Ward have endorsed.

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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. In that role he attended CAPS meetings and helped put together public safety events in the ward with the participation of the district commanders and their officers.

As a child, he lost his father to gun violence. “We need leadership that will hold police accountable, push back against failed ‘tough on crime’ policies, and work to implement impactful crime-reduction strategies,” he says.

Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th Ward), 30th Ward United, United Neighbors of the 35th Ward, 39th Ward Neighbors United, United Working Families – 50th Ward, and MWRD Commissioner Dan Pogorzelski have endorsed.

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A Chicago firefighter, Sullivan recently tweeted, “As the 16th and 17th districts gang conflicts spiral out of control. Our simple request to increase the staffing levels of our dangerously understaffed districts have fallen on deaf ears. We need more police In [Districts] 16/17 ASAP.”

Chicago Firefighters Union local 2 has endorsed.

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A resident of Irving Park, Carusi filed ballot petitions with the assistance of the Fraternal Order of Police’s election attorney, Perry Abbasi, who told the Reader the FOP referred Carusi to him. Carusi did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

18 Eighteenth district

ACPA, Kane says crime has increased significantly and CPD staffing decreased significantly in the 18th District. “The police department should listen to the community and the residents should listen to the police department,” she says. “Working together, our community will become safer.” Alderpersons Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward), Michelle Smith (43rd Ward), Second Ward democratic committeeman Tim Egan, and 43rd Ward democratic committeeman Lucy Moog have endorsed.

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An attorney, Cross has consulted with city, county, and state agencies around the country on issues of public policy and justice reform for more than a decade. “I believe that safety and justice are intertwined,” she says, “and my experience and policy expertise has shown me that it is possible to achieve both.” Northside Democracy for America has endorsed.

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As her condo association’s president, Bowman developed a safety committee and worked with police and local businesses “to proactively address crime in the area.”  Alderperson Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) has endorsed.

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A former Ohio police officer, Johnson is the chair of the safety and security task force for the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents. He graduated from CPD’s Citizen Police Academy and is the CAPS beat 1833 facilitator.

Alderpersons Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward) and Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) have endorsed.

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An active governing board member of Youth for a Better Future, Seward Park Advisory Council participant, Near North Unity Program participant, and River North Residents Association (RNRA) Safety Committee member, Seigneur graduated from CPD’s Citizen’s Police Academy. She told the Reader, “I am pro-police and pro-community advocacy.” Alderperson Walter Burnett (27th Ward) has endorsed.

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An attorney, Kessler led Chicago Public Schools’s anti-gang task force and helped launch its Safe Passage program. He also serves on Lincoln Park High School’s local school council and on the advisory board for the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. Kessler says, “The city does not provide CPD with the necessary number of officers, resources, partnerships, and training that is needed to effectively (and safely) police the city.”

State representative Margaret Croke (12th District), Alderpersons Walter Burnett Jr. (27th Ward), Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), former alderpersons Michelle Smith and Vi Daley, and 43rd Ward committeeman Lucy Moog have endorsed.

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19 Nineteenth district

A member of the Roscoe Village Neighbors’ board of directors, Richman manages the safety and security program and is a liaison with the 19th District CAPS. He holds safety seminars about calling 911, engages in a police appreciation day, and is petitioning to reopen the Belmont and Western police station. Alderpersons James Cappleman (46th Ward) and Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and former 43rd Ward alderperson Michele Smith have endorsed.

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Aformer member of the USAF Security Forces and Army National Guard, Palecek is president of 46th Ward Democrats, a member of Veterans for Change, and worked on 36th Ward alderperson Gil Villegas’s primary challenge against then-state congresswoman Delia Ramirez. She has organized mutual aid events in her community. She says her mission is to build a community that is “stronger and safer, together, for a brighter future for everyone.”

Palecek organizes community mutual-aid efforts (most recently a clothing drive and meal prep for people in need and unhoused people). In her military unit, she served as its Equal Opportunity Leader to help ensure fair treatment for all personnel regardless of their background.

MWRC commissioner Daniel Pogorzelksi, 46th Ward committeeman Sean Tenner, VoteVets, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, Northside Democracy for Change, and 40th Ward Dems have endorsed.

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A market research and brand strategy consultant, Garcia created an initiative through his employer that provides $50,000 grants to local nonprofits. He says the three-person slate’s goal is to push “innovative, research-based strategies that will increase safety in the neighborhoods. We will bring the power to the community, ensuring to include and elevate marginalized voices, and use people power to drive our government officials to make changes in our public safety system.”

He is running in a slate with Samuel Schoenburg and Jennifer Schaffer. Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th ward) and Matt Martin (47th ward), 43rd ward democratic committeeman Lucy Moog, 46th ward aldermanic candidate Angela Clay, the ONE People’s Campaign, and Indivisible Lincoln Square have endorsed the three-candidate slate.

