CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago City Clerk today released recommendations from a collaborative group called the Fines, Fees, and Access Collaborative that seeks to reform the City of Chicago’s vehicle ticketing system. The recommendations are a result of six months of research and collaboration between Clerk Anna Valencia and various stakeholders, including City departments, elected officials, and consumer advocates such as the Chicago Jobs Council, Woodstock Institute, Community Organizing & Family Issues (COFI), Heartland Alliance, the Chicago Urban League, and the ACLU of Illinois.
The Chicago Jobs Council released the following statement about the recommendations:
“This report outlines several important initial recommendations that would incrementally address policies that create barriers to employment and drive economic instability for many Chicagoans,” said Mari Castaldi, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Jobs Council. “However, the report falls short of addressing the urgent reforms needed to curb the worst harms of our current system, including ending driver license suspensions due to ticket debt.”
The Chicago Jobs Council advocates to remove transportation barriers to employment, including driver’s license suspension when used as a debt collection tool. In February 2018, the Jobs Council’s report Living in Suspension: Consequences of Driver’s License Suspension Policies surveyed over 500 Illinoisans with suspended licenses due to ticket debt, and found that half of them lost their job when they lost their license.
“We look forward to continuing to work alongside advocates, service providers, community members, and elected leaders to ensure racial and economic equity are at the forefront of any long-overdue reforms of our ticketing, collections, and enforcement policies,” said Eric Halvorson, Policy and Communications Associate. Notably, the recommendations also suggested that all current and proposed policies be analyzed using a racial equity impact assessment, a provision that the Jobs Council helped push for during the Collaborative process.