Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights In the summer of 1963, civil rights activists throughout the South risked their lives to end discrimination and segregation in education, housing, employment, and voting.

At President Kennedy’s request, nearly 250 lawyers met at the White House where the President urged them to use their legal training to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts. As a result, the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its regional affiliates were born. In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the northern front in th

At President Kennedy’s request, nearly 250 lawyers met at the White House where the President urged them to use their legal training to move the struggle for the protection of civil rights from the streets to the courts. As a result, the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and its regional affiliates were born. In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the northern front in th

We're honored to have Laura Washington host our virtual gala on Nov 11. Laura has decades of experience reporting on rac...
10/07/2021

We're honored to have Laura Washington host our virtual gala on Nov 11. Laura has decades of experience reporting on race, politics, and public affairs in Chicago and is powerful voice in Chicago media.

We're honored to have Laura Washington host our virtual gala on Nov 11. Laura has decades of experience reporting on race, politics, and public affairs in Chicago and is powerful voice in Chicago media.

"As restorative justice pioneer Danielle Sered has pointed out, the primary characteristics of prisons — shame, isolatio...
10/07/2021
The Fearmongering About Rising Crime Has Got to Stop

"As restorative justice pioneer Danielle Sered has pointed out, the primary characteristics of prisons — shame, isolation, economic deprivation, and violence — parallel the primary drivers of violence itself: shame, isolation, economic deprivation, and violence. The kind of policing that our leaders want more of, that happens in Black and brown neighborhoods in Chicago and around the country, has that same effect.

We are investing billions of dollars in “solutions” to violence that are instead “criminogenic,” that actually cause violence." #Chicago #FundCommunitiesNotPolice

We’ve heard this story before. More police are not the answer.

"Communities of color have the right to elect candidates of our choice, who represent, and are held accountable to our i...
10/05/2021
Indiana Senate votes today on redistricting maps. What they mean for communities of color.

"Communities of color have the right to elect candidates of our choice, who represent, and are held accountable to our interests," Ami Gandhi, senior counsel of Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights said during testimony Monday.

"The state of Indiana must do better to protect voting rights of people of color." #Indiana #Redistricting #VotingRights #RacialEquity

Racial equality activists say they have concerns about the way the redistricting maps were drawn, as lawmakers prepare for a final vote on Friday.

When hundreds of millions of tax dollars collected from taxpayers  disproportionately benefit majority-white neighborhoo...
10/01/2021
More Than $1B in Chicago Property Tax Revenues Claimed by TIF Funds in 2020: Report

When hundreds of millions of tax dollars collected from taxpayers disproportionately benefit majority-white neighborhoods to the detriment of Black and Latinx neighborhoods, that's called a broken TIF system. #TIF #RaicalEquity #Chicago

The growing share of city property taxes sent to tax increment finance districts has fueled a perennial argument over whether the districts actually spur redevelopment and eradicate blight or serve to exacerbate growing inequality in Chicago.

The Obama Presidential Center can serve community members -- or it can force them to leave. The City needs to hold to it...
09/29/2021
Activists fearing ripple effect of Obama Presidential Center call for affordable housing protections in South Shore

The Obama Presidential Center can serve community members -- or it can force them to leave.

The City needs to hold to its affordable housing promises in Woodlawn and extend protections into South Shore so that working class Black residents can stay in their homes.

#ObamaCBA #EquitableDevelopment #Chicago

Activists from South Shore believe the presidential center will bring with it investment and higher home prices and rents that longtime residents will not be able to afford.

The Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) has the potential to help make Chicago a more integrated and affordable city...
09/28/2021
Chicago needs to fix its affordable housing law — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

The Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) has the potential to help make Chicago a more integrated and affordable city - but it needs a few fixes.

Read our public comments with Chicago Housing Initiative, ONE Northside, Access Living, and Shriver Center on Poverty Law submitted yesterday to the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing. #AffordableHousing #Chicago #RacialEquity

While the April 2021 updated ordinance strengthened several key parts of the ARO, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that Chicagoans of color have access to these affordable units.

Today, the Indiana Senate held a final public redistricting hearing, giving community members only a couple days to anal...
09/27/2021
Voting Rights and Redistricting in Indiana — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Today, the Indiana Senate held a final public redistricting hearing, giving community members only a couple days to analyze and comment on district maps that will determine communities' resources and voting power for the next 10 years.

But as our Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi testified, the data shows multiple examples where communities of color have been “cracked,” diluting voters' power in a way that risks violating the Voting Rights Act. #INLegis #Redistricting #VotingRights

Our preliminary analysis suggests that there are multiple examples where communities of color have been “cracked,” breaking our communities apart into multiple House or Senate districts. The Indiana legislature must redraw such districts to keep communities of color together, or they risk violat...

