In Court Reform, Indivisible IL9

All are welcomed to this 60 minute weekly meeting. 


The purpose of this weekly meeting is to organize locally to push progressive issues at the city, state, and federal levels and elect community leaders to pass legislative policies that support our values. We believe that an engaged and informed electorate leads to a successful democracy.


We are joined this week by Brian X of Chicago Votes to talk about court watching.


Our Organizing Statement

“We are Chicagoland residents and allies who are pursuing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society by organizing in support for (or against) policies and candidates to achieve economic and social justice.”


Join our meetings by Zoom:

Catch up on past meetings here:


When voting, there are often a lot of judges on the ballot and it can be difficult to assess which judges to vote for, so we are talking this year about how to learn more about the judicial system.


Court Watch Trainings with Chicago Votes

Details about Court Watching here.


Court watching involves having volunteers in the courtroom to collect data on gender and racial bias in the courtroom. The data collected is then passed on to Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts for analysis.  There are over 250 volunteers in the program doing the data collection; trying to get as many data points as possible.

  • Criminal courtrooms (Daley center + 26th and California)
  • The four things that court watchers look for are: Impartiality, temperament, communication, administrative performance (see the full form here)
  • Cannot go into the courtrooms physically, but observe virtually via the Cook County website and/or Zoom links.
  • Trainings are once a month – Sign up here. The next one is Fri, Feb 25 at 1pm via Zoom. If you cannot make that training, you can also request 1:1 training.


In the training, you’ll learn how to fill out the form, what is looked for, how to navigate the website, etc.


There is a list of 16 judges who have been flagged by the community (recommended by Injustice Watch and Chicago Appleseed) as causing harm in the courtroom that Chicago Votes is specifically observing.


Court watching is working: Judicial accountability picked up in 2017 and in the past 2 years, two judges have been removed, which has not happened in a couple of decades.


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