5 petitions

Started 3 weeks ago

Petition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel

End Driver's License Suspension for Chicago Parking Tickets

11,000 suspended licenses. (1) Thousands of lost jobs. (2) 10,000 bankruptcies. (3) This is just some of the wreckage left by the City of Chicago's excessive ticket collection practices. Illinois has no statute of limitations on parking tickets, and in Chicago, City Hall relies on parking tickets for 7% of the city's budget (4). The city has been found issuing duplicate tickets and issues more tickets in communities of color and low-income neighborhoods (5).  City payment plans are inflexible, and in a handful of Chicago neighborhoods, the tickets stack up faster than families can afford payments. When people fall behind, the city tacks on fines and fees, boots and tows cars, and asks the Illinois Secretary of State to suspend driver's licenses. 80% of driver's licenses suspended for Chicago parking and compliance tickets are issued to people in communities of color (6), further pushing people into poverty and making employment more difficult. The Mayor of Chicago can stop this. Last year, advocates including the ACLU of Illinois, Chicago Appleseed, Chicago Jobs Council, Community Organizing and Family Issues, Heartland Alliance, Woodstock Institute and more worked to pass state level reforms. The License to Work Act would eliminate driver's license suspension as a penalty for most non-driving violations like parking tickets, city sticker tickets, and a handful of other minor violations.  But the Mayor's lobbyists stopped the bill from moving forward in Springfield. Most states don't use driver's license suspension as a penalty for parking tickets, so we know Chicago doesn't need this excessive power. And the national experts agree: we should only suspend licenses of bad drivers, not people who are too poor to pay excessive tickets, fines, and fees (7). Tell the Mayor: Support the License to Work Act and end driver's license suspension for non-driving violations in Chicago!  Comment and share your story after you sign: Do you live in Chicago? Have you lost a job from a suspended license, or threatened to have your license taken away? Maybe you found out about this because you were just suspended. Let us know!     (1) Most suspensions for parking and compliance tickets come from Chicago. There were 11,000 such suspensions in Illinois from 2016-2017. Woodstock Institute, The Debt Spiral. (2) In Illinois, half of survey respondents with a suspended license missed out on a job or job opportunity because of the suspension. Chicago Jobs Council, Living in Suspension. (3) "In 2007, an estimated 1,000 Chapter 13 bankruptcies included debts to the city, usually for unpaid tickets, with the median amount claimed around $1,500 per case. By last year, the number of cases surpassed 10,000, with the typical debt to the city around $3,900." ProPublica Illinois, How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy. Often, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides the only way for someone to keep their driver's license or get it back. (4) ProPublica Illinois, How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy. (5) ProPublica Illinois, Three City Sticker Tickets on the Same Car in 90 Minutes? (6) Woodstock Institute, The Debt Spiral. (7) American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Best Practices Guide to Reducing Suspended Drivers.

Eric Halvorson
5 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Gayle Brill-Mittler, Elsie Foster-Dublin, Philip George, Matthew Hersh, Stephany Kim, Susan Welkovits, Josh Fine

Taking on Racial Bias and Racial Profiling in Highland Park Policing

On March 15, 2018, a young, black Highland Park resident, returning home from visiting with his former classmates and teachers at Highland Park High School, noticed a photo opportunity - an empty intersection that would work perfectly for a school project. He took the photo, walked over to his home across the street, and entered through his front door. Within minutes, five police cars were parked in front of his home, an undercover detective questioning his mother at the door, others circling behind the house. A neighbor reports seeing the detective at the door draw his gun and return it to his holster just before the mother opened the door. The excessive police presence was the result of an undercover detective’s dispatch mischaracterizing the young man’s mundane movements as suspicious and misrepresenting him as “running through the backyard of the house.” Fortunately, his mother was home to defuse the terrifying encounter, so her son was neither arrested nor physically harmed. But the incident bears the marks of racial profiling and includes the kind of excessive police response that often ends in unnecessary arrest, injury, or death to the black and brown people who are targeted by police across the United States. This is not an isolated incident in Highland Park, either. Many residents of color have experienced racial profiling, and the Boro has a decades-old reputation in the region for being a place to avoid because of a history of unnecessary traffic stops that disproportionately target people of color. An analysis of nearly two years of data obtained from the Highland Park Police Department found that Black people accounted for 58% of use of force incidents with the police despite accounting for only 6% of the town population. We are a group of concerned residents who are demanding that the Highland Park Police Department, Mayor Gayle Brill-Mittler, and the Boro Council take action now towards ending racial bias and racial profiling in Highland Park so that all of its residents and passers-through may live without the fear that comes with being disparately policed. Specifically, we are calling for the HPPD and HP Boro Council to take the following steps: Hire an independent auditor with expertise in racial profiling and policing to perform a comprehensive audit of HPPD focused on identifying and assessing racial disparities and potential patterns of racial bias. The auditing firm should be selected through a transparent, community-responsive process. Initiate in-depth and sustained training in implicit racial bias and de-escalation strategies for current and prospective HPPD officers. Develop a plan for ongoing review and analysis of policing data that includes representation from the community and is focused on increased transparency and the identification of racial disparities and potential patterns of racial bias. Establish a complaint process that is clearly communicated and easily accessible to the community, including an anonymous option. Create an all-civilian oversight structure with an allocated budget. Evaluate the current roles and responsibilities of the Human Relations Commission. Adopt and implement a bias-free policing policy. We invite you to join us in our request that the Highland Park Police Department, Mayor Gayle Brill-Mittler, and the Boro Council take up these common-sense steps to ensure equitable policing in the Boro.

Bias-Free HP
410 supporters