Read the full ordinance here

Only we can stop CPD!

On July 21st, we won the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance in City Council!

While we recognize this victory by the people for the people, we will continue to fight in laying the pathway for community control of the police in Chicago. Find out more about our next steps in the campaign by reading below.

Join the weekly ECPS Study zoom calls to learn more about ECPS and how to get plugged in to organizing to put it into effect! This study will be held each Saturday at 10am from September 4th through October 16th.

Click here to register for the next zoom meeting

Who is the ECPS Coalition?

The Empowering Communities for Public Safety (ECPS) Coalition formed out of negotiations between the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) campaign and the Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA), who had been fighting separately for police accountability for years. 

We are a coalition of community based organizations, faith-based organizations, and labor organizations rooted in Black, Latinx, Arab, Filipinx, East Asian and South Asian communities. We are driven principally by Black led organizations such as Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and we have signed up over 65,000 Chicagoans with our movement through canvassing and tabling mostly in oppressed communities.

Most of this organized support is overwhelmingly Black people who live on the South and West sides of Chicago, but we also have thousands of Latinx supporters in Little Village and Pilsen and white supporters on the Northside. We have the support of white workers in Bridgeport and Back of the Yards. 

We have the support of the City Council Caucuses, such as the Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, Progressive Caucus and Socialist Caucus. 

We have the support of Trinity United Church of Christ and the ecumenical movement represented by the Community Renewal Society (involving Christians, Muslims, and Jews).


In terms of working-class organizations, we have in our coalition the United Working Families, the Chicago Teachers Union, all the SEIU locals, transportation workers, postal service workers, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Black Presidents of over a dozen local unions and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute. Through the unions we were able to reach out to over 200,000 workers in Chicago’s neighborhoods and Wards.


There are also grass roots movements in some 17 Wards that we initiated during the campaign for ECPS, especially in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 29th, 35th, 39th, 46th, and 48th Wards. 

With the strength of this coalition, we were able to pass the most democratic and transformative police accountability legislation that exists anywhere in the United States.

The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability and District Councils

What is the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability?


The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability is a city-wide body with power over the police accountability system in Chicago.

Each Commissioner will receive an annual stipend of $12,000, and the Commission President will receive $15,000 


  • Commission Powers

    • has final say over policy for the Chicago Police Department, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, and the Police Board, and can write policies for these bodies

    • monitors CPD’s compliance with policies

    • can appoint and remove the head of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). Can recommend, and assess the qualifications of, the Superintendent and members of the Police Board

    • can recommend changes to the budget, and ways to ensure CPD resources are used appropriately

    • can recommend community and evidence-based solutions to violence

    • has access to information, data, documents, and records necessary to fulfill these duties

    • can issue a vote of no confidence in the Superintendent, Police Board president, or COPA chief

    • gathers community input from the District Councils, and from engaging in open, democratic practices like public comment and petitioning

  • When District Councils are elected in the February 2023 elections, Commissioners will be nominated by members of the District Councils.


We are currently seeking community members who have been directly impacted by CPD violence to serve on an Interim Commission on Public Safety and Accountability to be appointed in November 2021.


  • Qualifications to serve on the Commission

    • must be a resident of the City of Chicago for at least 5 years preceding appointment

    • must have five years of combined, lived or professional, experience in one of the following areas:

      • law, public policy, social work, psychology, mental health, public safety, community organizing, civil rights, or advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities

    • have not been an employee of CPD, COPA, or the Police Board in the last five years


What are District Councils?

District Councils are directly-elected bodies within each police district with power over local public safety concerns and input in the city-wide Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability. 

There will be 22 councils for each police district, with three elected councilors serving on each, making a total of 66 positions.

District Councils will be elected in the February 2023 elections.

Each District Council member will receive a stipend of $500/month while serving in this role.


  • District Council Powers

    • Nominate members of the Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability

    • Hold monthly public meetings to gather community input about policing in their district

    • Develop and implement community policing initiatives

    • Work to develop and expand restorative justice programs in their district

    • Attend quarterly meetings of district councils across Chicago

    • Report its findings to the Community Commission on Public Safety and Accountability

  • Qualifications to serve on District Councils

    • Must satisfy qualifications for elected office under the Illinois Municipal Code

    • Must have resided in their police district for 365 days on the day of the election

    • Must not be a member of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability

    • Must not have been employed by CPD, COPA, IPRA, or the Police Board in the past three years

    • Must gather signatures for a petition of 0.5% of the total number of registered voters in their district

The Referendum for a Directly-Elected Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability

Click here to read the Referendum!

What is the Referendum for a directly-elected Community Commission on Public Safety?

While the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance creates the most democratic police accountability system in the country, there are a few specific powers that, in order to move them into the hands of the people, require a ballot referendum.

This struggle has two parts:

  • To pass the referendum ordinance through City Council in order to get it placed on the ballot in the next Primary Election in June 2022

  • To mobilize people across Chicago to vote YES on this referendum when they go to the polls

The text of the referendum, on the ballot, will be as follows:

  • “Shall the City of Chicago make the Commission created by Chapter 2-80 that oversees the Chicago Police Department (CPD) an 11-person body consisting of 9 Elected Commissioners and 2 Appointed Commissioners, and give the Commission authority over the following: CPD budget; hiring and firing (for cause) the Superintendent of Police and members of the Police Board; CPD, police board, and COPA policies; and police union contracts, in addition to any powers the commission already has or that are listed in Section 5 of the Ordinance that created the Commission?"

Additional Powers the Referendum gives the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability

  • Makes the Commission, like the District Councils, a directly elected body chosen by the people, with two nominated seats reserved for those who would not qualify for elected office due to age or history of incarceration

  • Gives the Commission power to hire and fire the Superintendent and members of the Police Board (in addition to the COPA chief)

  • Gives the Commission the power to negotiate police union contracts


The only way to end the police tyranny plaguing Black and Brown communities is for the people to gain control over who polices our communities and how our communities are policed. Those who have faced the brunt of police terror are those who will determine how it ends. If the uprising of 2020 showed us anything, it’s that people are done accepting a status quo where their neighbors are violated with regularity. The Commission and District Councils created by the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance are the structures through which survivors of police terror and their families can assert their right to justice. We encourage those who know the violence of this system all too well to stand up and take direct leadership of the systems that have enabled their subjugation, kidnap, torture, and loss. And we encourage all those who support justice to play their part in this new era of struggle. We need all hands on deck to spread the word in districts throughout Chicago, and support the leadership of the most impacted in getting elected to these positions. We got this far by the power of the people, and it’s that power that will make this Commission and these District Councils a force against our opponents, the Fraternal Order of Police, the defenders of the vicious status quo, and the system of police tyranny that keeps people bound by injustice.


  • Table to engage your neighbors in the struggle for police accountability

  • Serve on the Interim Commission for Public Safety and Accountability

  • Call your alderman and demand they support the Referendum for a Directly-Elected Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability

  • Run for election to your local District Council in the February 2023 elections