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.

PRECKWINKLE:

Mayoral Questionnaire
If yes, please explain how you would implement this legal requirement in your first year in office. 
 
Yes. The time is long overdue that those who value doing business with the city adopt contemporary and compassionate policies toward all of their employees. Discrimination has no place in Chicago, and as Mayor I will be committed to a city government and contractor agreements that support all workers. 
 
Within the first three months of my administration, I will issues new standards for all city, sister, and private city contractors with regards to insurance coverage and anti-discrimination policies specific to gender identity. Any agency or contractor whose policies are not aligned to the new standards will need to submit a plan of action to be in compliance with the new standards by January 1, 2020. 
 
With regards to insurance coverage, all policies must cover transgender health services including at a minimum, mental health visits, hormone therapy, bottom surgery and top surgery for transgender men. The policies should also place no limit on the number of surgeries an individual can have nor should there be a limit on the total dollar amount an individual spends on transgender-related health care. 
 
Additionally, I will require that all city contractors have an equal employment opportunity policy and workplace non-discrimination policies that include gender identity as a protected category. I will also work closely with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations to confirm that we are not doing business with contractors who have repeated workplace discrimination violations. 

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.

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire

I have always been an ally of the LGBTQ community and would ensure that CPD policies better protect this community. The police force must be properly trained to deal with the mental health needs of the community in order to increase trust. Ultimately, there must be accountability within the police department so that there are consequences and repercussions for officers responsible for violence or harassment. CPD should also implement staff training on topics related to the safety and challenges of the LGBTQ community.  


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? 

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire
It is essential that individuals have access to safe, comprehensive reproductive healthcare, regardless of their religious identities. Patients should always be confident that their healthcare providers are giving them full information on their health and decisions and should not be discriminated or restricted on the basis of religion. I will oppose any TIFs or taxpayer-funded resources that advance healthcare institutions with histories of denying reproductive health or information based on religious restrictions.  

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?

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire
As a matter of health and safety, it is essential that breastfeeding parents have proper facilities. There are already lactation spaces in municipal buildings and offices, including the Daley Center and many Chicago courthouses. As Mayor, I would ensure city-owned buildings are similarly equipped with appropriate space for parents to nurse.  

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? 

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire
I have long been a supporter of a consent decree. It is essential to the difficult, but necessary, work of rebuilding the relationship between police and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve. I will make sure that the Chicago Police Department fully complies with the mandates of the consent decree. Three steps that can be taken to ensure the mandates are being met are the hiring of a new reform-minded Superintendent committed to constitutional policing, fully staffing the Office of Violence Prevention and Criminal Justice to oversee reforms from the Mayor’s Office and introducing legislation on Civilian Oversight within City Council. 

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? 

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire
As Mayor, I will ensure that in accordance with the consent decree, CPD conducts a complete upgrading of training materials, methods and field training supervision, as well as increases the number of mandatory in-service training hours. Additionally, CPD must to ensure that each level of training, pre-service and in-service include interaction with the communities that an officer serves, which I will call for if elected. Along with training that involves the community, I will advocate for more resources for the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy or CAPS, which is CPD’s primary community policing program. The foundation of the CAPS program is the beat meeting where community residents and beat officers meet to discuss neighborhood crime issues and form strategies to solve them. Additionally, CAPS helps integrate other social services and city agencies that may be useful in addressing neighborhood crime before it happens. I will ensure that trained mental health personnel, in collaboration with the city’s Department of Mental Health and Office of Emergency Management, participate, and in some cases lead, the response to mental health crisis cases. The CPD should not be the city’s primary first responders to mental illness. I support ending use of the CPD Gang Database, which unfairly criminalizes Black and Latinx individuals when gang designations prevents them from securing jobs and other opportunities.  

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?  

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire

My highest priorities in a new FOP contract would be eliminating the requirement for affidavits for civilian complaints of misconduct, reducing the amount of time officers are allowed before being questioned in police shooting cases, and allowing an officer's past disciplinary record to be used in investigating or considering current complaints. Civilians should not have to fear retribution from police or even perjury charges for making accusations of misconduct. Officers should not have a 24 hour period to develop a narrative in police shooting cases. And an officer's history must be considered in evaluating existing complaints; patterns of misconduct cannot be tolerated. In general I support the recommendations of CPCA and any reforms that increase accountability and public safety. 


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?

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire
I would support a policy that ended suspension for non-moving and compliance tickets and I would support city sticker payment plans and the absolution of city sticker ticket fees once a new city sticker was purchased in full. I would also consider alternatives to cash repayment; like community service, for those individuals demonstrated to be unable to afford even a modest payment plan. Most importantly, as Mayor I will advocate for revenues from other sources like legalized marijuana, a progressive state income tax, and a government-sponsored casino to make the city much less reliant on fines and fees to provide city services. 

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?

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire

Many residents depend on transportation by car to get to work and manage childcare situations. It would be unfair to limit individuals’ use of vehicles based on unpaid fines and fees that they are unable to pay. I would support implementing a process to determine individuals’ ability to pay fines and fees, and ensure that individuals with outstanding ticket debt have payment plans that are affordable and accessible. Similarly to my approach to ending the use of driver’s suspension for non-moving violations, I would advocate for alternatives to cash repayment like community service.  


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?

PRECKWINKLE
Mayoral Questionnaire

As County Board President, I stood up against the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and refused their request to hold undocumented individuals in the jail after they have secured their freedom. As a candidate for Mayor, I have called for the end to the carve outs in the Welcoming City ordinance that empowers Chicago police to work hand in hand with ICE. I’m working with the lead sponsor of the City’s Welcoming City ordinance and the broader community coalition to make this a reality.  


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? 

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire

It is essential to a democratic government that the public has access to public information in a timely manner, per the Freedom of Information Act. I established transparency and accountability as two of my governing principles early in my first term as Cook County Board President. There is a link provided on our website to allow FOIA requests to be submitted electronically. FOIAs directed to the office were directed  to the general counsel and handled with dispatch under the requirements of the state FOIA law. I will bring this same responsiveness to the Office of the Mayor and will insist that all sister agencies follow the same protocol.  


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? 

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire
It is important that individuals understand how surveillance technology is used and in what situations it might be utilized. For instance, cameras should not be surveilling people in private areas, like their home. Use of surveillance technology should be regulated to ensure that individuals are not unjustly targeted or criminalized, especially when use of these technologies are unknown to them. I also support implementing some type of civilian oversight body to promote transparency where surveillance technology is involved.  

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?  

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire

While the Chicago Police Department has used facial recognition technology for years, Chicagoans have lost their faith in law enforcement’s ability to be transparent while pursuing public safety. Under my administration, I will strike to achieve an appropriate balance of public safety with respect to protecting constitutional rights. This means transparency, as citizens should know how the technology is being used and in what situations it could be used against them. Businesses should be required to disclose if and how they use facial recognition technology, to tell the public what information they collect and share, and how long the information is stored. Additionally, facial recognition technology used by law enforcement and businesses should be evaluated to ensure that it is in the interest of public safety and does not violate individuals’ privacy.


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?

PRECKWINKLE:
Mayoral Questionnaire
I support a civilian oversight body and would work to implement one, if elected. This would ensure transparency and accountability are key factors in the use of surveillance technologies and that actions taken by law enforcement are in the interest of public safety. Review could be under the authority of whatever civilian oversight body is created. The administration could ensure public notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to installation of new cameras.  

 

Stay informed

ACLU of Illinois is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National