1. TRANSGENDER HEALTH CARE

In December, the CTA updated its insurance policy to cover transition related surgeries for transgender employees, as required by law.

Would you ensure that every City agency and private city-contractor has a policy that covers transition related healthcare and prohibits discrimination against employees who are transgender? If yes, please explain how you would implement this legal requirement in your first year in office.

McCARTHY:

Mayoral Questionnaire

I likely would need to implement such a policy by using an executive order.


2. LGBTQ & POLICE

Members of the LGBTQ community, especially individuals who are transgender, intersex, and gender-nonconforming, and who come from communities of color, report experiencing high incidents of violence and harassment from law enforcement, which erodes trust, and leads to a fear of law enforcement.

Will you pledge to work with the LGBTQ community to update CPD policies that would reduce violence and harassment, and increase trust between the transgender, intersex and gender-nonconforming community and the CPD? If yes, please describe the elements of an updated policy that would reduce the violence and harassment faced by the LGBTQ community.

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I would recommend enhanced sensitivity training for CPD officers and make a major push to hire more transgender officers.


3. RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED HEALTH CARE

Religiously-mandated restrictions – such as the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) – tie the hands of health care providers at religiously-affiliated institutions by prohibiting a wide range of services, including contraception and other types of essential reproductive health care.  Patients are harmed when religious restrictions require that their health care providers deny them basic health care services or withhold full information from them.

Will you oppose the extension of TIF and other taxpayer-funded resources to expand and advance health care institutions that deny comprehensive reproductive health care services and information on the bases of religiously-mandated restrictions? 

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I will not allow an affront to anyone needing comprehensive reproductive health care services from any medical institution that seeks to expand by using funds from the very taxpayer/patients whose dollars are essentially used to discriminate against them.


4. BREASTFEEDING IN CHICAGO

A breastfeeding parent who is not able to regularly nurse or express breast milk through pumping is likely to experience pain, discomfort, and engorgement, and may be at risk for possible infection and/or a reduction in the amount of breast milk produced.

Will your administration insure that every municipal building and office is accessible for breastfeeding parents, including a private, non-restroom space for parents who need to pump breast milk and provide staff training on the rights of breast-feeding parents?

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

This is a basic human accommodation that a civil society should make to a mother who needs to pump breast milk in a dignified and respectful manner.


5. POLICE REFORM

In September, the City committed to reform the CPD by signing an agreement with the State of Illinois.

Do you support the consent decree between the City and the Illinois Attorney General designed to reform the CPD?  What three steps would you take immediately upon taking office to ensure that the decree is effectively implemented? 

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

No one would recommend community control over City construction or civil engineering. Policing is complex work that requires management by law enforcement professionals. Two problems I have with the consent decree: there were no law enforcement experts, that I can find, who were involved in drafting it and most of what it recommends is already state law. Because state standards are used in officer’s training, does that mean that every other department in the State of Illinois is subject to the same decree? The cost of implementing this decree will be very costly in the end. We need real community involvement in policing, not more politicization of the CPD.


6. CHANGES TO CPD

Are there any elements of the consent decree that you would want to change? If so, what changes would you make? 

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

I want the Chicago Police Department to reinstate the Strategic Policing Strategy that I implemented as Superintendent. That crime reduction strategy resulted in a 37% drop in crime, the lowest murder rates in our city since 1965, and a dramatic reduction of complaints against officers as well as police-related shootings. Moreover, we reprioritized the department’s enforcement strategies to cut mass incarceration. That policy shift helped CPD increase gun arrests while cutting the volume of overall arrests. It came as no surprise that the majority of our policing strategy was used to craft President Obama’s final report on 21st Century Policing.

However, as long as the Chicago Police Department is politicized and micromanaged by City Hall, I believe it is more critical that we implement judicial oversight over the City Council, where more than one-third of all aldermen have been indicted and/or convicted of serious crimes since 1972 and hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions have been exposed. I am calling for a consent decree between the Chicago City Council and the citizens of the City of Chicago that provides guidelines on TIF spending, which has been heretofore executed illegally and government bonds, which have been issued so irresponsibly it may rise to the level of criminal breach of fiduciary duty. I am seriously concerned by City Council’s and the mayor’s corporate counsel’s process for police shooting settlements. I know these settlements are political and perhaps illegal. It has to stop. Purported agreements between City Hall and CPS where Chicago City government would not investigate sexual abuse cases of CPS students but allow CPS to conduct internal investigations are so egregious that we can no longer simply send officials to jail; obviously, this does not work. We need citizen’s insight into and court oversight over the work aldermen do at city hall, in their ward offices, and at their fundraising events.


7. POLICE CONTRACTS

If new contracts have not been negotiated by the time you enter office, what changes would you demand in a new FOP contract in order to advance the police reform process? Do you support the 14 recommendations promoted by the Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability?  

