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Thursday, June 9, 2016
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Lightfoot & Other Police Reform Advocates Call For Increased Transparency; Lightfoot Says Police Board Considering Action
by Mike Fourcher –

Yesterday morning, a group of 13 advocates for policing reform, led by Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, announced an open letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leading aldermen calling for increased transparency on efforts to reform city police policy and to invite the public into Mayor Emanuel’s plans to replace the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and to create a citizen’s oversight board and a public safety inspector general.

In a follow up interview with Aldertrack, Lightfoot made pointed remarks about the need for increased transparency and possible plans for the Police Board to make its own reform policies.

“The bar has been raised for public engagement,” Lightfoot told Aldertrack. “The status quo and old way of doing things has failed and has to be abandoned. Let people in, show transparency, show people what’s going on and invite people into the conversation.”

“We’re talking about fundamentally reshaping the entire local law enforcement structure,” she continued. “That is not something that can be done with a few people in the Mayor’s office. People are really interested in this topic. They are willing to give their time and talent to this issue. But you know, this is Chicago, so nothing is simple.”

Asked if the Police Board will use its statutory powers “to adopt rules and regulations for the governance of the police department”, to further press police reform, Lightfoot said, “I think there’s some interest on the current Police Board to craft responses to that provision. That is a discussion we are having. I expect us to come out with some thoughts on that relatively soon.”

Police Board members are appointed by the mayor for five year terms, and may only be removed for “just cause” such as “incompetence, neglect of duty, gross misconduct or criminal conduct.” The Mayor also appoints the president of the board for a two year term from among members of the board.

Aldermen are expected to hold a confirmation hearing for a new appointee, Eva-Dina Delgado, at a Public Safety Committee meeting June 14. If approved, Delgado, a registered lobbyist for People’s Gas, would replace Claudia Valenzuela, who resigned.

Lightfoot strongly endorsed Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley’s management of IPRA, saying she, “has done a really good job by righting the ship there.” She also had strong words of approval for one-time police superintendent candidate Anne Kirkpatrick, who was recently announced as the head of a new, reformulated Bureau of Professional Standards in the police department. “Anne Kirkpatrick is the real deal, no question about it. I can’t imagine she would leave the comfort of her home in Seattle if there was not an opportunity to do some real good.”

Kirkpatrick has served as the Chief of Police in Spokane, Washington and as Chief Deputy in the King’s County Sheriff’s Department.


Ward Reports

  • Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) posted a video of his Lakeshore Improvement Plan. He also got to hold a 5 month old wolf pup. 
  • Ald. Pat Dowell (3) shared street closures for Chicago Blues Fest and an O'Hare job fair. 
  • Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11) posted belated special Olympics pictures, including with Cook County Board Finance Chairman John Daley. His quarterly meeting is June 21st. 
  • Ald. Matt O'Shea (19) celebrated the 25th anniversary of Mt. Greenwood Library. 
  • Ald. Danny Solis (25) congratulated Monteverde restaurant, named Restaurant of the Year by Food & Wine magazine. 
  • Ald. Deb Mell (33) celebrated committee passage of the Public Accommodations Ordinance regarding transgender rights: "We want Chicago, including our ward, to be a place where ALL PEOPLE can feel safe and respected, and this includes having a safe place to tend to one's most private needs." Ald. James Cappleman (46) tweeted it "protects the rights of the transgender community. Passed #LoveWins" and "With all the blatant discrimination that many in the transgender community face, they shouldn't have to struggle with what bathroom to use."
  • Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) wants City Council to field a softball team. "I am thinking Chamber Crushers." 
  • Ald. Marge Laurino (39) shared affordable senior housing updates in her most recent newsletter. 
  • Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) was given a #41 helmet by CPD's "Enforcers" team at a football game between the Chicago Fire Department and the Chicago Police Department.
  • Ald. Michele Smith (43) tweeted about how the sharing economy has upended taxing systems, and says Airbnb has to pay its fair share. 
  • Ald. Tom Tunney (44) reminded Facebook followers today at 5pm is the last chance to comment on the Cubs' Patio License application. 

Chicago Political News

With higher property tax bills coming, Emanuel talks rebates [Tribune]
Emanuel scrambles to craft property tax break before bills hit [Sun Times]

Chicago Public Schools May Not Have Summer School [NBC5]

Emanuel's police task force chair wants more public input on changes [Tribune]
Accountability task force head wants more transparency on reforms [Sun Times]
CPD watchdog group pushes for openness in reform process [WGN9]
Police Reform Task Force Chief Calls For More Transparency From City Hall [CBS2]

Judge orders Chicago Police Department to turn over McCarthy emails [Tribune]
Judge Orders City To Release Former Top Cop's Emails [ABC7]

Former CPS Supt. Gary McCarthy: 'I Wish That I Was Still At The Helm' [ABC7]

Chicago Police Department Releases Salaries for New Leadership Team [NBC5]

New police unit to hit beaches, neighborhoods to stamp out crime, top cop says [Tribune]
Special Police Unit Will Cover Summer Hotspots [WBEZ]
Chicago police increase patrols after fights at city beaches [WGN9]

Airbnb Battle: Homeowner Vs. Angry Neighbors [ABC7]

Chicago transgender restroom measure on track for approval [Tribune]
Aldermen guarantee transgender washroom access [Sun Times]
Transgender Bathroom Access OK'd Despite Concerns Over 'Knucklehead Effect' [DNA Info]
Chicago aldermen approve transgender restroom measure [Fox32]

Two CPS schools visited by gov offended by ‘prisons’ comparison [Sun Times]
Stop 'Bomb Throwing,' Comparing Schools To Prisons, Politicians Tell Rauner [DNA Info]

Downstate school districts want same things CPS is demanding [Fox32]

Lead found in water at 12 CPS schools [Sun Times]
CPS Testing Finds Elevated Lead Levels In 12 Schools’ Water [WBEZ]
11 More CPS Schools Test Positive for Elevated Levels of Lead, District Says [NBC5]
Elevated Lead Levels Detected In 12 CPS Schools [ABC7]

Chicago Teachers Union, Principals Slam Privatized Cleaning Contracts [NBC5]

Reports Show Educational Gains for CPS, Despite Financial Troubles [Chicago Tonight]

CPS Students Asked to Take Pledge for Peace as Summer Break Nears [Chicago Tonight]

Chicago leads big cities in underwater homeowners [Crain's]

A swing, miss for Cubs on plaza plan [Crain's]

CTA to rehab, add elevators to historic Quincy train stop [Crain's]
Two new elevators slated for historic CTA Quincy station [Sun Times]

Another food company cashing out of Fulton Market [Crain's]

Alderman wants more officers in 16th District [Nadig] - From Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41)


#notaprison: CPS budget cuts interrupt decade of progress

Mitchell: Rauner comments insult Chicago Public Schools students

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