CHICAGO (January 13, 2018)–Days after a City Council Human Relations committee hearing exposing continued widespread racist and sexist behaviors in the City Department of Water Management, the Progressive Reform Caucus laid out next steps to begin to address the underlying problems.
“We thank the employees who bravely came forward. We were horrified to hear about the continued culture of overt bigotry in the Water Department, and were deeply troubled that not one representative from the administration appeared to testify about what is being done to address the problem,” said Ald. David Moore (17), who was the lead sponsor of the resolution that called for Wednesday’s hearing. “We’re calling for a second hearing to shed further light on this issue, and we will be asking that leaders from Human Resources and from the Law Department and Inspector General’s office come before us to help chart a course forward.”
The aldermen said they would introduce a resolution to call for that hearing at the January 17 City Council meeting.
The Caucus also called on the Water Department to use funds from its own budget to hire an independent firm to conduct a disparity study to expose the full scope of the disparities in the department.
“We appreciate and respect the leadership of the new Commissioner, Randy Conner. Still, there have been systemic issues of racism that predate his tenure and will take years to right,” said Ald. Sophia King (4). “It’s time to use the full force of the City to bring these issues to light. We need an outside and independent audit to analyze the instances of disparities in hiring and selection, promotions, terminations, overtime and other areas fraught with discrimination based on race and gender.”
The Progressive Reform Caucus of the Chicago City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal Chicago, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all Chicagoans, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity. The Progressive Reform Caucus includes Ald. Sophia King (4) Ald. Leslie Hairston (5); Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6); Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10); Ald. Toni Foulkes (16); Ald. David Moore (17); Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22); Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29); Ald. Scott Waguespack (32); Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35); and Ald. John Arena (45).