Our communities on the South Side of Chicago experience disproportionate rates of violence and police brutality and we need our elected officials to stand with us for real change. Our efforts to reduce violence and increase police accountability are at a critical moment and we need your voice.
On Saturday, August 1, you are invited to join more than 500 leaders from Community Renewal Society's southside member congregations and the United Methodist Women at a Southside Faith in Action Assembly where we will ask Chicago Aldermen and Cook County Commissioners to support our platform for police accountability and invest in community-based restorative justice programs.
This assembly will be a part of the United Methodist Women’s National Seminar — Interrupting Indifference: Jesus, Justice and Joy. Southside community leaders and United Methodist Women will come together from 1:30 – 3 pm at Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church (3330 S. King Dr). We will pray, hold a rally, and demand that our elected officials make public commitments to make our communities safer.
We will ask Chicago Aldermen to stand up against police brutality and support our platform for police accountability that includes independent oversight of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), increased transparency and community input for CPD's Body-Worn Camera pilot program, and reforms to end racial bias in stop-and-frisks. We have asked the mayor to support this platform, but he has made no commitments to real structural reform. He needs to hear that Aldermen in your neighborhoods want to see these reforms and are standing with our communities.
We will also ask Cook County Commissioners to increase the Cook County Restorative Justice grants fund from $500,000 to $2 million in the 2016 county budget. Last year, the Reclaim Campaign successfully advocated for the creation of this, first of its kind, Restorative Justice fund, but greater investment is still needed. We have seen significant decreases in the jail population and it is time we see those resources reinvested into our communities.