The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability (GAPA) is a broad-based coalition of community organizations committed to making our neighborhoods safer, improving police practices and accountability, and transforming the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the communities it serves.
Member organizations include: Community Renewal Society (CRS), Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA), Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality: Northside (ONE Northside), Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), and TARGET Area Development Corporation.
GAPA groups touch more than 30 wards, including neighborhoods that are most directly affected by violence and police brutality, misconduct, and harassment. GAPA works to ensure that directly impacted community members – especially those in Black and Brown communities that are most affected by police misconduct – lead our work to implement lasting solutions around public safety.
GAPA came together in the summer of 2016 in direct response to the Police Accountability Task Force’s recommendation to develop a Community Safety Oversight Board, allowing the community to have a powerful platform and role in the police oversight system. “If the community board is to earn the legitimacy it requires and deserves, its precise powers and makeup should not be set by the task force, but should be developed with broad public input,” the report states.
From the very beginning, GAPA has been driven by the community. In 2016, the coalition brought together more than 1650 residents in 19 “Community Conversations” across the city to provide an opportunity for a broad and diverse group of Chicagoans to express their concerns about the Chicago Police Department. Integrating the stories, experiences, and recommendations of community members, GAPA developed an ordinance that proposed a two-tiered structure for shifting power to Chicago residents and holding CPD accountable: a city-wide Community Commission and District Councils in each of Chicago’s 22 police districts.