FY 2016




Looking back on 2016
Dear friends,

Reading the popular press coverage of Chicago and Illinois can be discouraging, with financial, political, and social challenges dominating the headlines. Fortunately, I get to work every day with an extraordinary mix of dedicated public servants, private sector leaders, and Civic Consulting Alliance staff who see those challenges as opportunities for improvement ---  and then take action.

The results of this past Fiscal Year illustrate the strength of our model. In FY 2016, 39 pro bono partners and 317 people worked on our 48 projects. Together, we invested $8 million in the things that matter most in the Chicago region. To learn more about our work over the past year, I encourage you to read our annual Impact Report and look over our Fiscal Year 2016 scorecard.


As described in these reports, we have continued to help long-standing clients drive change through efforts such as:
  • Improving processes and outcomes in Cook County Bond Court, resulting in a more than 20% reduction in the average daily Cook County jail population;
  • Designing a demand-planning model and process for the City Colleges of Chicago to improve retention and graduation rates;
  • Accelerating development in economically challenged neighborhoods through the creation of an innovative Industrial Growth Zone pilot with the City of Chicago and Cook County.
In addition to this ongoing work, we've extended our field of vision further into the future, seeking solutions to more complex, longer-term issues. These included:
  • Assessing and improving the environment for middle-wage jobs and workers in the region. We hosted two unique forums where national experts contributed ideas and potential solutions;
  • Staffing the Police Accountability Task Force, which described the reality of policing in Chicago and laid out a roadmap for beginning to build trust between police and the communities they serve;
  • Developing Cook County's first long-range transportation plan in more than 75 years to help guide multi-year investments that will strengthen our economy and lead to more liveable communities.
None of these achievements could have happened without clients passionate about making life better for residents, business leaders willing to commit significant pro bono resources to improving our region, and funders eager to invest in our unique model. My deepest thanks to all of you for the vision and collaboration you exhibit year after year.

Brian Fabes
Chief Executive Officer

In other news...
  • One of the biggest challenges facing the Cook County Public Defender is how to provide quality representation to clients with mental health issues. Over the summer, CCA staff and a fellow from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business designed an operational model and high-level implementation plan for a dedicated mental health unit in Cook County, positioning Cook County's Public Defender to establish a successful mental health unit.
  • Many neighborhoods in Chicago face the combined challenges of high unemployment and lack of access to healthy, fresh foods. Two local organizations wanted to see if these challenges could be tackled together, through the creation of an urban farm, which would employ individuals facing barriers to employment while providing affordable access to produce. Civic Consulting Alliance, the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, and Baker & McKenzie developed business plans to study the proposed model. While their analysis ultimately concluded that urban farming would not be a viable business for the clients' stated mission, the project provided the client team with critical information about what investments would be required to improve both employment and access to healthy food.
  • Each year, Chicago's Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) serves 300,000 of the city's most vulnerable residents. Earlier this year, Civic Consulting Alliance helped DFSS develop a new strategic framework that will help the Department prioritize resources and more effectively serve residents across the city. Last month, DFSS announced their new Strategic Framework to more than 300 stakeholders, who will be active partners in providing services to residents.
Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email  Leslie Glotzer .

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