Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

August 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, 53 teams are on the ground, and partners have already provided more than $20 million in services this year.

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Chicago's Private Sector Invests More Than $20 Million Pro Bono  

Pro Bono Partners:


A.T. Kearney, Inc.


Abbott Laboratories




Alvarez & Marsal 


Architecture 4 


Axiom Consulting Partners LLC


Bain & Company 


Baker & McKenzie 


Beall Research & Training


Booz & Company


Boston Consulting Group


Bridgewell Partners


Cadence Consulting Group, LLC 


CDW Corporation




Compass X Strategy


D2C Ventures




Deloitte Consulting LLP


DePaul University Real Estate Center


Downtown Partners Chicago




Elory Rozner Consulting 


Focuscope, Inc.


Governmental Solutions, LLC


Grant Stevens, LLC


Griffin Strategic Advisors LLC


IBM Corporation


Ice Miller LLP




Kellogg Graduate School of Management




L.E.K. Consulting


Leo Burnett Worldwide


The Lucas Group


Mayer Brown LLP




McKinsey & Company, Inc.


Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC)


Metropolitan Planning Council


Microsoft Corporation


Mitchell & Titus LLP


Monitor Group 


National Interest Security Company (NISC), An IBM Company 


Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) 


Navigant Consulting, Inc. 


New Shoreham Consulting 


Nixon Peabody LLP




Perkins Coie, LLP 




Public Sector Group Lawyers 


Roland Berger Strategy Consultants LLC 


Schiff Hardin LLP 


School of the Art Institute of Chicago 


Shefsky & Froelich Ltd.


Sidley Austin LLP 




Spencer Stuart 


The Lucas Group    



U.S. Equities Realty 


University of Chicago Booth School of Business


The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy 


University of Chicago Law School 


University of Illinois at Chicago 


West Monroe Partners, LLC

June 30 marked the end of FY 2011. Over the past year, 385 organizations invested more than $20 million pro bono through Civic Consulting, all towards the goal of making the Chicago region a great place to live and work. This remarkable investment reflects the extraordinary commitment of Chicago's private sector to the health of our region, the desire of our public sector leaders to improve government, and the important role our partnership plays in making sure private sector investments lead to significant impact. No other city has a partnership like ours.

City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, "I can say with certainty that my transition team and my administration could not have accomplished what we have thus far without the help of Civic Consulting Alliance, and my administration will increasingly depend on their support to make progress on the City's most important priorities."

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, "I greatly value the partnership between Civic Consulting Alliance and Cook County. Civic Consulting's expertise and ability to link the County with pro bono resources has allowed us to set an ambitious vision of transforming Cook County into the best-run county in the country. Through our partnership, County residents will be able to see the benefits of fiscal responsibility, innovative leadership, transparency and accountability and improved services."

Rahm Emanuel Quote

Our partnership's accomplishments this year include:
  • Helping Cook County Board President Preckwinkle roll back sales tax, saving County residents $200 million
  • Launching with the City Colleges of Chicago its Reinvention program, the most ambitious, comprehensive, community college reform effort in the nation
  • Developing Mayor Emanuel's transition plan, detailing expectations for his term, opportunities for his first 100 days in office, and more than 50 ideas for the administration to launch immediately
  • Launching with Metropolitan Planning Council a commute options pilot to help local employers develop more efficient modes of transportation for their employees
  • Expanding with Mayor Emanuel, County Board President Preckwinkle, and local foundations a summer program for youth, aimed at fighting crime
  • Outlining and beginning implementation of more than $100 million in annual savings and revenue opportunities through improved County-City collaboration.

A.T. Kearney, Inc. Vice President Mike Moriarty, who led a pro bono team from A.T. Kearney that developed financial modeling for the City during the Mayoral transition, said, "Everyone who worked on the effort felt energized by being part of something new and potentially of great value to our City."

These efforts build on a strong base Civic Consulting Alliance developed with former Mayor Daley. As he was leaving office, Daley said, "My hope is that Civic Consulting will continue to be a partner in change, and that both Civic Consulting and the private-sector leaders in Chicago will help us continue to make Chicago an even greater city."

To view our 2011 Scorecard, click here.


For more information, contact Brian Fabes.

Cook County Publishes First Performance Management Report


Architecture 4


The Boston Consulting Group


Downtown Partners Chicago


School of the Art Institute of Chicago






Last month, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle released the initial report of the County's new performance management program, STAR (Set Targets, Achieve Results).