Today, the Indiana Senate held a final public redistricting hearing, giving community members only a couple days to anal...
09/27/2021
Voting Rights and Redistricting in Indiana — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Today, the Indiana Senate held a final public redistricting hearing, giving community members only a couple days to analyze and comment on district maps that will determine communities' resources and voting power for the next 10 years.

But as our Senior Counsel Ami Gandhi testified, the data shows multiple examples where communities of color have been “cracked,” diluting voters' power in a way that risks violating the Voting Rights Act. #INLegis #Redistricting #VotingRights

Our preliminary analysis suggests that there are multiple examples where communities of color have been “cracked,” breaking our communities apart into multiple House or Senate districts. The Indiana legislature must redraw such districts to keep communities of color together, or they risk violat...

We're so excited to celebrate the spirit of community and Chicago on November 11th! A big thank you to everyone who has ...
09/24/2021

We're so excited to celebrate the spirit of community and Chicago on November 11th! A big thank you to everyone who has already purchased their tickets and to everyone who has joined our host committee.

Purchase your tickets NOW! https://www.clccrul.org/until-victory-is-won

We're so excited to celebrate the spirit of community and Chicago on November 11th! A big thank you to everyone who has already purchased their tickets and to everyone who has joined our host committee.

Purchase your tickets NOW! https://www.clccrul.org/until-victory-is-won

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ron Miller, a legal giant who helped found Chicago Lawyers' Committee in 1969 a...
09/23/2021
Remembering Chicago attorney Ron Miller, who hosted decades of lively conversations with movers and shakers — including Obama

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Ron Miller, a legal giant who helped found Chicago Lawyers' Committee in 1969 and then continued championing our organization for many years as chair and member of our board of directors.

He leaves a legacy of civil rights battles won and friendships built that will not soon be forgotten. #LegalLegends #CivilRights #Chicago

To have lunch with attorney Ron Miller was to experience, through his stories, anecdotes and attitude, a life well and enthusiastically lived.

We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our civil rights team, Equal Justice Works Fellow Ameil Kenkare!As a for...
09/23/2021

We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our civil rights team, Equal Justice Works Fellow Ameil Kenkare!

As a former charter school teacher, Ameil has first-hand experience watching bright students of color get pushed out of school for minor behavioral issues. Ameil plans to represent students facing school push-out & advocate for dismantling disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact Black & Brown students.

Many thanks to AbbVie and Kirkland & Ellis LLP for sponsoring Ameil's work with us! #LegalFellows #EducationEquity #CivilRights

We are thrilled to welcome the newest member of our civil rights team, Equal Justice Works Fellow Ameil Kenkare!

As a former charter school teacher, Ameil has first-hand experience watching bright students of color get pushed out of school for minor behavioral issues. Ameil plans to represent students facing school push-out & advocate for dismantling disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact Black & Brown students.

Many thanks to AbbVie and Kirkland & Ellis LLP for sponsoring Ameil's work with us! #LegalFellows #EducationEquity #CivilRights

Veggin' out with our NextGen Leadership Council! We spent Saturday volunteering at El Paseo community garden in Pilsen, ...
09/21/2021

Veggin' out with our NextGen Leadership Council!

We spent Saturday volunteering at El Paseo community garden in Pilsen, removing weeds, painting platforms, and laying down fresh mulch to prepare for next year’s growing season. So proud to partner with community organizations like Advocates for Urban Agriculture and El Paseo Community Garden that are planting the seeds for healthy and thriving neighborhoods.

If you are interested in joining the NextGen Council, please email Jasmine Nammari at [email protected]! #NextGenCouncil #ChicagoCivilRights #YoungLeaders

Every year, more than 200,000 people in the US are estimated to be victims of hate crimes. From last year's shootings in...
09/20/2021

Every year, more than 200,000 people in the US are estimated to be victims of hate crimes. From last year's shootings in Kenosha to this year's killings in Atlanta, we've been reminded time and again of the deadly urgency of dismantling white nationalism and protecting our democracy.

Check out this virtual town hall to learn more and share your ideas to eradicate hate from Illinois. #StopHateCrimes #EndWhiteSupremacy #Illinois

The Illinois Commission on Discrimination & Hate Crimes invites the general public to attend its first statewide virtual town hall event to learn about the Commission, its members and goals. We also want to hear from you. Do you have an idea to help eradicate hate from our state? Join us to be heard!

Register at bit.ly/cdhc-il to attend.

