December 22, 2020
We at Indivisible IL9 were proud to be among the first to endorse you and pleased to work hard for your campaign. To us you represented transformative change in a city that had been saddled with the entrenched corruption of machine politics. Now, less than two years later, we’re dismayed to see behavior from you that reminds us all too well of what we fought to end.
Last week we watched in horror as video revealed Chicago police bursting into the home of an innocent woman who stood naked and vulnerable. The faces of those officers remained uncaring and callous to her cries. That happened before you took office, and you can’t be held responsible. Yet it was your office that sought to hide that video from us–your administration who tried to use the legal system to keep the truth from the hands of reporters and the eyes of voters.
Yes, you did apologize. Just as Rahm Emanuel apologized after the courts forced him to reveal what really happened to Laquan McDonald. How could we miss the similarity? How could we escape the sinking feeling of déjà vu? How could we not feel the keen disappointment that despite your promises, there is still no police civilian oversight ordinance and no real change at all?
Mayor Lightfoot, we endorsed you because we believed in your promises to strive for social and economic justice. We endorsed you because you promised to replace the arrogance of the powerful Chicago machine with open, fair government. We endorsed you strongly and now, less than 2 years later, we’re starting to ask ourselves if we were wrong.
Because this week’s video release isn’t the first time we’ve been reminded of the power plays of the bad old days.
- We’ve also seen reports that you pressured the City Council’s Black Caucus to pass your budget, threatening that otherwise “Don’t ask me for shit for the next three years.” Words that remind us not only of Mayor Emanuel but of Mayor Daley as well.
- We’ve noticed your silence when protestors were being beaten in this summer’s protests against Police Brutality, even after listening sessions were held by Federal Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. the appointed judge over the Consent Decree.
- We’ve seen the “pandemic” budget that was passed with the most opposition in 30 years which missed the opportunity to reduce funding to a police department that forces us to pay millions for repeated misconduct lawsuits. A department that, meanwhile, has a dismally low homicide clearance rate. And can’t even do the work to make sure they’re breaking down the right person’s door.
- We’ve seen a Better Government Association report citing a no-bid contract given to one of your campaign contributors for Chicago Public School computers. Computers that didn’t even work for virtual learning. Again, that awful feeling of déjà vu and of once more paying the “corruption tax” of Chicago’s famous machine.
This latest (known) injustice with the invasion and assault over Anjanette Young has revved the engine of mobilization once again. We are reminded triple fold that we need substantial systemic change that prioritizes community over police, with ordinances including CPAC and Peace Book, and for CPD to adopt the recommendations of the Use of Force Working group .
Mayor Lightfoot, we demand that you fulfill the promises of your campaign. We demand that you follow through on your vision for inclusion of community. We demand that you put the people before the police. Chicago needs you to do what we voted you in to do. We’re asking you to be the person we thought you were.