In the 2023 municipal elections, three candidates will be elected to councils in each of the city’s 22 police districts. Along with the citywide Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA), the councils are the result of decades of work by organizers for community oversight of the police.
District Councils are tasked with improving policing and public safety, getting community input on policing, expanding restorative justice programs, holding monthly public meetings, and nominating members of the CCPSA.
Eligible candidates must be a registered voter who will have lived in the police district they’re running in for at least one year on February 28, 2023. People convicted of felonies cannot run unless the conviction has been expunged; neither can people who owe the city money.
Candidates had until November 28, 2022 to collect and submit petitions signed by a required number of eligible voters. The minimum number of signatures is based on how many registered voters are in each district (see list below). To defend their petitions against Chicago’s time-honored tradition of challenging the eligibility of opponent’s signatures, candidates typically try to collect several times the required number of signatures.
Below, check out some of the candidates for police district councils who are already gathering petition signatures to get on the February 2023 ballot. Some are running as individuals; others have joined up as slates of three candidates with shared political values and goals.
Update 12/2/22: The candidates listed below all filed ballot petitions with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners by the November 28 deadline. We will update this list again after petition challenges are completed.
First District (Loop and Museum Campus)
Jamie Brown and Sarah Kammerer have filed ballot petitions to run for seats on the First Districts police district council.
Second District (Douglas, Bronzeville, Woodlawn, Hyde Park)
Julia Kline, a Hyde Park sales and leadership coach who formerly taught in CPS, was previously the campaign manager for Gloria Williams, a candidate for 15th Ward alderperson. Kline has filed petitions, as have Ephraim Lee, Alexander Perez and Coston Plummer.
Third District (Greater Grand Crossing, South Shore, Woodlawn)
Ana Marija Sokovic, Jim Blissitt III, Janice Jones, Kenya Franklin, Craig Carrington, Anthony David Bryant, Julio Miramontes, Lovie Bernard, Gloria Jenkins, and Brenda Waters have filed ballot petitions.
Fourth District (East Side)
Meridth Vanae Hammer, Julio Miramontes, Lovie Bernard, Gloria Jenkins, and Brenda Waters filed ballot petitions in the fourth police district.
Fifth District (Pullman, Roseland)
Thomas McMahon, Kenneth Williams, Ponchita Moore, Michael Mayden, and Robert McKay have filed ballot petitions.
Sixth District (Auburn Gresham, East Chatham, Brainerd)
Eric Russell and David Boykin filed ballot petitions.
Seventh District (Englewood)
Dion McGill, a community outreach manager at Lurie Children’s Hospital, describes himself on his campaign website as a “public health professional focused on gun violence prevention and public safety for more than 7 years.” McGill formerly taught in CPS and was the program manager of the Student Voices Program, a youth gun-violence initiative at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. He has filed petitions. Teresa R. Chandler, Cherli Montgomery, Krystal Peters, Joseph Williams, Verna Swan, and Linda Austin Sr. have filed ballot petitions.
Eighth District (Archer Heights, Chicago Lawn, Garfield Ridge, Ashburn)
Albert Caccatolio, a Streets and Sanitation superintendent, is described as an “advocate for police.” He has filed ballot petitions. Jason Huff, who supervises car booting for the Department of Finance, has filed a statement of organization and ballot petitions. Huff runs a neighborhood watch in the Eighth District on the far southwest side, and his social media pages regularly tout his volunteer work with Chicago Police Department programs. His campaign for District Council was endorsed by 15th Ward alderperson Ray Lopez (who halted an attempted mayoral run on November 21). On October 22, Huff posted a photo of himself gathering petition signatures with 23rd Ward alderperson Silvana Tabares. Additionally, Mark Hamberlin has filed ballot petitions. Letina Brady Pettis, who is active with the League of Women Voters as well as organizations such as the National Association of University Women, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the National Council of Negro Women, has filed ballot petitions. Cydney Wallace has filed petitions.
Ninth District (Chinatown, Bridgeport, Back of the Yards, McKinley Park)
On November 21, Robert Iu, Carlos Sanchez, Evelyn Razo, Nolberto Casas, Denise McBroom, Erin Vogel, Abe Matthew, and Monse Atala, and Meggie Finucane filed ballot petitions.
