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Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle calls on Ald. James Cappleman, Chairman of the Zoning Committee, to postpone zoning hearing on the Joint Safety Training Academy

Press Release
Feb 22 2019

Today, mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle issued a letter to Alderman James Cappleman, Chairman of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards, to postpone a Feb. 28 committee hearing regarding the Joint Safety Training Academy until a new administration is elected.  

“I’m writing to urge you to cancel the Committee on Zoning’s February 28th vote regarding zoning changes which would lead to the construction of the Joint Public Safety Training Academy (“JPSTA”). Put frankly, I believe it is ill-advised for the Committee to tie the hands of an incoming administration on a large-scale capital investment as the city faces acute budgetary challenges,” Preckwinkle wrote. “Two days after Chicagoans go to the polls to choose new leadership and a new direction is the wrong moment to advance a major capital investment.”

The letter is copied below.

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The Honorable James Cappleman
Alderman of the 46th Ward
Chairman of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards
121 North LaSalle Street, Room 200
Chicago, IL 60602

Dear Chairman Cappleman,
I’m writing to urge you to cancel the Committee on Zoning's February 28th vote regarding zoning changes which would lead to the construction of the Joint Public Safety Training Academy (“JPSTA”). Put frankly, I believe it is ill-advised for the Committee to tie the hands of an incoming administration on a large-scale capital investment as the city faces acute budgetary challenges.

Improving training at the Chicago Police Department is critical to restoring trust between law enforcement and the community. Fortunately, as a consequence of the findings of the Department of Justice report, the Chicago Police Department has already begun implementing necessary reforms; the most important of which are modernizing its curricula and increasing redundant training for supervisors and officers. In addition to improving training, the next Mayor must dedicate resources to address the under-resourced schools, closure of the mental health clinics, and lack of economic opportunity that have contributed to high crime in the disinvested parts of the city. Two days after Chicagoans go to the polls to choose new leadership and a new direction is the wrong moment to advance a major capital investment. This is especially true when the city has so many other important investments in public safety to make.

As the new Chair of the Committee on Zoning, you have publicly stated your commitment to transparency, due process and democratic deliberation. It is for these reasons, I urge you to cancel this vote until the next Mayor and City Council take office.

Sincerely,
Toni Preckwinkle
Candidate for Mayor of Chicago