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A leader of her temple’s social justice team, Schaffer worked with the ECPS Coalition to pass the ECPS ordinance. She says the slate will work to “build strong relationships with all people in the community so we can create a shared vision and effectively advocate our elected officials to enact innovative, researched based policies to modernize our public safety system.”

Schaffer is running in a slate with Maurilio Garcia and Sam Schoenburg. Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th ward) and Matt Martin (47th ward), 43rd ward democratic committeeman Lucy Moog, 46th ward aldermanic candidate Angela Clay, the ONE People’s Campaign, and Indivisible Lincoln Square have endorsed the three-candidate slate.

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An attorney, Schoenburg is involved in social justice efforts with Cabrini Green Legal Aid and the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs. He is running in a slate with Maurilio Garcia and Jennifer Schaffer. Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th ward) and Matt Martin (47th ward), 43rd ward democratic committeeman Lucy Moog, 46th ward aldermanic candidate Angela Clay, the ONE People’s Campaign, and Indivisible Lincoln Square have endorsed the three-candidate slate.

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Currently chief of staff to Cook County commissioner Scott Britton, Kaviar was a deputy press secretary for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office from 2016 to 2018, where she led outreach around the creation of CPD’s Strategic Decision Support Centers and the Community Policing Advisory Panel, and worked with police on community engagement. She says, “Community safety must be a community-based solution.” 

40th Ward Democrats and the Northside Democracy for America have endorsed.

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20 Twentieth district

Aretired foreign service officer who has worked at seven U.S. embassies and consulates and with the U.S. State Department, McNeil is a regular at 20th District CAPS meetings. His platform includes promoting responsible policing, engaging the community, and advocating for maintaining CPD funding. He did not seek any endorsements.

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The program manager for ONE Northside’s Communities Partnering for Peace program in Rogers Park and Uptown, Dacres has worked in violence prevention since 2012, when his friend was killed and he was wounded in a shooting. Dacres is running in a slate with Deirdre O’Connor and Anna Rubin. Alderperson Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and the ONE People’s Campaign have endorsed the slate.

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O’Connor served as a precinct captain for 15 years and did election campaign work for 40th ward alderperson Andre Vasquez. She says, “We are in a special position to reimagine the notion of policing by the community, for the community.” O’Connor is running in a slate with Darrell Dacres and Anna Rubin. Alderperson Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and the ONE People’s Campaign have endorsed the slate.

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An organizer with the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Rubin has worked to pass policies around immigration and economic justice issues. She says she’s “committed to listening to what our communities need and bringing those ideas forward as concrete policy and funding proposals.” Rubin is running in a slate with Deirdre O’Connor and Darrell Dacres. Alderperson Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and the ONE People’s Campaign have endorsed the slate.

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Asocialist organizer, D’Antonio works with CAARPR and has been involved in the fight for community control of the police for five years.

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22 Twenty-second district

A retired CPD sergeant, Bilecki has said, “the best results are when the community partners with the police,” and that he is running “to listen and help give community members a voice [and] to give the police input as well.”

The candidate declined to respond to our questionnaire.

Ahealthcare professional, Parker has been chair of Morgan Park High School’s Local School Council for a decade. Her son is a Chicago police officer, and she co-founded Moms of CPD, a group that aims to create positive interactions between officers and community members.

In a since-deleted Facebook comment, Parker wrote, I am a survivor of domestic violence at the hand of a Chicago police officer and was victimized by a system that protects officers. I am an advocate for holding CPD accountable for hiring more Black and Brown officers to be guardians of our neighborhoods! I live in one of the most violent beats in the 22nd District and want to feel safe in my community, just like my neighbors and the hundreds of people whose doors I have knocked on.

I have volunteered for over a decade to advocate for Black children victimized by lack of equity in CPS. Do I support my children, including my son? Of course I do because I’m a great mom with amazing children, all working to make a difference in the world. I am an advocate for accountability for all. I am the only candidate trained and versed in restorative justice. I am the only candidate running in 22 who has relationships with residents and community leaders in every single corner of the district, and across the city for that matter. And that is what this role needs. Someone who can bring people together for healing and collaboration and do the job that many alderpeople in this city haven’t been able to do.

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A resident of Mount Greenwood, Kennedy did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

A resident of Mount Greenwood, Bianciotto did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

Pate, who has worked in the Cook County Circuit Court for over 20 years, is an operations manager for the Cook County Clerk’s Office. He’s running “to create an environment of accountability, trust, and collaboration.”