Tenth District (Lawndale, Little Village)
Rosemarie Dominguez is a born-and-raised resident of Little Village who describes herself as a longtime community organizer. She said “residents and CAARPR were the ones that prompted me to run, and they are the ones that are going to shape me and my campaign.” Dominguez and Eliane Bahena, Simeon Henderson, Larry Lawrence, Leo Guzman, and Kisha Smith have filed petitions to run in the Tenth District.
11th District (West Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, Homan Square)
Brian Ramson, Jr., Jocelyn Woodards, Alees Edwards, Martin Coffer, and Tamiko Holt have filed ballot petitions to run in the 11th District.
12th District (Medical District, Tri-Taylor, Pilsen, Near West Side)a
Juan Lopez, Leonardo Quintero, John Donatelli, Chloe Vitale, Michelle Page, William Guerrero and Leonardo Quintero have filed ballot petitions to run in the 12th District.
14th District (Logan Square, Humboldt Park)
David Orlikoff and Christopher Laurent have filed ballot petitions to run for the 14th District council.
15th District (Austin)
Arewa Karen Winters is a community activist who founded the 411 Movement and has worked with Justice For Families and the Chicago Justice Torture Center. Chicago police shot and killed Winters’s 16-year-old great-nephew in 2016. She cochaired Mayor Lightfoot’s Use of Force Working Group, which released its report earlier this month. In August, Block Club reported that Winters said CPD needs to “confront its overwhelming tendency to police Black and Brown communities,” and that district councils “will afford us the chance to not only speak truth to power, but power to power.” Winters has filed ballot petitions. Deondre Rutues has worked as a community engagement specialist for the Policing Project’s Chicago Neighborhood Policing Initiative as well as for the Cook County Sheriff and Chicago Public Schools. Rutues has filed ballot petitions. Oddis Johnson, Darius Newsome, Constance Melton, Carmelita Earls, and Elena Thompson have also filed petitions to run in the 15th District.
16th District (Jefferson Park, Norwood Park, O’Hare)
David Feller, Daniel Martin, Colleen Mary Dillon, John Marcatante, Trisha Kannon Lloyd and Colleen Murphy have filed ballot petitions. Dan Butterworth, who has been enrolled in the Citizen Police Academy in the northern suburbs, also filed ballot petitions.
17th District (Albany Park)
Elizabeth A. Rochford, Steve San Roman, James Murphy III, Shlomo Adelman, and Nick Carusi have filed petitions. Janie Pochel, who co-founded the Chi Nations Youth Council, and Anthony Michael Tamez, its current co-president, have both filed petitions. The Youth Council works to promote healthy living and cultural identity among Native youth; to that end, the Council turned a vacant lot at Pulaski and Wilson into a First Nations garden. Steve Spagnolo, the chief of government relations and external affairs at the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, has worked for numerous political campaigns as well as for 43rd Ward alderperson Michele Smith, and has filed ballot petitions. Brian Sullivan recently tweeted, “Our voices will be louder then the gangbangers and their apologists. Albany Parks gang factions will be on cpd radar.” Sullivan has filed petitions.
18th District (River North, Lincoln Park, Goose Island)
Karen Kane, Amy Cross, Jacqueline Brown, Brad Kessler, Kimberly Lynn Bowman, Robert Johnson, and Lisa Seigneur have all filed ballot petitions to run for the 18th District council.
19th District (Lakeview, Uptown, North Center)
A slate of candidates—data analyst Maurilio Garcia, parent Jenny Schaffer, and attorney Sam Schoenburg—have filed ballot petitions. Schoenburg says policing is the government institution that is “least accountable and most shielded from genuine community input.” Garcia says he wants to ensure all residents’ experiences with the police are “positive [and] productive.” Schaffer says she wants to expand the umbrella of emergency services to include people like mental health care professionals, drug rehabilitation specialists, and homelessness response providers. All three candidates have filed candidate declarations. The ONE People’s Campaign and 47th Ward alderperson Matt Martin have endorsed the slate.
