With fifty days remaining before the municipal elections, the Center for Racial and Gender Equity (CRGE) has released its Racial Justice Scorecard of the Chicago City Council. The guide is designed to serve as an informational resource for voters committed to advancing safety, opportunity and liberation for people of color, by electing candidates that reflect our communities, share our values and champion our self-interest. With the goal of improving the accountability, transparency and accessibility of municipal government, the report equips readers with a quantified assessment of the racial justice impact of the city council as a whole, as well as that of individual aldermen.
CRGE based its grade of the full city council on an analysis of its legislative activities within the current aldermanic term. By applying a racial justice approach, the scorecard evaluates the city council’s actions on key policies that would either systemically benefit or harm Black Chicagoans. CRGE considered the city council’s performance on a wide range of issues, including police accountability, equitable economic investment, schools, workers rights and affordable housing.
The city council’s failing score reflects its unwavering adherence to a longstanding agenda to further enrich an affluent and overwhelmingly white Chicago through the methodical subjugation, extraction, exploitation, and ultimate disposal of Black communities. While the city council passed several perfunctory reform measures in the area of workers rights, it altogether ignored the demands of Black constituents on issues related to police violence, economic disinvestment, inequitable schools, neighborhood displacement and housing injustice.
CRGE’s analysis of individual aldermanic performance exposes widespread racial apathy among a majority of city lawmakers who have remained silent on issues of social justice, complacent in the understanding that the support of their white constituents or affluent campaign donors are secured, so long as the city’s prevailing power structures remain unchallenged. Given the staggering structural inequity, injustice and violence waged against Black Chicagoans, CRGE contends that a failure to actively leverage the privileges of office to advance racial progress constitutes an unconscionable breach of duty.
As we head into the municipal elections, CRGE is working tirelessly to ensure that voters who share our vision of Black Liberation play a decisive role in the outcomes of key aldermanic races. In the coming weeks, CRGE will mobilize tens of thousands of Black voters through neighborhood listening sessions, phone calls, texts and door-to-door conversations. To stay updated about CRGE's campaigns, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Please contact us for more information about how you can get involved in CRGE's fight to elect leaders that will stand with our communities.