Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

May 2011 Update

Civic Consulting Alliance builds pro bono teams of business experts, government leaders, and our own staff to reshape how the city works. Currently, 45 teams are on the ground, and partners have already provided $12 million in services this year.

Learn more about Civic Consulting


Mayor-Elect Publishes Transition Plan


A.T. Kearney 




Alvarez & Marsal  


Bain & Company 




The Joyce Foundation 




L.E.K. Consulting 


The Lucas Group 


Mayer Brown 


Metropolitan Planning Council  




McKinsey & Company 


Schiff Hardin LLP 


Spencer Stuart 








On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel published a transition plan (PDF) detailing expectations for his term and opportunities for his first 100 days in office.


The report was the work of an unprecedented collaboration between the 120 civic leaders on the Mayor's transition committees and Civic Consulting Alliance partners. Altogether, 70 individuals from 15 partner firms and organizations have contributed their time and expertise to shaping recommendations for the report and to analysis that will accelerate a successful transition.

Porrello Quote

"One of the things that made the experience especially interesting was the way that the process convened such a diverse group of people in a rapid period of time," said Kenneth Porrello, a Partner at Deloitte, who worked on the report.  "It was fascinating to hear such a wide range of ideas and then to see how those ideas came together into an integrated set of recommendations."


The transition report contains more than 50 ideas that the administration will launch immediately, as well as ideas for the term that will position Chicago for the next 40 years.


In an editorial, the Sun-Times called the report "a bold, transformative agenda for change for Chicago." 

For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.

Harvard's Kennedy School Names Civic Consulting Top 25 Innovation



The Ash Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, has named Civic Consulting Alliance as one of the top 25 programs in their Innovations in American Government Award competition.  


The programs chosen "represent the best in creative problem solving of local, state, and federal municipalities around the country and were selected from a pool of over 500 qualified government applicants," according to the Kennedy School.


Civic Consulting Alliance is recognized as a new way to build pro bono teams of business experts and government leaders to reshape how the city works. Involving many firms in a structured approach to big issues delivers more than any single pro bono project could for Chicago and its residents.


Daley Quote   

At a recent event, Mayor Daley said that "every city should have a Civic Consulting Alliance."


Five finalists and one winner will be announced in the fall. The review panel will be interviewing partners, clients, funders, and other to assess how innovative and effective we are. In the meantime, congratulations to all of our partners for the collaborative model and successes for which we are all being recognized.

For more information, contact Alexander Gail Sherman

Regional Employees Encourage Smarter Commuting



The Boeing Company 


Boston Consulting Group 


CompassX Strategy 


The Grand Victoria Foundation 


Metropolitan Planning Council 

Local employers will create a more efficient commute for their employees, thanks to a new partnership of Civic Consulting Alliance and the Metropolitan Planning Council.

Boston Consulting Group laid the ground work for the project last summer, and CompassX Strategy developed the program and completed initial outreach.


Commuting efficiently is critical today. Chicago is the most congested region in the country, and commuters in Chicago spend 70 hours per person stuck in traffic each year.


Goldstein Quote  

Inspired by the Chicago Climate Action Plan, a commute options pilot will recruit 10 - 15 regional employers to develop more efficient modes of transportation for their employees. The program will help employers take advantage of existing incentives and programs such as the RTA/CTA Transit Benefit Fare Program, bike commuting,  telecommuting, and car sharing. Employees will have an easier, more affordable commute, and employers will reduce costs and enhance their environmental sustainability.


"I have spent my career changing people's attitudes and behavior in food and other categories," said Nancy Goldstein, Chief Strategist at CompassX Strategy. "For me to be able to use those same principles to help the City try to change people's attitudes and behaviors about commuting was an exciting and rewarding challenge."

For more information, contact Tom McKone

City and County Join Forces for Better, Streamlined Services


Alvarez & Marsal  

Schiff Hardin LLP 



Cook County and the City of Chicago are jointly addressing the overlapping services they provide residents.


Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel and County President Toni Preckwinkle called on a committee of seven regional leaders to recommend how to provide residents with higher quality services at lower cost.


The committee is looking at the best ideas from around the world. In Toronto, for example, collaboration across multiple departments resulted in annual savings of $136 million.


Weisenthal Quote


Here, the committee is reviewing potential collaboration in healthcare, technology, purchasing, administration, and many other areas.  The goal is to identify how to improve services and streamline redundant activities.


Schiff Hardin LLP and Alvarez & Marsal have joined with Civic Consulting Alliance to staff the committee pro bono.


"We have had the opportunity to meet many dedicated public servants in the course of our work on this project, and are heartened by the dedication shown by everyone involved in the process and the improvement of governmental service delivery," said Bruce Weisenthal, Partner at Schiff Hardin LLP.


For more information, contact Lydia Murray


Mayor-Elect and County President Announce Crime-Fighting Programs for Kids




Bain & Company  


Black Entertainment Television (BET) 


The Chicago Community Trust 


Field Foundation of Illinois 


The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 


McCormick Foundation  


Perkins Coie 


Trotter Consulting, LLC 



County President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel jointly announced plans to expand programs for kids and fight crime this summer. The unprecedented collaboration marks the first milestone toward a comprehensive, cross-sector strategy to make Chicago the safest big city in America.


Urban violence has long plagued Chicago, with a murder rate double to triple those in Los Angeles and New York City.  While shootings here have decreased, too many people are still shot, and half the victims are 10 - 25 years old.


Bevans Quote


The new approach will coordinate more than $3 billion in annual anti-violence programming from the City, County, foundations, churches, and other organizations.  Getting to this stage took six months of planning from a group of civic leaders supported by Bain & Company, Trotter Consulting, and Civic Consulting Alliance.


Keith Bevans, who led the Bain team, said, "Applying Bain's toolkit to make a meaningful impact on our city was tremendously rewarding for our team members. It was an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Chicago's residents--especially its youth."


Sun Times: Emanuel, Preckwinkle: Expanded summer programs for kids aim to fight crime 


Tribune: Emanuel, Preckwinkle team up to offer more summer youth programs 


ABC7: Emanuel, Preckwinkle work to expand kids' summer programs 


For more information, contact Alexander Gail Sherman