Chicago Mayoral Candidate Scorecard
Community Renewal Society’s Chicago Mayoral Candidate Forum introduced CRS member congregations to the candidates by providing an opportunity to ask questions about the issues that are most important to our communities. These issues align with CRS’ 2019 Platform for Renewal: police accountability, restoring opportunities and justice reform, community development (affordable housing, jobs and education) and a just economy for safe communities.
All of the candidates approved to appear on the February 26, 2019 ballot were invited to participate in the forum. CRS does not endorse any candidates.
Each candidate gave an opening and closing statement; responded to four “yes” or “no” questions and three open-ended questions. A summary of the answers to the “yes” or “no'‘ questions is below, with details to follow.
1. Police Accountability: GAPA
For over two years, the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA), a broad coalition of community organizations across the city, has worked diligently to develop an ordinance based on the Mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force recommendation to ensure that “all components of the police oversight system are held fully accountable, operate with maximum transparency and perform their roles in a manner that is informed by community needs.” Their work has focused on a number of areas, including establishing a community commission for public safety and accountability; establishing processes for the election and selection of local district councils, to serve as eyes and ears across the city; and setting standards of accountability, and, if necessary, removal, for Police Board members, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) Chief Administrator and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent.
As Mayor of Chicago, will you support the creation and implementation of an ordinance that establishes a community oversight board for the Chicago Police Department, COPA and the Police Board?
2. Police Accountability: CPCA
Chicago cannot implement true and lasting police accountability reform until it eliminates the barriers presented in the police contracts heralded by the Police Benevolent & Protective Association (PBPA) and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). These contracts give police officers unnecessary privileges that promote misconduct and maintain a code of silence. The Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability (CPCA) engages the challenging work of reforming police contracts to more readily identify police misconduct, prevent police from lying and corroborating false stories in investigations, establish higher standards for transparency, and stop officers with histories of abuse from causing more harm and killing citizens of Chicago. Specifically, the CPCA endorses 14 changes, including removal of the sworn affidavit requirement for filing a police complaint, allowing complainants to remain anonymous when filing a complaint and preventing the destruction of police misconduct records.
As Mayor of Chicago, will you endorse and support the CPCA’s 14 recommendations to ensure that police unions do not stand in the way of police accountability?
3. Education: Elected School Board
Around the country, 94 percent of school boards are elected. However, Chicago Public Schools is the only district in our state to have a board chosen by the Mayor rather than voters. Because the Chicago Public School (CPS) Board has the ability to raise property taxes, without accountability to voters, residents of Chicago face taxation without representation. Neither the Mayor nor City Council can veto the Board’s decisions to raise property taxes. This has resulted in financial mismanagement, allegations of racial discrimination and an elected school board that is not representative of our communities.
As Mayor of Chicago, will you support an elected representative school board in Chicago?
4. Community Development: Bring Chicago Home Coalition
Of the 80,000 people who are homeless in Chicago, almost half are made up of families and one in four are CPS students struggling to stay in school. The Bring Chicago Home Coalition recently launched a campaign to create a new revenue stream for housing and services for people experiencing homelessness in Chicago. This one-time tax would raise the real estate transfer tax by 1.2 percentage points on properties over $1 million. It would affect less than four percent of the homes sold every year and more than 96 percent of homeowners would be exempt. The Bring Chicago Home Coalition estimates this new tax could raise $150 million a year towards critical services and housing.
As Mayor of Chicago, will you support an ordinance to raise the real estate transfer tax to address homelessness?