Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

September 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, 46 teams are on the ground, and partners have already provided more than $1.9 million in services since the start of the fiscal year in July 2011.

Learn more about Civic Consulting


Civic Consulting Partners Help Accelerate Implementation of Mayoral Transition Plan    


Alvarez & Marsal  



Booth School of Business, University of Chicago    


Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University 




McKinsey & Company

Navigant Consulting


Ross School of Business, University of Michigan 

Schiff Hardin LLP     


Sidley Austin LLP

At the 100-day mark, Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a progress report on his Transition Plan. Many of the accomplishments reported were achieved with the support of Civic Consulting Alliance and our partners. For example:

  • Navigant Consulting and Sidley Austin LLP recommended options, based on best practices, to help the City limit credit card use and tighten reimbursement policies to protect taxypayer money.
Jim Rechtin Quote

Jim Rechtin, a Partner at Bain & Company, which helped the City outline savings in real estate and energy costs, said, "The administration was clearly ready to make tough decisions and force necessary change--which made working with them incredibly rewarding."

For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.


Chicago Tribune: Emanuel Says He Made 'Down Payment' in First 100 Days

Chicago Tribune: Emanuel's first 100 days an aggressive start

Chicago Sun-Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Successes of First 100 Days 'Just the Beginning'

Chicago Sun-Times: Analysis: Mayor Rahm Emanuel's First 100 Days in Office

Panel Recommends Increased Transparency, Accountability for Tax Increment Financing 



Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan  



Last month, Mayor Emanuel's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reform panel presented a report outlining its recommendations for improving Chicago's use of TIF, a development tool that generates roughly $500 million in incremental tax revenue each year. Mayor Emanuel established the panel in his first week in office and tasked it with evaluating the City's current TIF processes and performance and developing recommendations to improve transparency, efficiency, and oversight.

The panel's report recommended reforms in three main areas:
  1. Increased transparency to the public through more comprehensive and accessible data sharing, published on-line
  2. Enhanced accountability through more systematic monitoring, regular performance reviews, and clear linkages to a multi-year capital budget
  3. Maximized performance around a clear economic development and job creation plan.

The Chicago Tribune praised the report, describing it as "thorough and thoughtful." 


Steve Washington Quote 

Ice Miller LLP and Civic Consulting Alliance staffed the work of the TIF panel.

Steve Washington, a Partner at Ice Miller LLP, said, "We regularly advise local governments in Illinois and Indiana regarding the use of TIF as an economic development tool. As such, we truly appreciated the opportunity to offer our experience to the TIF Reform Panel as it developed recommendations to the Mayor for reforming the use of TIF in the City. We were particularly impressed with the level of collaboration and teamwork put forth by the Panel to make TIF more transparent and effective."   


For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.

Chicago Tribune: How To Salvage Chicago's TIF Mess 


Chicago Sun-Times: City Task Force Plans Major Overhaul Of How TIF Funds Used 



Collaborative Team Kicks Off Effort to Cut Violence 



Allstate Insurance Company


Bain & Company


Trotter Consulting Group LLC  

In an unprecedented collaboration, a team launched by Cook County President Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Emanuel has kicked off preliminary efforts to significantly reduce violence in Chicago over the coming years.

A leadership group of government, community, policy experts, and businesses held its first meeting in August to develop an action plan to cut down violence. The action plan will be completed by next summer.

Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company, represented the Civic Committee at the August meeting. "Safe neighborhoods are crucial to Chicago's economic vitality and are a high priority for the business community," said Wilson.


Tom Wilson Quote

A team from Allstate Insurance Company and Civic Consulting is providing pro bono support and project management for the effort.

These anti-violence efforts build off last summer's work by Bain & Company, Trotter Consulting Group LLC, and Civic Consulting.

During the fall and winter, we will identify inefficiencies across agencies, develop a comprehensive report card, and engage communities in anti-violence strategies. Pro bono partners are critical. For more information, contact Alexander Gail Sherman.

Chicago Tribune: Chicago to Analyze Shootings in Two High-Crime Police Districts  
Study Outlines Potential to Double Chicago's Green Jobs by 2020       



The Boston Consulting Group

The City of Chicago last month announced the findings of a new green economy study outlining the potential to double the number of green jobs in Chicago to 50,000 by 2020 and save the City and its residents and businesses as much as $1.2 billion of the $6.7 billion spent annually on energy and other resources.


The Boston Consulting Group and Civic Consulting Alliance performed the pro bono work behind the study. The study "is intended to connect the dots between the environmental objectives of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and the Mayor's interest in promoting green-sector economic opportunities and job growth," said Chicago's new Chief Sustainability Officer, Karen Weigert, in an interview with Crain's Chicago Business.


David Rickard quote

"It was a great opportunity to help the City leverage the Chicago Climate Action Plan to both chart a path to a greener economy and stimulate job creation," said David Rickard, Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, who led the partner team in this effort.


For more information, contact Belinda Li

Crain's Chicago Business: Mayor's New Green-Economy Report Proposes Strategies But No New Programs


Navy Pier Begins $155 Million Revitalization 



A.T. Kearney


Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Scott Balice Strategies

Earlier this month, Navy Pier Inc. issued a design competition and request for proposals from architects, designers, and engineers to generate creative design concepts that will realize a $155 million effort to revitalize Navy Pier. This search is Navy Pier's first step toward its Centennial Vision, announced in July as a framework for reimagining Navy Pier.

The Centennial Vision reflects many of the elements recommended by A.T. Kearney, AECOM (then EarthTech), Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Scott Balice Strategies, and Civic Consulting Alliance in a 2007 project to create a vision for the "next generation" of Navy Pier. These recommendations include creating more green space, establishing a greater connection to the water, improving design and attention to public space, and including more arts and culture, all while maintaining the Pier's family appeal.

Mityas Quote

"We're thrilled to see our work in partnership with Civic Consulting on the Navy Pier redesign come to fruition," said Sherif Mityas, a Partner at A.T. Kearney who contributed to the 2007 project. "It will truly re-establish the Pier as a world-class destination."

The winner of the design competition will be announced in February.

For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.

Crain's Chicago Business: Navy Pier Goes Global in Seeking Rehab Proposals  


Chicago Sun-Times: Navy Pier to Get Revamp That Will Cost $155 Million

City Colleges, Partners, Civic Consulting to be Featured at National Economic Growth Summit         





Dr. Michael E. Porter's Initiative for a Competitive Inner City will host a national summit, "Creating an Urban Growth Agenda."

The summit, on October 3 - 4, will spotlight how Chicago's unique model for partnership between corporate, municipal, and civic actors contributes to economic growth, using Reinvention at City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) as a case study.

Reinvention is a collaborative effort of faculty, staff, and students, advised by external councils composed of leaders from the academic, business, and philanthropic communities. Building on the pro bono contribution of The Boston Consulting Group in 2007, Civic Consulting Alliance partners have been working behind the scenes for nearly four years to catalyze and support Reinvention.


The discussion will feature CCC Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, Civic Consulting Alliance Board Chair James Glerum, and leadership from partner organizations Accenture, The Chicago Community Trust, and KPMG LLP.


For more information, contact Shruti Jayaraman