Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

December 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, 51 teams are on the ground, and partners have already provided more than $4.4 million in services since the start of the fiscal year in July 2011. 
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County Closes $315 Million Budget Gap


UBS Investment Bank

U.S. Equities


Cook County passed a $2.9 billion budget last month, closing a gap of $315 million. 


Civic Consulting Alliance and our partners helped develop the budget by providing analysis and finding opportunities for the County to reduce costs and increase revenue.


U.S. Equities benchmarked County custodial and building engineering staffing against private sector standards, allowing the County to reduce staffing to save $3.3 million in this year's budget and $4 million annually thereafter.


UBS Investment Bank identified $400,000 in savings that the County will realize by hiring seasonal workers. UBS also benchmarked County parking rates, identifying $2.7 million in new parking revenue this year and $5.4 million annually thereafter.




"UBS was thrilled to partner with Civic Consulting to help positively impact a few of the many serious issues faced by Cook County," said Jordan Diab, Director at UBS Investment Bank.


For more information, contact Lydia Murray.


Chicago Sun-Times: Cook County budget passes; layoffs, tax hikes coming


NWI Times: Cook County passes $2.9B budget, reduces layoffs by 280


NBC Chicago: Cook County Passes $3 Billion Budget

City Launches Task Force to Overhaul Ethics Ordinance 





On December 7th, Mayor Emanuel established an Ethics Reform Task Force to strengthen the city's ethics ordinance.

Jones Day and Civic Consulting Alliance are providing pro bono support to the Task Force, which includes:
  • Cynthia Canary, former director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
  • Sergio Acosta, Former U.S. Attorney, now a Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson
  • Dawn Clark Netsch, former state senator, now a law professor at Northwestern University
  • William D. Burns, Alderman
The Task Force will make recommendations in four months for how Chicago's ethics ordinance should be revised and what additional steps should be taken to ensure accountability in city government.



"The Mayor  has appointed a great panel to address ethics in government, and we're honored to be working with Civic Consulting Alliance to support the panelists in this important assignment," said Dan Reidy, Partner-in-Charge at Jones Day.

For more information, contact Gillian Darlow.

Chicago Sun-Times: Emanuel names four reformers to revamp city ethics code

City Proposes Modernizing Taxi Code


Environmental Impact Initiative, Inc.

Michael Baker Corporation


To provide customers with a cleaner, safer, and more wheelchair-accessible fleet, the City of Chicago proposed revising the municipal taxi code for the first time in 15 years.


Taxi drivers will be required to have behind-the-wheel training. Average vehicle age will be reduced by cutting the maximum allowable initial mileage of new taxis in half. 
The code will also introduce incentives for taxi owners to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles, decreasing fuel costs for drivers and improving Chicago's air quality. Standardized lease rate agreements will protect drivers from overcharges by taxi companies, and rates will be reviewed regularly to ensure long-term financial stability for the taxi industry.   




Environmental Impact Initiative, Inc. researched current driver and owner conditions to create an economic model for the taxi industry. Michael Baker Corporation helped to draft the revised code. 


"It was a privilege to work with the City and Civic Consulting staff to tackle the complex issues we worked to address," said David Champion, President and CEO at Environmental Impact Initiative.


For more information, contact Tom McKone.



City Colleges of Chicago Launches College to Careers Program



The Boston Consulting Group



Lantern Partners

McKinsey & Company 

To prepare students for jobs in high-growth industries, the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) will launch an innovative College to Careers program, Mayor Emanuel announced last week at the Economic Club of Chicago.


CCC will collaborate with businesses to help Chicago residents gain skills and credentials for jobs currently going unfilled.


"Employers can't find skilled workers and workers can't find jobs," said Mayor Emanuel. "By making a diploma from our community colleges into a ticket to the workforce, we will make them a first option for job training and not a last resort."



The program is part of CCC's Reinvention initiative, the largest and most comprehensive community college reform effort in the nation.


Civic Consulting partners have been working behind the scenes for nearly four years to develop the vision for, design, launch, and support Reinvention.


For more information, contact Brian Fabes.


Governing Magazine Highlights Civic Consulting


Governing, a national magazine on state and local government, this month published an article on Civic Consulting Alliance titled, Free Advice for Struggling Governments.
The article highlights the role the Civic Consulting partnership has played in supporting President Preckwinkle's and Mayor Emanuel's transitions and helping the County and City save taxpayer money.
"Pro bono government consulting is nothing new, but the Civic Consulting Alliance takes it to a new level by strategically maximizing its impact," the article says. "Chicago and Cook County are proving that using pro bono partners to dramatically increase the capacity of local governments is a winner for taxpayers."
Read the full article here.