Civic Engagement and Community Control

Our Values

We believe that direct democratic control of government and law enforcement helps ensure that communities that are most harmed by destructive policies have the power to control budgets, determine policing policies, and self-determine their own priorities.

Our Work

Action Now members are active on the issue of violence prevention in their neighborhoods. They set up meetings with the Police Commanders in their district, organize roll calls and smoke-outs and work together to find new and innovative ways of addressing the problems of violence and crime in their communities.

Members are also very passionate about criminal justice reform and work with the Developing Justice Coalition to address the social and economic root causes of crime, and providing resources for ex-offenders, like expungements, is also an important focus.

Our civic engagement and community control campaigns include:

  • Police Contract Accountability
    • The Fraternal Order of Police is Chicago‘s most powerful union. This union’s members are responsible for keeping the city “safe,” but is also responsible for enforcing racist policies, terrorizing residents, and murdering unarmed Black and Brown people. After the Department of Justice’s scathing report, it was clear that even with a consent decree, there are a lot of allowances the union contract that provide fuel to the fires of police brutality.
    • We convened a group of community organizations as well as policy and legal institutions in order to dig deep into the police contract, and found that there are 14 points of tension that permit the police too many opportunities to use their collective bargaining power against the citizens they are sworn to protect.
    • Our goal is to stop unanimous approval of the FOP contract, get a police contract that “bargains for the common good” that addresses our 14 points, and continue to elevate narratives around police accountability.
  • #BlackRootsResistance
    • The Trump administration is putting forth racist policies in the form of travel bans, dismantling the ACA, rolling back criminal justice reforms, and directing attention to the prosecution of low-level drug offenders, which disproportionately affects Black communities.
      Chicago’s Black communities were solidly against Trump in the 2016 election and turned out in relatively stable numbers for his opponent.Our canvassing has shown that most Black folks in our community are inspired by the opportunity to build a vision that competes with Trump’s, centering on supporting self and community.
    • For the #BlackResistance Campaign, in partnership with the Blackroots Alliance, we will gather information through community canvassing of Black voters related to their views and comparisons between Trump, Governor Rauner, and Mayor Emanuel and all upcoming elections. We will continue to door knock in communities on the West/South sides of Chicago around the unique experience of being black in our current political environment, while creating new policy demands that inspire voter’s passions.
    • Our in-person and digital organizing will support our goals of challenging political and corporate donors (and their recipients) who support racist policies, recruiting and training precinct captains in 100 precincts across the city and suburbs, and showcasing Chicagoland activists who engage in everyday acts of Black resistance.


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