CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was standing room-only at the inaugural meeting of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, created by a city council ordinance last year to give residents more say in police oversight.
The meeting was attended by residents and activists who have long pushed for reform.
"About time the community have a voice, and I think this is the first time in a long time we're actually going to see some change," said South Side resident Coston Plummer.
"We will stand like doting parents because we labored for you. We marched for you. We protested for you," said Eric Russell, Tree of Life Justice League.
The Community Commission is composed of seven interim commissioners appointed by the mayor, though the seats will be elected by the end of 2023.
"We are the first community commission that has been given the kinds of powers we've been given," said Interim Commissioner Beth Brown.
In addition to having a role in setting CPD policy, the commission has the power to hire and fire the COPA chief and recommend candidates for superintendent and police board.
The mayor will still hire the superintendent but must choose from the commission's short list.
"It is my hope that residents of Chicago feel empowered, feel like they have a voice, and that we see some real change in this city," said Interim Commissioner Anthony Driver, Jr.
The ordinance also creates three-person district councils in each of the 22 police districts. The members are elected every four year and will nominate Community Commission members.
But some say the panel's work is already being undermined.
"We have a commission, but we don't have a budget, and we don't have staff, so this commission needs a budget and needs staff in order to carry out the mandate of the people," said Frank Chapman, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.
Petitions to run for district council can be submitted at end of November. Click here for more information about serving on the district council.
Who is eligible to serve on the District Councils?
You must be a registered voter
You must have lived in the police district where you want to run for at least one year before the election
You can't be a member of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability
You can't have been an employee of the Chicago Police Department, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), or the Police Board any time since May 2020
Under state law, you can't owe money to the City of Chicago, or have been convicted of a felony, unless it was expunged
What do I need to do if I want to run?
You'll need to file a Statement of Candidacy with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
You'll need to gather signatures on nominating petitions from eligible voters who support you and file them with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
The number of signatures you need depends on the number of registered voters in your police district. It's probably between 300-700 signatures
You can start collecting signatures on August 30, 2022
You must submit signed petitions between November 21, 2022 and November 28, 2022
You'll need to file a Statement of Economic Interest with the Cook County Clerk by November 28, 2022
You'll need to file a Statement of Financial Interest with the City of Chicago Board of Ethics within five days of qualifying as a candidate
If you accept campaign contributions or spend more than $5000 on your campaign, you'll need to file campaign disclosure documents with the Illinois State Board of Elections