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

As the former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department I found it hard to be accountable for the actions of our officers, but with little to no authority to discipline officers. As mayor I will demand that a new FOP contract respects the superintendent’s authority to discipline.  That move alone would go a long way to getting the mayor’s office out of the habit of micro-managing the department. As for the second question, I do not support all 14 of the recommendations promoted by the Coalition for Police Contracts Accountability.


8. LICENSE SUSPENSION

Suspension of a person’s drivers license for unpaid tickets is currently being used as a debt collection tool. Tickets often go unpaid simply because people lack the financial resources to pay tickets on time. For these individuals, license suspensions only make matters worse.  Many Chicagoans need to drive for their jobs, and even many non-driving jobs still require employees to have a valid driver’s license.

Will you support ending the use of driver’s license suspension as a penalty for non-moving violations, including unpaid parking and compliance tickets? What concrete policy changes will you initiate or support?

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

This comes down to a person’s ability to pay.  In those cases where the loss of a driver’s license could mean the loss of a job, a home, or a families well being, I would advocate for payment in the form of an appropriate and verifiable community service.


9. PARKING TICKET DEBT

Implementing “ability to pay” hearings and affordable payment plan terms would benefit low-income Chicago residents by allowing them to keep driving legally and avoid having their cars towed or booted.

Will you support creating a citywide process to determine a person’s ability to pay fines and fees, and adopting standards to ensure that payment plans for people who owe ticket debt must be affordable and accessible?

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

I will ensure that a person is not penalized into poverty. We’ll start by making sure there is a payment plan system that takes into account that person’s ability to pay based on their financial situation. We will work with Chicago residents, not against them.


10. WELCOMING IMMIGRANTS

Chicago prides itself on being a welcoming city for immigrants, newcomers and asylum-seekers.  The current policy that the City is defending against a challenge by the Trump Administration is considered inadequate by many, since the policy allows someone to be reported to ICE if they have a prior felony conviction, a criminal warrant, a pending felony prosecution, or they are on the City’s gang database – a database that is notoriously inaccurate.

Will your administration support closing the loopholes listed above, in the Chicago Welcoming City Ordinance?

McCARTHY
Mayoral Questionnaire

My administration will work to close any loopholes that attempt to erode the protections for immigrants, newcomers and asylum-seekers under our Welcoming City Ordinance. However, in those rare cases where an immigrant has committed a felony crime my administration will not harbor that individual and will seek their deportation.


11. TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

Open, transparent government is a critical value in our system of government. Over the past several years, the City has refused to release material about important public policy matters, even when requested through the Freedom of Information Act process.  Such denials have led to litigation and delays in releasing information to the public. 

Will your administration commit to ensuring that city, and all of its agencies, promptly and completely respond to FOIA requests?   How will you act to implement your commitment? 

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I will require my Chief Data Officer to provide data and analysis for every department in city government particularly hiring, procurement procedures, student achievement, crime and tax fairness. Data will be released without regard to political considerations.  If certain data sets reveal unfavorable results, it will provide the Mayor and city leaders the opportunity to fix problems while being transparent with the public.


12. SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS

As one of the most surveilled cities in the world, Chicago collects vast amounts of sensitive information about its residents every day.  The city employs an extensive, unchecked, surveillance camera system that is utilized by an unknown number of agencies, including CPD.

What specific steps would your administration take to limit and regulate the use, and how will you ensure that the public knows how these systems work, and what technology is being utilized? 

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

Unfortunately, we are living in a time when surveillance camera systems and other data collection programs are becoming essential for the safety and security of our homes, businesses, recreational areas and nearly every place where people gather. I would be willing to work with the ACLU to find an effective way to address these concerns. Having said that, I also believe that every institution that employs these surveillance systems needs to stand for an annual audit of how they were used.


13. FACIAL RECOGNITION

The use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement has been criticized because those systems have been shown to be susceptible to discrimination and bias.

What steps would your administration take to limit and regulate the use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement and private businesses?  How would your administration generally support or oppose the use of facial recognition technology in Chicago?  

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I would defer to federal law for the regulation of the use of facial recognition technologies. I would generally support its use, especially in criminal investigations.


14. SURVEILLANCE DATABASES

Do you believe in using civilian oversight to ensure transparency and accountability for police practices, including the use of automated and surveillance technologies for law enforcement decision-making? How would you incorporate civilian oversight and ensure transparency in CPD’s use of automated and surveillance technology?

McCARTHY:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I am not a big believer in civilians having oversight of police practices especially in the use of sophisticated surveillance technology.  I do believe that proper laws governing the use of automated and surveillance technologies is a must. Likewise, I’m convinced that proper training of officers, along with disciplined leadership will provide the trust and transparency necessary for the legal and ethical use of these enhanced technologies.

 

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