When Chicagoans go to vote for mayor, aldermen, and city clerk on Tues., Feb. 28, they will also have a chance to vote for three people who will become pivotal in bringing together community residents and police in the City’s 22 police districts as members of the new Chicago Police District Councils.
Voters in Beverly/Morgan Park will be selecting from a field of five area residents running for seats in the District Council for the 22nd District Police. The Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) has invited these candidates to present their platforms and ideas to voters on Tues., Feb. 7, 7 p.m., at the BAPA office, 1744 W. 99th St.
Strengthening the relationship between the community and the police is the goal of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, and the upcoming election of District Councils for each Chicago police district is designed ensure that every community has a strong voice in Chicago policing through the work of the Commission.
Candidates running to represent the 22nd District are Lee Bielecki, Matt Bianciotto, Carisa Parker, Patrick Kennedy, and Andre Pate have confirmed attendance at BAPA’s moderated forum. Candidates will be provided with several questions in advance to ensure important topics are addressed. Their remarks will be timed and the forum will include an audience Q and A.
Maureen Keane of She Votes Illinois is helping BAPA plan and present the forum. She Votes Illinois is a statewide political action committee that focuses on making sure the political system and legislation in Illinois reflect the voices of all women, femmes, and girls in the state. Their work focuses voting, education, and getting more women involved in the political process.
Persons interested in learning more about the new District Councils prior to BAPA’s candidate forum can sign up for Investing in Community Safety, a virtual presentation hosted by She Votes Illinois, the League of Women Voters, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and several other organizations that compose the Promote the Vote Coalition, Mon., Feb. 6, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The presentation is hosted by the. Follow She Votes Illinois on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @shevotesil for event details.
Yvette C. Loizon, a neighborhood resident and interim member of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, will be available at BAPA’s forum to provide information.
The new District Councils will advocate for real change in crime and with police oversight. District Councils will nominate people to serve on the permanent Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, and they will provide “boots on the ground” assistance to the Commission by representing the needs of and issues in the communities served by their police districts.
“It is important to know the people who are running for these positions so we can be prepared and informed voters,” said BAPA Executive Director. Mary Jo Viero. “We want true community representation in this important new collaboration with our police.”
In July 2021, the Chicago City Council passed the Empowering Communities for Public
Safety (ECPS) ordinance, creating a new model for police oversight, accountability, and
public safety. The ordinance establishes the Community Commission for Public Safety
and Accountability, a citywide body with the power to advance systemic reform, as well
as District Councils that will work to improve policing and public safety and build
stronger connections between the police and the community.
The District Councils will have several key roles:
Hold monthly public meetings, where residents can work with the police on local initiatives rooted in community concerns and priorities;
Work to address concerns about policing in the district and increase accountability;
Help develop and implement community policing initiatives;
Provide input on police department policies and practices;
Provide preventative, proactive, community-based programming in each police district;
Nominate members for the Community Commission.
In the upcoming municipal election, candidates in each District that receive the greatest,
second greatest, and third greatest number of votes will assume office on the first
Tuesday in May. District Council members serve four-year terms and receive a monthly
stipend. In all District Council elections, voters may vote for up to three candidates.
Deputy Director of District Councils Damon Smith will lead the team that will support the
22 elected District Councils.
“This is a historic moment for our city as we come together to elect the first District Council members who will play a crucial role in shaping the future of policing and public safety in our communities. We encourage all voters in Chicago to participate in this important and momentous process and make their voices heard,” said Damon Smith, Deputy Director of District Councils.
For more information about the District Councils and the election process, visit