We believe in the need for an elected school board in Chicago. As one of the only districts in Illinois without democratic control of the school board, our current system of mayoral control is a significant impediment to achieving the fully funded neighborhood schools that students and parents deserve. We oppose opening new charter schools and strongly support the rights of teachers and staff at existing charter schools to organize with the Chicago Teachers Union and, when necessary, strike for fairer contracts. We stand in solidarity with the educators, students, and activists calling for #PoliceFreeSchools and we oppose any relationship between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Public Schools.
We believe that housing is a human right, not a commodity. For this reason, 33rd Ward Working Families calls for housing to be brought under the control of the people who actually live in it. We stand in solidarity with tenant unions organizing collectively for their rights, and call for greater protection for tenants through legislation and eviction court reforms. We call for greater regulations on the real estate industry, including rent control, community control over zoning, and stricter affordability requirements. We call for more investment in public housing to better maintain existing units and greatly increase the rate of new construction.
We believe that everyone deserves safety, and that is best accomplished through a comprehensive vision of community safety that does not rely on police or ICE. We believe in defunding the police and directing that money into community supports, including public mental health services, restorative justice courts and practices in schools, violence interrupter programs, and fully funded social programs. We support ending the gang database and enacting the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).
We stand in solidarity with the movement for Black lives. We call for an immediate end to the racist terror inflicted upon communities of color, especially Black people, by the CPD. But beyond the CPD, no city agency or policy area is exempt from this charge. Any conversation about justice for the generations of violence inflicted upon Chicago’s Black and Brown communities must center around a policy of significant, broad, and ongoing reparations from the City of Chicago in all of the policy areas where institutionalized racism has been a central tenet of city policy—that is to say, all policy areas, including but not limited to: housing and development, education, transportation, the environment, public safety, and other city services.
33rd Ward Working Families believes in the full, democratic participation, safety, and wellbeing of all ward residents regardless of status or documentation. We work closely with deportation defense networks, and have organized ICE watch trainings and neighborhood safety brigades to protect immigrant neighbors. We believe that ICE should be abolished, and we work closely with other organizations that advocate for ending the deportation and detention of immigrants. We advocate for all immigrants to have full access to resources, safety, and justice.
We believe in the right of every ward resident to have a direct say in decisions that affect them and their community. We supported the establishment of participatory budgeting and community-driven zoning and development processes enacted by Ald. Rodriguez's office in 2019, ensuring as many ward residents have their voices heard as possible. We support measures to ensure that non-English-speaking residents are included at every level in the decision-making process. Finally, we offer our storefront office as an accessible space to support community organizing efforts.
We believe that responding to our current climate disaster requires moving away from market solutions and thinking expansively about how ecological degradation is closely tied to nearly all social and political issues. We know that low-income communities of color—and particularly Black and Indigenous communities—are disproportionately harmed by climate change and extractive and polluting industries. Our efforts to combat it must include leadership by these communities at every stage.
We believe in a $15 minimum wage and all workers' right to a union. We believe in protecting worker pensions and demand that the wealthy and corporations of this city pay their fair share. We have championed legislation like the Fair Workweek Ordinance, and we believe in strengthening protections for workers. We strongly support the development of worker-owned enterprises and policy solutions that can help these businesses flourish in our city.
(Updated August 2020)