In July 2021, after decades of grassroots organizing and pressure, the city of Chicago passed the Empowering Communities for Public Safety ordinance. As designated by the ordinance, 66 people were elected to represent 22 police districts in the council elections this year. They were inaugurated on May 2. The new council will oversee the police in Chicago. Popular Resistance podcast Clearing the FOG speaks with Frank Chapman, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, about how they built the grassroots power to win the ordinance, what it will do, and the police response to it. Chapman said NAARPR was formed after the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and that Hampton’s vision is finally beginning to be realized more than 50 years later.
Frank Chapman is a community organizer, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, field organizer for the Chicago Alliance Against Political Repression, and part of the Central Committee of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. He is also a published writer, with articles on Truthout and Freedomways. In 2019, Frank published his first book, a memoir entitled The Damned Don’t Cry: Pages from the Life of a Black Prisoner and Organizer.