Open Letter to UCLA Administration on Rahm Emanuel Speaking on Campus
February 8th, 2018

We, the undersigned student and community organizations, are writing to express our deep disappointment with UCLA Administration’s decision to bring Rahm Emanuel to campus.

As part of its Luskin Lecture for Thought series, the UCLA College of Letters and Science will host Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on February 12th, 2018. The event will highlight Emanuel’s tenure as mayor and touts how he has made Chicago “a great place to live, work, and play”. This erases how destructive Emanuel’s policies have been to Black and Brown residents of Chicago. As future and current policy-makers, planners, organizers, and educators, we cannot disregard the people who are in danger because of Rahm Emanuel’s administration.


Although the City of Chicago already invests $1.5 billion on police every year, Rahm Emanuel plans to spend $95 million of taxpayer money to construct a Police Academy in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, a neighborhood that is 95% Black. This egregious use of public funds will expand a police department that is notorious for its systematic brutality against Black residents of Chicago. Out of 400 police shootings being investigated in Chicago since 2007, only one has been found to be unjustified. This is the same police department that murdered LaQuan McDonald with sixteen bullets and continues to inflict violence on Black and Brown communities in Chicago every single day. We will not forget Rahm Emanuel and his administration’s role in covering up the case of LaQuan McDonald to secure his own reelection.The Police Academy is being built under the guise of training police officers to be more competent, but we recognize this rhetoric as a strategy to funnel more money into an institution that will continue to terrorize Chicago’s most marginalized communities. Many groups in Chicago vehemently oppose the Police Academy proposal. The #NoCopAcademy Campaign is a grassroots coalition that is calling for this project to be stopped and for $95 million to be invested in public services. #NoCopAcademy is made up of 54 organizations including Black Lives Matter Chicago, Assata’s Daughters, the Arab American Action Network, the Latino Union, National Lawyers Guild of Chicago, and many more. We wholeheartedly stand with #NoCopAcademy and the organizers in Chicago that are fighting to protect their communities from Rahm Emanuel’s violent policies.


We would be remiss if we failed to recognize that more policing comes at the expense of public education and other vital public services. These services are seeing their funding dry up under Rahm Emanuel’s Administration. In 2013, Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools in Black and Brown neighborhoods in Chicago, forcing 11,000 students to change schools. These buildings remain vacant and thousands of already vulnerable students now have even less of a chance of receiving a quality education that will them afford them the opportunities Emanuel claims to be creating. Additionally, Emanuel is proposing to close or phase out all four public high schools in Englewood, a predominantly Black neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. Instead of funding these schools and providing them with the resources they need, the Mayor’s Administration is disrupting the education of Black students in Chicago. This is how the school to prison pipeline operates. Students are resisting these policies, and we support them in their fight to keep their schools open.


It is our responsibility to challenge institutions of power, including our own university, and hold elected officials accountable for their racist, violent policies. Rahm Emanuel claims that his administration made Chicago a great place to live. We ask, for who?


We encourage the UCLA campus community and those attending this event to look into #NoCopAcademy and support efforts to end violent policing and invest in the people of Chicago.


Signed,

Organizations:

Policy Professionals for Diversity and Equity- UCLA Luskin
Black Lives Matter LA
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Young Democratic Socialists UCLA
Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA
Critical Resistance Los Angeles
United States Palestinian Community Network, Los Angeles
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
People's Response Team
UC Student Workers Union - UCLA
Planners of Color for Social Equity- UCLA Luskin
Urban Planning Womxn of Color Collective- UCLA
Master of Social Work Student Alliance - UCLA Luskin
Asian Pacific Islander Caucus at UCLA Luskin
UCLA School of Law Womyn of Color Collective
Asian American Studies Graduate Student Association- UCLA
Students of Color for Public Health - UCLA Fielding
Young Progressives Demanding Action at UCLA
Transgender UCLA Pride - UCLA
White People for Black Lives- Los Angeles
SURJ-Chicago
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
SoapBox Productions and Organizing
USAC Academic Affairs Commission
Chicago League of Abolitionist Whites
Student Activist Project - UCLA
MEChA de Northwestern
ANSWER Coalition - LA
AB540 Project - UCLA


Individuals:


Victoria Lewis
Prabhneek Heer
Sean Tan
Ananya Roy
Zainab Badi
Erica Webster
Susan Baik
Jacob Woocher
Marissa Ayala
Robin Brown
Ramandeep Kaur
Eric Sheppard
Estefania Zavala
Jocelyn Guihama
Harleen Kaur
Anthony Williams
Kareem Youssef
Anya Titova
Ankhet Holmes
Taylor Holland
Kali Tambree
Alexandria Brown
Justin McBride
Jim Lafferty
Alexandria Parker
Kyna Horten
Kristen Brock-Petroshius
Melany De La Cruz-Viesca
Ernesto Gonzalez
Jacob Wasserman
Caroline Calderon
Brian Cao
Marina Delgado
Crystal Cardenas
Evelyn Larios
Maggie Gross
Karina Vargas
Kaitlin Medina
Thomas Winningham
Jacqueline Lozano
Yesenia Muñoz
Rosie Zavala
Michelle Lin
Hannah Kirsch
Jessica Cattelino
Suzy Kain
Benyapa Bakewell
Audrie Francis
Riley O’Brien
Kyla Worrell
Neal Carter
Serena Nguyen
Sterling McElrath
Gurutam Thockchom
Omar Mansour
Bobby Hughes
Neika Niakan
Omar Zahzah
Beezer de Martelly
Anandi Rao
James Huynh
Robert Gardner
Heather Vaughan
Natalie Bradford
Saliem Shehadeh
Juan Munoz
Becca Waterhouse
Jesse Garcia
Liam Murphy
Liam Murphy
Molly Oringer
Marcelo Clark
Sarai Ramos Gonzalez
Talla Khelghati
Rory Clifford
Josh Mayer
Addison Dickens
Darrien Burls
Eve McNally
Sophia Wrench
Andy Currier
Deborah Kim
Michael R. Pfirrmann
Serena Violet Hodges
Macs Vinson
Elana Kessler
Christian Portillo
Chris Chen
Annia Yoshizumi
Gabriela Solis
Michelle Ellis Viorato
Jackie D'Almeida
Samuel Stalls
Joseph Altura
Rachel Hoffman
Daniel Cisneros
Esteban Doyle
Thomson Dryjanski
Alicia Gattis
Abigail Best
Gladys Garcia
Leslie Aguilar
Maria Gasca
Gene McAdoo
Stephany Barrera
Katherine Lo
April Navarro (Chicago resident)
Natalie Vega
Nancy Contreras-Alejandre (Chicago Resident)
Seri Lee
Jessica Wang
Joanna Ko
Christina Gutierrez, Northwestern University
Shannon Johnson
Sophia Mayen (Chicago Resident)
Jocelyn Ruiz
Danny Foster
Erykah Nava
Jailene Rodriguez
Lillian Guo
Evelyn Molina
Monica L. Garcia
Tania Carrillo
Marilyn Barnes
Annika Zhang
Zanette Sanders
Katherine Castillo, Chicago Resident
Isabella Ko
William Kang
Alicia Zheng


Links:
-https://nocopacademy.com/about/
-http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documents/10180/126764/West+Garfield+Park.pdf
-https://www.afsc.org/story/no-cop-academy-campaign-launches-chicago
-https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-sudden-but-well-deserved-fall-of-rahm-emanuel
-http://www.chicagoreporter.com/behind-sale-of-closed-schools-a-legacy-of-segregation/
-http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/01/17/more-protests-over-englewood-school-plan/

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