FY 2017
 Year to Date




Prioritizing safety and justice

On December 1st, Kim Foxx was sworn in as the new Cook County State's Attorney.  Leading the second-largest prosecutor's office in the country, State's Attorney Foxx will play an enormous role in protecting public safety and ensuring justice in our region.

Cook County faces both an unprecedented level of violence and a critical lack of trust between criminal justice institutions and communities of color. Residents in our region ---  as well as national observers ---  are looking to State's Attorney Foxx to set policy that will improve the administration of justice and public safety and do so in a fair and consistent manner.

From Election Day to inaugration, State's Attorney Foxx had less than a month to set her policy agenda and transition. To do both, she convened a transition team of respected leaders and local and national experts in criminal justice and public safety. Civic Consulting Alliance and its pro bono partners, Deloitte and Mayer Brown, supported the work of the transition team.


Starting from a foundation of best practice research conducted by Civic Consulting, The PrivateBank, and the Center for Court Innovation, the transition team developed recommendations to address the new State's Attorney's top priorities.  The resulting  Transition Report details the first steps State's Attorney Foxx should pursue as she works to promote public safety with integrity, discretion, accountability, collaboration, and fairness.

"Improving public safety in every corner of our County is my top priority. To achieve that, we must repair and rebuild the relationship between the Cook County State's Attorney's office and the community. This report is my first official effort on that front," said State's Attorney Kim Foxx. "I am grateful for the support that Civic Consulting Alliance and its partners have provided to help make our transition a success."

For more information, contact Eric Patton.

The PrivateBank lends a hand

Sam Cristee

AJ Greenberg

Joanna Mendoza
The PrivateBank exemplifies the spirit of collaboration that is core to how Civic Consulting improves our region. Since 2013, The PrivateBank has been a committed partner, dedicating eight fellows from its Credit Analyst Training Program for three months each to work with Civic Consulting on projects across all of our program areas. The fellowship has become a highly sought-after assignment and professional development opportunity at The PrivateBank.

This past fall, Civic Consulting Alliance welcomed three fellows from The PrivateBank ---  Sam Cristee, AJ Greenberg, and Joanna Mendoza. Reflecting on their rotation, all three fellows highlighted the unique opportunity to address complex issues in the public sector while expanding their professional skills. In addition, the fellows emphasized the value of meeting and working alongside public sector leaders and the community members they serve.

Sam Cristee:  "I appreciated how much responsibility Civic Consulting was willing to give me, and I can already see how the skills I developed have prepared me to advance in my role at The PrivateBank."

AJ Greenberg:  "My project has an important community development component, which is a critical perspective for my work at The PrivateBank. Moreover, my fellowship provided me with a great opportunity to expand my Chicago network across multiple sectors."

Joanna Mendoza: "The problem-solving skills I learned at Civic Consulting have direct applicability to my work at the bank, helping me be a better advisor to my clients as they face their unique business challenges."

From The PrivateBank's perspective, the fellowship program provides the dual benefit of developing skills of participants while advancing The PrivateBank's longstanding commitment to the Chicagoland community. Denise Maple, Managing Director of Commercial Banking Training, noted: "Civic Consulting is an invaluable training opportunity for our analysts. Fellows build critical problem-solving and client-facing skills and return to The PrivateBank well prepared for the next stage of their careers. Analysts have seen great success at The PrivateBank following their fellowship, and it is wonderful to see how connected they remain with Civic Consulting."
Bruce Lubin, President of Illinois Banking and a Civic Consulting Alliance Board member added, "We are very proud of our fellowship partnership with Civic Consulting. Our team members are excited by the work they are do, and the fellowship helps the bank instill community engagement values into our analysts early in their careers."

For more information on fellowships at Civic Consulting Alliance and how you or your firm could participate, click here or contact  Haley Sonenthal.
Building on Chicago's architectural heritage

Chicago takes pride in its global reputation for architectural creativity and innovation. When Civic Consulting Alliance helped Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) release the City's first Cultural Plan in 2012, the Plan included a bold vision for a new, city-wide architectural celebration. Three years later, with the help of countless partners, the city enacted that vision through its first-ever Chicago Architectural Biennial (CAB). The 2015 event attracted more than 500,000 attendees and garnered positive accolades from around the world.
As the planning began for the 2017 Biennial, DCASE asked Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partner Jones Day to strengthen CAB's structure to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Working with CAB partners ---  One Chicago Fund, the Graham Foundation, Choose Chicago, and architects from across the city ---   the Civic Consulting/Jones Day team conducted extensive best-practice research on other large-scale arts and culture events and synthesized a variety of perspectives on CAB's mission and strategic priorities.

Based on its findings, the team made recommendations on CAB's structure, staffing and roles, along with a new strategic focus: innovation, creativity, and experimentation as a means for social transformation.
These recommendations will help CAB achieve success for the 2017 event and future biennials.
More information on the 2017 Biennial can be found here . For more information, contact Antonio Benecchi.

In other news...
  • This summer, Civic Consulting, CannonDesign, and the Kellogg School of Management worked with Cook County's criminal justice stakeholders to redesign Central Bond Court. The project was recently  featured in Kellogg's newsletter, in which Civic Consulting Summer Associate and current Kellogg student H. Kay Howard reflects on her experience at Civic Consulting Alliance.
  • Thank you to DigitasLBi for hosting our recent Civic Cocktails event! More than 80 partners and clients attended our periodic event to celebrate Chicago's rich civic infrastructure.
  • Over the past several years, leaders in the Cook County justice system have been working to reduce the population of the Cook County jail, and the average daily population of the jail is now 7,500, down from more than 10,000 three years ago. As a result, three older Jail buildings will be demolished over the next year, saving Cook County more than $3 million in annual operating costs and avoiding $188 million in capital expenditures over the next decade.
Questions? Comments? Please email  Leslie Glotzer .

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