From Our Executive Director: Stay Woke


Rahm Emanuel shocked the city when he announced he would not be running for a third term. Many think it is time. Amid the largest round of school closings in Chicago’s history, record tax increases for Chicago residents to pay city pensions, record high days of gun violence, and the cover-up/debacle of the murder of Laquan McDonald that resulted in a federal investigation, many would argue that it has been time for Emanuel to leave for a while.

Chicagoans have lived a “Tale of Two Cities” far too long. Those who will be running in an already crowded field for mayor have to demonstrate in their platforms that all Chicagoans matter. CRS plans to host a mayoral candidate forum during the Martin Luther King Faith in Action Assembly on January 21, 2019 to hold candidates accountable to the entire city.

Time and time again we’ve seen aldermen leaning into their relationship with the mayor at the expense of those in their communities. With Emanuel exiting, we are in a lame duck session of sorts. It’s time to see what our city council persons are made of. It’s time out for machine politics. Let’s usher in a new era.

Officer Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial in the killing of Laquan McDonald is underway.  Since the release of the video on November 24, 2015, many community leaders organized and demanded change in police accountability.  For more than three years Community Renewal Society has been a member of the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA), working to establish community-based oversight for our police department. We’ve also worked diligently in the Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability (CPCA), fighting for 14 points of reform for all police contracts. 

We charge the aldermen of the City of Chicago to stay woke and take a stand on the critical issues we face!  We charge them to speak for their constituents and move beyond the past political loyalty of aligning with the mayor! And, for those who live in Chicago, it is also your time to visit your alderman and challenge them to stand behind the needs of the community!

Stay woke! This is a great opportunity for the City of Chicago. We must challenge our aldermen to step up to the plate and serve our communities courageously in their elected roles.