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Chicago: Black labor leaders support ordinance for community power over police

By staff |
April 14, 2021
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Chicago, IL - Last week, Black labor leaders representing seven unions with a combined membership of 126,000 members, most of whom live in the city of Chicago, published a statement, "Community and Faith Leaders Support the Empowering Communities for Public Safety Ordinance (ECPS)."

According to Frank Chapman, Field Organizer of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, "In Chicago, we have built the broadest coalition for police accountability of any city in the country. At the center of that coalition is a strategic alliance between the Black Liberation movement and a number of progressive unions."

Chapman continued, "In addition to the unions signed on to this statement, we also have the support of SEIU Local 1 with 30,000 members; UNITE HERE Local 1 with 15,000 members; plus our longtime ally, the United Electrical workers union; several AFSCME locals, and other Illinois Federation of Teachers locals.

"With this kind of working-class support, we believe the Chicago City Council will adopt this ordinance."

In addition to this statement, these unions are mobilizing their members to press city council members to vote yes on the ordinance. SEIU Local 73 sent an email to its 16,000 members living in Chicago, stating, "ECPS will give communities a decisive voice in police accountability, including asking voters to decide by referendum if they want to undertake further democratic reforms and create a fully elected police accountability commission."