Demerike Palecek is a former member of the USAF Security Forces and Army National Guard who most recently worked as marketing director for 36th Ward alderperson Gil Villegas during his unsuccessful primary challenge against state congresswoman Delia Ramirez. On her campaign website, she says her mission is to build a community that is “stronger, and safer, together, for a brighter future for everyone.” Palecek has filed ballot petitions. Dan Richman, the general sales manager at Cumulus Media, serves on the Roscoe Village Neighbors board of directors, where he manages the safety and security program and works in roles such as liaising with the 19th District CAPS, holding safety seminars about calling 911, engaging in a Police Appreciation Day, and petitioning to reopen the Belmont and Western police station. Richman has filed ballot petitions, and 46th Ward alderperson James Cappleman and 32nd Ward alderperson Scott Waguespack have endorsed his candidacy. Julie Kaviar, the chief of staff to the office of Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, has filed petitions. Patrick McNeil has filed petitions.
20th District (Edgewater, Andersonville)
Joshua D.Antonio has filed petitions. Violence-prevention outreach worker Darrell Dacres, former precinct captain and 40th Ward Office volunteer Deidre O’Conner, and Jewish Council on Urban Affairs organizer Anna Rubin make up a slate of candidates running for the 20th District Council. They have all filed ballot petitions. The slate’s campaign website emphasizes building a community where “every resident is safe, feels safe, and is able to access the services and professionals they need to thrive.” The ONE People’s Campaign and 40th Ward alderperson Andre Vasquez have endorsed the slate.
22nd District (Morgan Park)
Lee Bielecki, Carissa Parker, Patrick Kennedy, Matthew Blanciotto, and Andre Pate have filed ballot petitions to run for the 22nd District council.
24th District (Rogers Park, West Ridge)
EdVetté W. Jones, Reverend Dr. Marilyn Pagán-Banks, Veronica Arreola, David Earl Williams III, Patrick Conlon, Daniel Wolk, and Mitchell Rose have filed petitions.
Jones, Pagán-Banks, and Arreola are running as a slate. Jones is a trustee of the United Church of Rogers Park and works with the Circles and Ciphers Youth Organization. Pagán-Banks is the director of the nonprofit A Just Harvest and is a founding member of the Coalition to End Money Bond. Arreola founded the 50th Ward Action Network and worked with The People’s Lobby during the 2019 municipal elections. The slate’s campaign website calls district councils “the most progressive community-led police accountability device in the country” and says “it is important to elect the most progressive voices possible.” Williams, who ran for 48th Ward alderperson in 2019, wrote in his campaign announcement that if elected he’ll “tirelessly fight to improve public safety (including reasonable fund reallocation to help lessen crime) . . . support ending taxpayer bailouts for CPD officers’ misconduct settlements, [and] hold police violence against civilians and cop killers equally accountable, and will work to bridge the divide between the community and the police.”
25th District (West Humboldt Park, Belmont Cragin, North Austin)
Jacob Arena, Perry Abbasi, Saul Arellano, Angelica Green, and Edgar Esparza have filed petitions. Arellano, the son of immigration activist Elvira Arellano, who sought sanctuary from ICE agents in a Humboldt Park church for a year beginning in 2006, has worked alongside Centro Sin Fronteras and Healthy Hood Chicago on immigration and mutual-aid fronts. “We must invest in life-changing social services, and offer well-funded social institutions (schools, mental health clinics, youth programs, and mentorship programs),” he wrote in an email to the Reader. “In addition, we must hold the police accountable, our communities deserve better, and must be treated with the utmost respect.”
Candidate filings checklist
- Statement of organization (State Board of Elections)
- Nominating petitions signed by eligible voters and submitted November 21-28. Minimum required signatures are below. (Chicago Board of Election Commisioners)
- Statement of economic interest (Cook County Clerk)
- Statement of financial interest; file within five days of qualifying as a candidate (Chicago Board of Ethics)
- To accept donations or spend more than $5,000, file disclosures with the State Board of Elections.
But despite delays, progressive alderpersons and activists remain hopeful on ECPS
Lori Lightfoot has hampered the process of installing a police oversight council, activists say, despite making it a major part of her public safety platform during her mayoral run.
Alderman Ariel Reboyras’s two proposals were decried as toothless at the last of five community meetings on proposed police reform ordinances.