February 2018
Nikita Kansra worked with the Civic Consulting Alliance team from June to December as a Fellow from BCG-Dallas. Nika Duan worked with the Civic Consulting Alliance team from October to February as a Fellow from Bain-Dallas.

What project work were you involved in during your time at the Civic Consulting Alliance?

Nikita Kansra, BCG Fellow: "During my six months at CCA, I worked with the Chicago Police Department. I began my fellowship helping the Department track the progress of reforms in the officer training program, including the rollout of CPD’s new four-hour Use of Force training. After that project ended, I began helping CPD identify and prioritize longer-term efforts to improve professional development across the Department."

Nika Duan, Bain Fellow: "I also supported CPD’s strategy work over my five months at CCA. My workstream focused primarily on public safety, which meant identifying the most promising projects to make Chicago a safer place for its residents and visitors. I spent time researching, interviewing, and brainstorming with Department members from the front line to the command staff in the Bureaus of Patrol, Detectives, Organized Crime, and Technical Services."
Nikita Kansra
Associate ,
Nika Duan
Senior Associate Consultant,
What will you take away from your time at Civic Consulting?

NK: "I loved working with my insightful, dedicated colleagues at CCA and experiencing what a team with a diverse range of professional backgrounds can accomplish. CCA’s marriage of private and public sector experience enabled us to tackle public sector challenges with many moving pieces in a unique and effective way."

ND: "It has been incredibly encouraging to witness dedicated and intelligent people working every day to tackle the big problems in Chicago. I've been inspired by many of the individuals with whom I've had the pleasure of working. I look forward to keeping in touch and following the amazing work they're doing."

What was your most memorable experience during your time at CCA?

NK: "The ongoing engagement and exposure to our clients was one of the most memorable parts of our project for me. Throughout my fellowship, we worked side by side with a team of officers in CPD’s newly established Office of Reform Management to track reforms and new initiatives at the Department. Getting to know those individual officers over my six months at the Department and hearing about their experiences during their careers at CPD enriched my work immensely."

ND: "At the start of my time at CPD, I went on a ride-along with officers in District 3, in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. I got a glimpse of what it is like to be a police officer responding to burglary calls, public area disturbances, and other calls for service. The officers I rode with were open and candid, and hearing about their day-to-day experiences provided an important perspective for me as I worked on high-level strategy."

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

NK: "Consulting for CPD deepened and reaffirmed some of my long-standing interests in law enforcement and criminal justice. I am beginning law school in the fall, and through coursework and work experience I hope to explore these interests more deeply. In particular, I’d like to understand the role data analytics can play in policing and models for community engagement."

ND: "Working at CCA has been a tremendous experience. It has helped me to understand the unique challenges of working with public sector clients. Whether it's considering a complex set of stakeholders or maneuvering through bureaucratic hurdles, it has been valuable to experience these challenges firsthand."

Civic Consulting Fellowships are full time positions that last between three months and a year. In every case, Fellows are integrated into project teams for a unique professional development opportunity. Please visit the  Fellowships page on our website to learn more.
At the joint request of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Assessor Joseph Barrios, CCA worked with a nationally-recognized expert to analyze the residential real estate assessment processes in Cook County. The CCA study (link here) concluded that the current system places a higher burden on owners of lower-value homes and a correspondingly lower burden on owners of higher-value homes. For a house in Chicago with a market value of $600,000, for example, the effective tax rate is on average 24 percent less than the rate on a house with a $300,000 market value.

In addition, standard statistical studies also showed a significant variability in valuations. A house with a market value of $100,000 has a 50 percent chance of being valued between $75,000 and $125,000 and a 50 percent chance of being valued outside this range.
I really appreciate the work that the CCA has done to support an assessment system that is fair and equitable for all the residents of Cook County. "

Toni Preckwinkle,
The analysis also showed that Cook County’s over-reliance on appeals processes makes the system less fair, with owners of higher-value homes more likely to appeal and receive reductions at every stage of the process than owners of lower-value homes.

In workshops reviewing every step of the assessment process, which spans multiple County offices, Civic Consulting Alliance staff are assisting county employees as they seek solutions to these and other problems in the assessment process.

The CCA study began in October, analyzed more than 1 million homes, and reported the results publicly earlier this month. Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board, commented on the effort, "I really appreciate the work that the CCA has done to support an assessment system that is fair and equitable for all the residents of Cook County."


  • Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation for hosting our Civic Cocktails event earlier this month, and to Polk Bros Foundation CEO Gillian Darlow and Chicago CRED Senior Director Susan Lee for leading a thought-provoking conversation on how cross-sector collaboration can help reduce gun violence.

  • Civic Consulting has partnered with Leadership Greater Chicago to connect LGC fellows with impactful short-term community engagements. Contact Brian Fabes if interested in learning more.

  • CCA Associate Principal Tina Anderson will join the Chicago Police Department as Director of Reform Management. We look forward to continuing to work with Tina in her new role at CPD. Congratulations, Tina!

Questions? Comments? Contact Shoham Geva

Civic Consulting Alliance is an affiliate of the Civic Committee of  the
Commercial Club of Chicago