Interested in Serving on a District Council?
District Councils represent each of the City’s 22 police districts. They are made of three people elected in regular municipal elections every four years, starting in February 2023. But anyone can participate in District Council work, and the more people who participate, the more effective the District Councils can be. The District Councils have several key roles:
- Building stronger connections between the police and the community at the district level, where the community is a true partner in making the neighborhood safer. They can work with the police to solve problems and set priorities.
- Collaborating in the development and implementation of community policing initiatives.
- Holding monthly public meetings, where residents can work with the police on local initiatives rooted in community concerns and priorities. They can also raise and work to address concerns about policing in the district, and increase accountability.
- Working with the community to get input on police department policies and practices.
- Working to develop and expand restorative justice and similar programs in the police district.
- Ensuring that the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability gets input from the community, so that the Commission’s work will be based on what people in neighborhoods across the city are concerned about.
- Nominating members of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. Anyone who serves on the Community Commission must first have the support of elected District Council members.
(Source: Municipal Code of Chicago, 2-80-070(a) and (e))
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 in the three years preceding inauguration
- Under state law, you can’t owe money to the City of Chicago, or have been convicted of a felony, unless it was expunged
(Source: Illinois Municipal Code, 65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-5, and Municipal Code of Chicago, 2-80-070(b))
What do I need to do if I want to run?
The next municipal election will take place in February 2027. Prior to that election, you will need to do the following:
- File a Statement of Candidacy with the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
- 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 in August 2026
- You must submit signed petitions in November 2026
- File a Statement of Economic Interest with the Cook County Clerk by a date in November 2026 (date to be determined)
- 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