The rapid development of warehouse and distribution centers throughout Chicagoland is taking a particular toll on the he...
09/20/2021
Future unclear for Calumet Country Club property after detaching from Homewood, but neighbors keep up fight

The rapid development of warehouse and distribution centers throughout Chicagoland is taking a particular toll on the health and safety of communities of color.

We're keeping an eye on Homewood, where plans to redevelop the Calumet Country Club are facing organized resistance. #EquitableDevelopment #ChicagoSuburbs

Plans for the redevelopment of a 130-acre golf course property, detached some five months ago from Homewood, are not clear after a proposal for a distribution center were rejected.

09/17/2021

Racial equity requires that communities of color historically harmed by environmental injustice be prioritized on the road to decarbonization - and that's exactly what the the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act does.

We're proud to see this bill signed into law! Thank you to the advocates, the lawmakers, and the movement that made this happen.

#FossilFreeIL #RacialEquity #twill

Since 2007, more than 150,000 water shutoff notices have been issued in Chicago, mostly in Black and Latinx neighborhood...
09/15/2021
Making the case for ‘Water for All’ in Chicago — Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Since 2007, more than 150,000 water shutoff notices have been issued in Chicago, mostly in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, with nearly 40% concentrated in five of the poorest zip codes on the South and West Sides.

We are fighting for 'Water for All', an ordinance that would provide access to affordable water for EVERY household and permanently ban water shutoffs. #WaterForAllChi #RacialEquity

Developed by community groups and co-sponsored by 14 City Council members, the Water for All ordinance would make sure every Chicago household can access safe and affordable water.

“Without more, these contract provisions will continue to hurt those who are the victims of police misconduct, primarily...
09/14/2021
City Council Poised to Approve New Police Contract Despite Opposition from Civil Rights Groups

“Without more, these contract provisions will continue to hurt those who are the victims of police misconduct, primarily Black and Latinx Chicagoans,” said Aneel Chablani, chief counsel at Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

You can read our summary analysis of the FOP contract here: https://bit.ly/3zbirGG #PoliceAccountability #RacialEquity

A police union contract years in the making heads to city council Tuesday. We talk with alderpeople about that and other city business.

A message from the #WaterForAll Coalition:On Monday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board published a baffling ...
09/13/2021

A message from the #WaterForAll Coalition:

On Monday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board published a baffling critique of the Water for All Ordinance, making a series of blundering false claims with no attempt to show their work. We are frustrated and disturbed that the Sun-Times could write and publish this without even a cursory fact-check, leaving us to explain the basics for readers.

The Water for All Ordinance, a proposal developed by our organizations and introduced by Ald. Daniel La Spata, would make sure every Chicago household can access safe and affordable water, prohibit the privatization of Chicago’s water system, and permanently end the City’s practice of shutting off the water of people who can’t afford to pay and taking away their homes. The editorial’s basic and dumbfounding argument is that the Water for All ordinance costs too much, and that providing free water to Chicago’s lowest income families will result in the Water Department becoming “an underfunded financial albatross.” Strangely, the writers fail to mention that the Water for All Ordinance is completely cost-neutral. The Water-for-All ordinance pays for discounted rates with increased water fees for commercial and industrial users. These users--currently paying the same rates as residents despite their disproportionate usage and impact on our already deteriorating water systems-- would start paying their fair share of the water utility so that households are able to afford and pay their water bills. By definition, a cost-neutral program is intentionally designed to stay out of the red.

In any case, the idea that we can keep our water infrastructure healthy by charging low-income people fees they can’t afford is frankly laughable. The editorial loosely cites “some nations” that have banned water shutoffs as examples where people who can afford to pay for water choose not to. In reality, many countries including France and the UK have banned water shutoffs as a human rights violation, and yet they are still perfectly capable of providing safe drinking water. In the UK, which outlawed shutoffs in response to privatized providers, water revenue collection rates averaged 97 percent nearly two decades after the ban. New York City, Albany, and a majority of the public water systems in Wisconsin also do not disconnect service for nonpayment in a given year. The argument presented in the Sun-Times at best is a misrepresentation of the facts, at worst leans into the shameful and racist "freeloader" tropes of our past.

Here’s the truth: Water rates in Chicago, which have skyrocketed to almost three times what they were a decade ago, have not cured our crumbling infrastructure or led to equitable investment. Neither has the method of filing tax foreclosures to collect water bills, a cruel practice that the City has outsourced to private law firms but would be banned in our ordinance. More than anything, these failing water policies have left Chicagoans with mountains of debt and mounting anxiety, especially Black and Brown communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

“Water is a human right,” reads the editorial, “But a city can’t shortchange its waterworks.” While both of these statements are true, let’s be very clear: Either water is a human right, or water is a privilege. And well-funded and equitable infrastructure and progressive water rates for the poor can exist in the same city. As Chicago residents and advocates, we are grateful that the fourteen City Council members who co-sponsored Water for All agree that water is a human right, and not a prize to be won by those with money and privilege. The Chicago Sun-Times should be embarrassed to have published an error-riddled piece that flops on that fundamental point.

