February 8, 2012
Statement on 2012 – 2013 City Vehicle Sticker
Upon further review and consultation with Chicago gang experts, City Clerk Susana Mendoza has decided to change the 2012 – 2013 city vehicle sticker design.
“In a design meant to honor the city’s first responders, I am very sensitive to the issues that were raised about the city vehicle sticker design. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with crime and gang violence. I come from a law enforcement family. I have a special place in my heart for our first responders. This sticker was meant to honor Chicago's Heroes – our Police, Firemen and Paramedics. Communities and lives suffer as a result of gang violence, and these heroes risk their lives for Chicagoans on a daily basis. That is why after much consultation with gang experts, from the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Crime Commission, I made the decision to change the city vehicle sticker design for next year,” said Clerk Mendoza. “I want to thank President Jody Weis and his investigators for his expert counsel.”
“Unfortunately, whether or not the design was meant to include potential gang symbols, the perception that now exists is that the artwork could be misinterpreted as containing gang related symbols. My administration must have a zero tolerance policy for any city sticker artwork that could even remotely be misinterpreted to be gang related. While every artist has a back story and artwork is often controversial, the artwork on our city vehicle stickers should not be. I cannot ask Chicagoans to put a sticker on their car that experts believe may be misconstrued as containing gang symbols,” said Clerk Mendoza.
“I have consulted and relied on the experts within the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Crime Commission, and they have informed me that there are some symbols in the sticker design that could be misinterpreted as potential gang symbols. Based on these conversations with gang experts and the totality of the information, I made the decision to change the 2012 – 2013 city vehicle sticker design and use the design of the first runner up,” said Clerk Mendoza.
“I want to emphasize that the stickers have not gone to print yet and will not cost taxpayers any additional money,” emphasized Clerk Mendoza.
“After careful review of the Chicago city vehicle sticker, there are clear symbols in the sticker that could be interpreted as gang symbols. I agree with the Clerk’s assessment that a city sticker should not be controversial and whether the young man meant for this to symbolize any gang signs or not, it could easily be interpreted as such,” said Jody Weis, President of the Chicago Crime Commission and a former Chicago Police Superintendent.
The new design for the 2012 – 2013 city vehicle sticker was created by Caitlin Henehan, a Senior at Resurrection High School.