Justice Discussion With Alderperson Michael Rodriguez

On the show today we feature a discussion with 22nd Ward Alderperson Michael Rodriguez on the topic of criminal justice in Chicago. Our wide ranging discussion cover topics from examining Mayor Lightfoot’s record on police reform, the Mayor’s inability to bring the George Floyd protestors to the table, and the recent move by city officials to extend the curfew for minors.

The Mayor despite her rhetoric to the contrary when she was running for Mayor she has had a very mixed bag when it comes to police reform. It is clear she really is a centrist when it comes to finding a new way forward in policing. She is slow walking building up new systems to respond to 911 calls that do not require a police response and her move to extend the curfew will only increase negative interactions between BIPOC youth and the CPD. All of this makes our discussion with Rodriguez all the more important.

Rodriguez is a vocal critic of the Mayor and the Chicago Police Department when their is cause to question their actions. As a member of the progressive caucus in the city council Rodriguez has distinguished himself by fighting for investment in communities as the long-term solution to crime and violence rather than the constant reactionary move by political leaders to throw more and more money at the CPD. A move the Mayor and many of the alt right contingent within the city council want to do currently.

Rodriguez grew up in Little Village the same community he now represents in the city council. Rodriguez was a community organizer with Little Village Community Development Corporation which would later change names to ENLACE Chicago. He rose to lead that organization before running for and eventually winning a set in the city council to represent his community.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Chicago Justice Podcast

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

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