May 2019
On May 20th, Lori Lightfoot took office as Chicago’s 56th Mayor. While Lightfoot’s term is just beginning, preparations to ensure her success kicked into high gear immediately following the runoff election on April 2nd. 

There was much to do in the six short weeks between the runoff and Lightfoot’s inauguration, as the new administration prepared to take over government operations while strategically infusing Lightfoot’s values into the work of the transition. 

Civic Consulting Alliance responded to the Mayor-elect’s request to provide support to her transition team during this critical time, utilizing our project management expertise and our diverse, cross-sector network of partners to accelerate a smooth transition and ensure effective government from day one.

Together with 20 partners, Civic Consulting Alliance helped to manage four components of the transition work:
Pro Bono Partners
Transition Team Management
 Establish, manage, and dismantle a transition team to drive the transition forward
Jamie Cleghorn
Meghan Shehorn
 Develop recommendations for the City’s organizational structure and process for sourcing and screening potential leadership
 Develop first-term, first-year, and first 100 days operating plans
Transition Committees
 Gather and synthesize input from more than 400 Chicagoans on 10 committees across policy areas, and producing a transition report
Rohan Mascarenhas
Soledad McGrath
John Ramirez
The engaged, collaborative spirit of our city and the hundreds of stakeholders with whom we worked with over the past month-and-a-half has inspired our team.

As Mayor-Elect Lightfoot said at Civic Consulting Alliance's Board meeting in April , “ We have a lot of work to do. Our biggest challenge is getting people to recognize that we are standing at the threshold of a historic moment to transform our city. Our time is now, and all of us need to work together to help make the most of it."  

Read the transition committees' report, available in English and Spanish .
Christina Papirnik worked with Civic Consulting Alliance from January to April 2019 as a fellow from KPMG. Sonja Manning worked with Civic Consulting Alliance from March to May 2019 as a fellow from Deloitte.
What project work were you involved in during your time at the Civic Consulting Alliance?

CP: During my time at the Civic Consulting Alliance, I worked with West Side United , a collaborative that seeks to improve health outcomes for residents of Chicago’s West Side.

SM: I was fortunate to support a Civic Consulting Alliance project to roll out Universal Pre-K in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). The project vision is ambitious and exciting—to expand the number of 4-year-olds served by CPS from 12,500 as of school year 2018-2019 to 24,000 by school year 2021-2022. I focused on launching a cross-functional collaboration model within CPS and on creating a more structured and strategic approach to engage school principals and district leadership in the process.

What will you take away from your time at Civic Consulting Alliance?

CP: Working across a range of Chicago-focused projects, the Civic Consulting Alliance team demonstrates focus and resilience in tackling problems that are daunting and sometimes seemingly insurmountable. I hope to take some of that “can do” attitude with me!

SM: First, no matter the industry, organization, or problem I am trying to solve, the most important factors for success are building relationships and building trust. Second, as someone who spent five years consulting at the federal level, I realized that there is a great deal of innovation and strategic leadership happening at the local level that should be celebrated. Finally, as someone who moved to Chicago from D.C., I learned that civic engagement is uniquely woven into Chicago’s fabric.

What was your most memorable experience during your time at Civic Consulting Alliance?

CP: Working on West Side United was a very unique experience, as it is truly collaborative—bringing a myriad of partners together to improve public health by addressing economic, neighborhood, and healthcare factors through a cohesive approach. As someone with a career in public health, I appreciate how rare it is for organizations to take on such a broad mission, and I valued the opportunity to participate.

SM: I traveled to schools and communities all over the city to meet with principals, teachers, and CPS leadership. It was powerful to meet with so many people who were passionate about education and motivated to increase access to and quality of early childhood education.

How has your time at Civic Consulting Alliance helped you develop professionally?

CP: Working at Civic Consulting Alliance allowed me to learn more about Chicago, and has left me thinking about how I may be able to continue contributing to the city’s progress in the future.

SM: My time at Civic Consulting Alliance provided me with a client service experience on which to reflect as I head to business school at University of Michigan (go blue!) this fall. I’ve developed a deeper understanding of what types of problems I like to solve and the personal and professional skills I want to cultivate. 

Civic Consulting Alliance Fellowships are full-time positions that typically last between three months and a year. Fellows are integrated into project teams for a unique professional development opportunity. Please visit the Fellowships page on our website to learn more.

  • Our partners at West Side United are hosting a healthcare hiring fair this summer to increase local hiring across their six partner hospitals. Learn more here!

  • Where Are They Now: The Chicago Bears recently signed former Civic Consulting Alliance Northwestern Fellow Tommy Doles. Congratulations Tommy!

  • The Cook County Assessor's Office announced the release of an external audit of its operations. The audit is part of Assessor Kaegi's reform plan for the office, an effort we have contributed to through several critical projects. Read the full audit here.

  • Our friends at the Pritzker Traubert Foundation recently announced the launch of the Chicago Prize, a $10 million award to a single initiative on the South or West Sides that uses physical development and revitalization to create and strengthen civic infrastructure. Register now through July 16.

Questions? Comments? Contact Marie Akerman