ACLU-IL Civil Liberties Mayoral Forum at Chicago-Kent

ACLU-IL Mayoral Forum

Dean Harold J. Krent introducing ACLU-IL Mayoral Forum
Dean Krent welcomes attendees
On January 18, the ACLU of Illinois invited candidates for the 2019 Chicago mayoral election to attend a forum to discuss the impact they would have as mayor on civil liberties and basic freedoms in Chicago.

Dean Krent thanked the ACLU-IL for hosting the event and commended everyone in the packed auditorium for attending on a cold night.

Amanda Vinicky moderating ACLU-IL Mayoral Forum
Amanda Vinicky, forum moderator
Six candidates participated in the live forum: Amara Enyia, La Shawn Ford, John Kozlar, Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, and Paul Vallas. Other candidates sent their responses to the ACLU-IL questionnaire but did not attend the forum. WTTW  correspondent Amanda Vinicky moderated the forum.

ACLU-IL Chicago Mayoral Forum Video

Watch the entire forum video below, or find the questions and links to individual candidate’s responses in the recap that follows. The order of candidate responses rotated with each question.

Opening Statements

Most candidates discussed their reasons for running for mayor or spoke about their previous experiences working with the ACLU or on civil liberties issues. Lori Lightfoot spoke instead on the sentencing of Jason Van Dyke, which was announced earlier in the day on January 18, 2019.

Question 1: Van Dyke Sentencing

Amanda Vinicky, as moderator, chose to reorder the questions from the ACLU questionnaire and start with this topic as most relevant to the events of the day:

“Is this sentence justified, and if no, is there anything you would propose to change the system?”

Candidate Responses:

Question 2: Code of Silence (Yes/No)

“Do you believe a Code of Silence exists within the police department?”

Candidate responses:

Question 3: Chicago Police Department Culture

“In regards to those who are calling for or examining the culture within the Chicago Police Department, what specific things should be done to shift the culture of the CPD, if anything, and if you were mayor how would you effectuate that change?”

Candidate responses:

Question 4: Surveillance Technology

“What policies would you implement regarding the use of surveillance technology that is used by the city, including by law enforcement as well as city contractors?”

Candidate responses:

Question 5: Chicago’s Gang Database

“Does Chicago need to review how individuals are added to its gang database and should there be a moratorium while that review (should you believe there needs to be one) is in the works?”

Candidate responses:

Question 6: Transgender Health Care Access & Discrimination Policy (Yes/No)

“Would you ensure that every city agency and private city contractor have a policy that covers transition-related health care and prohibits discrimination against employees who are transgender?

Question 7: TIF Funding and Health Care Providers

“Healthcare: Should there be any restrictions on healthcare providers that provide information related to contraception, sterilization and abortion care as well as assisted reproductive health care, transition related health care, and so on. In essence, again, what guardrails, if any,  would you put in place regarding TIF funding on health care providers, an issue that we’ve seen in Chicago already have some debates with.”

Candidate responses:

Question 8: Transparency Policies

“Every candidate, every administration talks a lot about being the most transparent ever. So, I would like to know how will the mayor’s office under your administration implement policies regarding the public’s right to information. Please do give specifics.”

Candidate responses:

Question 9 License Suspension Policy (Y/N)

“Do you support ending the use of driver’s license suspension as a penalty for non-moving violations such as unpaid parking or compliance tickets?”

Question 10: Welcoming City Ordinance Loopholes

“Would you remove the provision in city ordinance that allows Chicago Police to assist ICE agents when the individual has a felony, regardless of when that felony occured?”

Candidate responses:

Question 11: Fraternal Order of Police Contract

“Presuming that a new contract has not been finalized by the time you were to become mayor and enter the mayor’s office, are there any changes you would demand in a new contract with the Fraternal Order of Police. If so, what would those changes be?”

Candidate responses:

Final Statements:

Each candidate was given the opportunity to thank the people who participated in the forum and share their own final statements on their platforms and goals as candidates to become the mayor of Chicago:

Event Photos:

Author: Emily Barney

Technology Training & Marketing Librarian

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