STAR is a cornerstone of President Preckwinkle's plan to establish a new culture of performance in Cook County. The program aims to lower the cost of government, improve services, and allow the public to judge the County's effectiveness.

You can give the County feedback on the STAR report website,


The Chicago Tribune praised the report: "Citizens deserve answers to questions about performance." President Preckwinkle is "off to a fast start, particularly with her plan to measure how well or poorly her government performs."


Hal Sirkin Quote 

"In these difficult times, government has to manage the resources that it has better," President Preckwinkle said on WTTW Chicago Tonight. "We've got a lot of work that we need to do, and performance management will help us do that work better."


The Boston Consulting Group worked pro bono with Civic Consulting to develop measures for the report and accountability sessions to review the data. Downtown Partners Chicago , School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Architecture 4 worked pro bono to design the public face for the report and website.


"BCG welcomed the opportunity to bring proven tactics from the business world to help improve how the County delivers its essential services to over 5 million residents," said Hal Sirkin, Senior Partner at The Boston Consulting Group. 


Chicago Tribune: Cook County Targeting Employee Sick Day Reduction


Chicago Tribune: Salvaging Cook County: Leader Toni Preckwinkle Details Her Plans


Chicago Sun-Times: Toni Preckwinkle and Chief Judge Disagree Over Who Should Handle Cost-cutting Plan


Daily Herald: Preckwinkle's Attempt to Make Cook County Work

WTTW Chicago Tonight Interview with President Preckwinkle


The Huffington Post: Good Government Through the Looking Glass 


For more information, contact Lydia Murray.

City, County, State Collaborate on Application Competition, Open Data



IBM Corporation


Metro Chicago Information Center  


In June, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn jointly announced Apps for Metro Chicago, Illinois (A4MC), a software application development competition. The competition offers more than $50,000 in awards for apps that solve problems and improve services in Metro Chicago.

A4MC is the first competition to arise from a collaboration between four governmental agencies: the City of Chicago, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Cook County, and the State of Illinois. These agencies are together providing nearly 200 data sets and unprecedented levels of technical assistance for app development.


Virginia Carlson, President of Metro Chicago Information Center, which is hosting and running the competition, said, "This application competition is unprecedented. Nowhere in the country have city, county and state officials coordinated to develop an open data portal for residents and jointly held a competition for application development."


"This competition will allow individuals to interact directly with their government and make a large difference in the way we live in Chicago," said Mayor Emanuel.


President Preckwinkle said, "This competition puts information in the hands of people who can help government operate more transparently and efficiently and make our communities a better place to live."

A4MC is the first step of a collaborative open data effort between the City and County to increase government transparency. This collaborative effort is the result of recommendations laid out in the final report of the Joint Committee on City-County Collaboration, which was developed with support from Civic Consulting and our partners.

IBM Corporation is working with Civic Consulting to support the collaborative open data effort by lowering barriers to accessing and utilizing available data. Civic Consulting is also supporting work on a cross-governmental, regional data portal to be released next year. 


FOX Chicago News: City Announces App Contest for Metro Chicago, Puts Data Online  


For more information, contact Kristen Uyemura.  

City Cuts Credit Cards, Eliminates Petty Cash       



Navigant Consulting

Sidley Austin LLP

Mayor Rahm Emanuel last month announced a new City-wide reimbursement policy that aims to increase government accountability and protect taxpayer money. The policy cuts the number of City credit cards from 500 to 30, bans the use of petty cash, and imposes new limits on reimbursable charges.

"As public servants, we are employed by the people of Chicago, and misuse of their hard-earned tax dollars will not be tolerated," said Mayor Emanuel.

Bill Conlon Quote

The new policy is the result of a review performed by City Comptroller Amer Ahmad, with pro bono support from Sidley Austin LLP, Navigant Consulting, and Civic Consulting Alliance to research best practices. The City's internal review found "numerous reimbursements in the thousands of dollars," despite a policy that was supposed to limit accounts and individual expenditures to $1,000.


"Sidley as a firm was very pleased to help Civic Consulting and the City craft a solution to this concrete problem," said Bill Conlon, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP. "Among other things, it gave one of our more junior corporate governance lawyers a leading, hands-on role in an important and time-sensitive project, which was both fulfilling for him and helpful in his professional development."


Chicago Sun-Times: Mayor Emanuel Cuts Government Credit Cards from 500 to 30


For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.