A message from the #WaterForAll Coalition:

On Monday evening, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board published a baffling critique of the Water for All Ordinance, making a series of blundering false claims with no attempt to show their work. We are frustrated and disturbed that the Sun-Times could write and publish this without even a cursory fact-check, leaving us to explain the basics for readers.

The Water for All Ordinance, a proposal developed by our organizations and introduced by Ald. Daniel La Spata, would make sure every Chicago household can access safe and affordable water, prohibit the privatization of Chicago’s water system, and permanently end the City’s practice of shutting off the water of people who can’t afford to pay and taking away their homes. The editorial’s basic and dumbfounding argument is that the Water for All ordinance costs too much, and that providing free water to Chicago’s lowest income families will result in the Water Department becoming “an underfunded financial albatross.” Strangely, the writers fail to mention that the Water for All Ordinance is completely cost-neutral. The Water-for-All ordinance pays for discounted rates with increased water fees for commercial and industrial users. These users--currently paying the same rates as residents despite their disproportionate usage and impact on our already deteriorating water systems-- would start paying their fair share of the water utility so that households are able to afford and pay their water bills. By definition, a cost-neutral program is intentionally designed to stay out of the red.

In any case, the idea that we can keep our water infrastructure healthy by charging low-income people fees they can’t afford is frankly laughable. The editorial loosely cites “some nations” that have banned water shutoffs as examples where people who can afford to pay for water choose not to. In reality, many countries including France and the UK have banned water shutoffs as a human rights violation, and yet they are still perfectly capable of providing safe drinking water. In the UK, which outlawed shutoffs in response to privatized providers, water revenue collection rates averaged 97 percent nearly two decades after the ban. New York City, Albany, and a majority of the public water systems in Wisconsin also do not disconnect service for nonpayment in a given year. The argument presented in the Sun-Times at best is a misrepresentation of the facts, at worst leans into the shameful and racist "freeloader" tropes of our past.

Here’s the truth: Water rates in Chicago, which have skyrocketed to almost three times what they were a decade ago, have not cured our crumbling infrastructure or led to equitable investment. Neither has the method of filing tax foreclosures to collect water bills, a cruel practice that the City has outsourced to private law firms but would be banned in our ordinance. More than anything, these failing water policies have left Chicagoans with mountains of debt and mounting anxiety, especially Black and Brown communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

“Water is a human right,” reads the editorial, “But a city can’t shortchange its waterworks.” While both of these statements are true, let’s be very clear: Either water is a human right, or water is a privilege. And well-funded and equitable infrastructure and progressive water rates for the poor can exist in the same city. As Chicago residents and advocates, we are grateful that the fourteen City Council members who co-sponsored Water for All agree that water is a human right, and not a prize to be won by those with money and privilege. The Chicago Sun-Times should be embarrassed to have published an error-riddled piece that flops on that fundamental point.

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Hi. My names Victoria Floyd I'm from Northern California, Butte County. I am a survivor of trafficking & addict in recovery. The psychological/ physical abuse I survived led me to a diagnosis of PTSD & a TBI. During this abuse i gained a relationship with the local police department (Oroville Police department) because I was suicidal and on one occasion they took me to the hospital to be puffed (51/50) the abuse I endured caused me to disassociate and create a spilt personality, to put it into prospective. For awhile I carried around a dictionary to relearn the meaning to words i didn't know anymore.. One day Oroville Police Department showed up to my home on a call over a verbal altercation between myself & my abuser. After some time speaking they kicked my door in, searched my home & arrested me without a warrant. Then in court restrained me from my home. I lost everything, my kids home, vehiclebecause it was parked there, everything I owned. & was left homeless to the streets. While homeless I was drugged and kidnapped. I thank God for keeping me alive. I'm wrighting this in hopes I can get my story out to a Constitutional lawyer who would be willing to help me from the goodness of their heart in this case because my fourth amendment was violated & I suffered greatly because if it. I have collected hopefully all the documentation needed for this to help do my part. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Thank you very much.
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Hello I am in need of a Civil Rights attorney for DuPage County, Illinois. Any leads would be appreciated.
Anthony Gay spent over 20 years in solitary confinement in Illinois. The objective was to break his spirit. However, Anthony survived. In turn, he has wrote an interesting and compelling book titled "Rope Of Hope." It can be purchased on Amazon and I suggest that everyone go out and get a copy!
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