FY 2016
YTD totals




Police Task Force releases first recommendation
Pro Bono Partners:

The Police  Accountability Task Force was charged by the Mayor to lay the foundation for rebuilding trust between the   police  and communities they serve by facing hard truths and creating a blueprint for transparency, respectful engagement, accountability and change.

The Task Force, chaired by Lori E. Lightfoot, a partner at Mayer Brown, is being supported by Civic Consulting Alliance. While recommendations are not due until March 31, the Task Force released its first recommendation earlier this month: A policy for timely release of video, audio and specific police reports related to police-involved shootings and other serious incidents. The policy lays out, for the first time, specifically which materials are to be released, how they are to be released, and a timeframe ---  within 60 days, with the possibility of one 30-day extension if requested in writing. While other cities may release similar evidence sooner, none has a specific, written policy like the Task Force has recommended.  

"We believe this policy balances the public's right to know with the ability of prosecutors and disciplinary authorities to conduct thorough investigations," said Lightfoot, adding, "The Task Force believes that most cases will not need the entire 60 days.  We also recommend that the City re-evaluate this policy a year out to determine whether the window can be shortened."   
The Task Force will also make recommendations in the areas of De-escalation Practices, Community & Police Relations, Early Intervention & Personnel, and Legal Oversight & Accountability.

To learn more about this project, please contact Antonio Benecchi.

Department of Commerce reorganizes to improve effectiveness
Pro Bono Partners:


Overseeing everything from tourism to home weatherization to disaster assistance, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is pulled in too many directions. That is why a key tenet of Governor Rauner's transition plan involved restructuring the Department  ---  a project the governor began pursuing immediately after taking office. To support the effort, the Civic Consulting team parsed the Department's current duties, examined best practices in other states, and designed a strategy for focusing on the Department's business development and retention responsibilities. Pro-bono partner  Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised on legal ramifications, and BizMark contributed branding advice.


Last month, the governor's office filed Articles of Incorporation for the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, which will assist the Department of Commerce with a focused set of business development and retention responsibilities.  The private, non-profit organization will focus solely on making Illinois a prime destination for businesses of all sizes, maintaining lean, streamlined operations, and freeing up the Department of Commerce to focus on government functions such as legislative grants management.

"The agility and customer service focus of a private organization will complement and enhance Department of Commerce efforts to attract businesses to Illinois," said Jim Schultz, Director of the Department of Commerce. "This collaboration will make Illinois more competitive with other states ---  and Civic Consulting played a pivotal role in making this happen."

In other news...
  • Last month, the University of Chicago's Civic Leadership Academy (CLA) welcomed their 2016 class of 30 non-profit and government leaders. The CLA, which was launched last year in collaboration with LISC, the University of Chicago and Civic Consulting Alliance, helps these leaders improve their effectiveness through coursework, self-reflection, mentoring, and a capstone project on addressing issues in their own organizations.
  • Based on recommendations by Civic Consulting and KPMG, the City of Chicago is streamlining pre-kindergarten services by shifting 7,000 pre-K spots from Chicago Public Schools to the Department of Family and Support Services. The shift will streamline operations and could save up to $5 million by centralizing purchasing and eliminating redundancies.

In special news...
  • In case you missed it (we did too), last year was Civic Consulting's 30th birthday! How can we celebrate? If you have any ideas, please let us know by emailing Aliza Warwick. The person with the best idea will join us for the celebration!

Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email Stuart Henige with any newsletter feedback.

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