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24 Twenty-fourth district

AUS Navy veteran, Williams wrote in his campaign announcement that if elected he’ll “fight to improve public safety (including reasonable fund reallocation to help lessen crime) . . . [and] hold police violence against civilians and cop killers equally accountable, and will work to bridge the divide between the community and the police.” MWRD commissioner Dan Pogorzelski and Violence Interrupters executive director Tio Hardiman have endorsed.

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Arreola founded the 50th Ward Action Network and worked with The People’s Lobby during the 2019 municipal elections. She is running in a slate with EdVetté Jones and Marilyn Pagán-Banks; the slate’s campaign website calls district councils “the most progressive community-led police accountability device in the country.” Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and Maria Hadden (49th Ward), state representative Kelly M. Cassidy (14th District), the ONE People’s Campaign, Network 49, and United Working Families 50th Ward have endorsed the three-candidate slate. 

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A trustee of the United Church of Rogers Park, Jones works with the Circles and Ciphers Youth Organization and previously was a youth advocate for Methodist Youth Services, where he frequently interacted with the Department of Children and Family Services, probation and parole officers. He helped draft the ECPS ordinance and says “public safety is a joint venture.”

He is running in a slate with Veronica Arreola and Marilyn Pagán-Banks; the slate’s campaign website calls district councils “the most progressive community-led police accountability device in the country.” Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and Maria Hadden (49th Ward), state representative Kelly M. Cassidy (14th District), the ONE People’s Campaign, Network 49, and United Working Families 50th Ward have endorsed the three-candidate slate.

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The director of the nonprofit A Just Harvest and a founding member of the Coalition to End Money Bond, Pagán-Banks says, “If we want a safe community, then all must have enough to eat, earn a livable wage, access meds if needed, and have a place to truly rest. If we want a beautiful community, then all must know dignity and respect, have a clear sense of belonging and be truly seen.”

She is running in a slate with EdVetté Jones and Veronica Arreola; the slate’s campaign website calls district councils “the most progressive community-led police accountability device in the country.” Alderpersons Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) and Maria Hadden (49th Ward), state representative Kelly M. Cassidy (14th District), the ONE People’s Campaign, Network 49, and United Working Families 50th Ward have endorsed the three-candidate slate. 

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Raised in Rogers Park, McFadden studied political science and sociology at Lincoln University and says she has 30 years of social justice and community activism around issues such as disability, education, and labor issues. She worked with community organizations on the passage of the ECPS ordinance.

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Wolk taught social sciences at the University of Chicago and has covered meetings of the Police Board, City Council Public Safety Committee, and Community Safety Coordination Center for City Bureau, a civic journalism lab based in Bronzeville. His “deep commitment to democracy and community empowerment” informed his decision to run.

Wold was active with Represent US and successfully got the Chicago Board of Ethics to add two items to its proposed changes to the Chicago Governmental Ethics Ordinance, one of which is now law (an increase in the maximum fine that the Board of Ethics can impose from $2,500 to $20,000). He has written dozens of reports on local government for City Bureau, a nonprofit civic media organization based on the south side.

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Rose filed ballot petitions with the assistance of the Fraternal Order of Police’s election attorney, Perry Abbasi, who told the Reader the FOP referred Rose to him. He did not respond to requests for comment.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

25 Twenty-fifth district

A resident of Belmont Gardens, Arena did not respond to requests for comment. 

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.

The son of immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who sought sanctuary from ICE agents in a Humboldt Park church for a year in 2006, Arellano has worked with Centro Sin Fronteras and Healthy Hood Chicago on immigration and mutual-aid fronts. “We must hold the police accountable,” he says. “Our communities deserve better, and must be treated with the utmost respect.” Alderpersons Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th Ward) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), MWRD commissioner Dan Pogorzelski, and State Representative Will Guzzardi (39th District) have endorsed.

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Green is an advocate for adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. She also advocates for “integrity, accountability, and public safety.”

Alderpersons Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th Ward) and Emma Mitts (37th Ward) and Congressman Danny Davis (IL-7) have endorsed.

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire

An election attorney, Abbasi was tapped by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) to assist other pro-FOP candidates in filing election paperwork and to challenge the ballot petitions of progressive candidates in the 19th, 20th, and 24th districts.

In an interview with the Reader, Abbasi said that the FOP gave him a “green light” to run because they had no other candidates running the 25th District. He added that the district councils must figure out “how we’re going to ameliorate the rise in crime, but it has to be done constitutionally and equitably.”

On January 19, the Reader reported that Abbasi is the author of numerous racist and misogynist social media posts and group chat messages. Abbasi said the posts are meant to be humorous trolling.

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A fifth-grade teacher at St. Genevieve Catholic School in Belmont Cragin, Esparza ran for alderman four years ago. He says he’s running to create “cooperation between the communities and the police of the 25th police district.”

The candidate has not yet responded to our questionnaire.