Endorsements for Chicago Police Council Elections

February 10, 2023

Chicago faces a stark choice between candidates who can promote safety and radical activists who will foster mayhem

Most Chicagoans can probably agree the 2023 elections in the Windy City will not be particularly edifying. This year’s election cycle has been characterized to a degree unusual even by recent standards of Chicago political debate by bitterness, exaggerations, and outright falsehoods. The vote for control over City Hall has pitted an evasive, deeply unpopular mayor against the some of the most unappealing mayoral contenders in the history of Chicago.

All elections are of course important. Nonetheless, the stakes on February 28th are higher than at any election in recent memory. While the decision by voters in a matter of weeks will set the direction of the city for many years, it is also critical to understand the significance of Police Council elections, which are running concurrent with the mayoral and aldermanic races.

Though a set of elections which has drawn less attention than the general, races for Police Councils are every bit as significant as contests for mayor and alderman, and the public is best served to devote due attention on them.  

In clear terms, candidates known for their hostility toward the Chicago Police Department (CPD) seek to advance plans which are a recipe for continued loss of confidence in police and the law, and certain to create disorder on our streets. It is hard to overstate the recklessness of critics of CPD. In their ideologically driven radicalism, they propose massive reductions to manpower and the police budget, and have made no secret of their desire to abolish CPD. Electing acknowledged antagonists of police would rupture the safety and security of residents at a time of great volatility on Chicago’s streets.

While police critics seeking election are promising a break with traditional, proven police strategies, a number of Police Council candidates are vowing to uphold the role CPD plays in maintaining safe and secure neighborhoods. Although several of the nominees in the 16th and 17th districts have distinguished themselves for their public support of CPD and are eminently qualified, three other candidates transcend all others.

Though hard choices lie ahead in the voting booth, Contrarian is endorsing Trisha Kannon and Dan Butterworth for seats in the 16th District and Brian Sullivan in the 17th District. Contrarian does so on the basis all three candidates are socially conscious, possess the instinct to address many of the questions revolving around policing in Chicago and have the talent to find solutions.

An instantly recognizable face in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood, Trish Kannon has lived in the 45th Ward since 2012. A real estate agent and property owner, Kannon has familiarized herself with the mechanics of governance since graduating from college.

Upon matriculating from Western Illinois University with a degree in political science and history, Kannon accepted an internship at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, working in the Child Support Enforcement Division. The experience stoked a permanent interest in participating in civic processes. Though a majority of her experience is in the private sector — which gives her economic eloquence — Kannon’s background with Cook County and her leading role challenging a shady and deceptive effort to construct an ill-conceived seven-story Section-8 housing project in Jefferson Park in 2017 augmented her fluency in city policy and activism in the neighborhood.

Taking a leading role in the campaign to halt the contentious building at 5150 North Northwest Highway, Kannon acquired a superior reputation for building a consensus and tactfully challenging dramatic changes to her neighborhood. The mark of a mature leader, Kannon rose above narrow interests to demonstrate not only tolerance of opposing viewpoints but also the strength to listen to critics.

A woman motivated by the conviction all Chicago residents should enjoy a strong sense of safety, Kannon can be relied upon as a member of the 16th District Police Council to be a sensible voice who champions civility, high-minded dialogue, and reasoned debate in deliberation on policing matters with residents, like-minded colleagues, and ideological opposites.

Along with Kannon, Dan Butterworth is equally qualified to serve on the 16th District Police Council. A lifelong resident of Chicago, Butterworth resides in the Portage Park neighborhood with his family.

A graduate of UIC and DePaul University where he earned degrees in Business Administration, Butterworth’s career has taken him to a Chicago-based financial institution where he serves as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer. Butterworth’s business background will serve him well.

A bridge builder who places the common good ahead of narrow ideological interests, Dan is the founder of the Northwest Side is Open for Business Facebook page and, to build neighborhood comity, founded a network of residents to connect as COVID-19 ravaged Chicago. In another demonstration of his loyalty and affection for his neighborhood, Butterworth is a volunteer and a board member of the Portage Park Chamber of Commerce.

Though previous service to his neighborhood and his business credentials give him credibility, Butterworth’s discernible qualification for the council is the step taken to earn a certificate from the Chicago Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy. Though a regular attendee of 16th District CAPS meetings, Butterworth enrolling in the program to acquaint himself with CPD procedure and policy illustrates he treats a seat on the council with the seriousness it deserves.

In the neighboring 17th District race, Brian Sullivan is endorsed. A resident of Sauganash and current member of the Chicago Fire Department, unlike every other candidate seeking a Police Council seat in the 17th District, Sullivan has direct experience in law enforcement.

Serving with CPD for six years, Sullivan’s vast experience as a member of the Chicago Police Department endows him with unique qualifications to be seated on the council. Beginning his career in the 11th District, Sullivan concluded his service with CPD attached to both a Tactical and Gang Enforcement team in the 15th District. The experience was exceptional: It afforded Sullivan with first-hand knowledge of the conditions on Chicago’s streets.

A man with expansive breadth and experience fighting crime, Sullivan has witnessed gang activity, the massive fraud networks criminal organizations have established, and grasps the violent nature of gang feuds. Similarly, Sullivan has also observed how gangs have outmaneuvered police. A perspective which cannot be ignored, along with his mastery of CPD methodologies and procedures, Sullivan’s consultation will be an invaluable asset as the council weighs suggestions to refine or set police strategies or guidelines.  

Based on their character, experience and achievements, judgment and political skills, governing ideas and vision, Trisha Kannon, Dan Butterworth, and Brian Sullivan are heartily endorsed by Contrarian for 16th and 17th Police District Councils.

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