Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

September 2012 Update

Civic Consulting Alliance has invested more than $75 million in the things that matter most in Chicago in the last five years. We create, embed, and connect pro bono teams of business experts, government leaders, and our own staff to reshape the region.

Civic Consulting currently has 59 active projects.



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Partner feature: Dan Reidy, Jones Day 


Dan Reidy


More than a dozen Jones Day attorneys have enthusiastically participated in Civic Consulting initiatives, and I know that all of them consider working with Civic Consulting to be among their most rewarding professional experiences. It is truly inspiring to work alongside the wonderful people at Civic Consulting, government and civic leaders, and other local professionals who share our passion for public service on projects such as: 
Since our first meeting with Civic Consulting more than a year ago, Jones Day has provided, pro bono, more than $1 million in time and resources to high-impact Civic Consulting-supported initiatives undertaken on behalf of those who live and work in the City and Cook County. 
Jones Day is grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to the success of these initiatives, and we look forward with excitement to undertaking new challenges with Civic Consulting together as our partnership grows.


The Chicago office of Jones Day is proud to be celebrating its 25th year in this great city. As we strive to provide our clients with the very best in legal services, we also take great joy in finding other ways to make a difference in the lives of our region's people and institutions.


Dan Reidy is the Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Chicago office, and recently joined the board of the Civic Consulting Alliance. He previously served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Chicago U.S. Attorney's Office, where he led a team of federal prosecutors and agents in "Operation Greylord," the historic investigation into corruption in the Cook County judiciary.

County, City, and Civic Consulting alumna team up to turn workforce on its head 


Marie Lynch, President, Skills for Chicagoland's Future






Mayer Brown


McKinsey & Company


Just after the start of the Great Recession, Civic Consulting and several partners helped Mayor Daley design a new workforce program, Chicago Career Tech (CCT), which aimed to move recently unemployed Chicagoans with long work histories into new economy jobs. Marie Lynch, a Civic Consulting Principal, not only helped create CCT, but went on to become its founding President.


Since launching Career Tech in December 2009, Marie and her staff have helped 1,000 Chicagoans gain employment. By working closely with employers, those who have successfully completed the program have been hired at an average salary of $45,000, equal to the median household income in Chicago. Such placement bucks the trend towards low-skilled, low-wage employment for those re-entering the job market.



Earlier this month, Cook County and the City of Chicago built on the success of CCT to launch Skills for Chicagoland's Future, a program that turns on its head the traditional approach of workforce development: Rather than starting with unemployed workers and training them for openings that might materialize, Skills starts with existing job openings and helps residents access these jobs. Implementation of this demand-driven, business-centric initiative was supported by pro bono teams from Accenture, Mayer Brown, and McKinsey & Company, and is the first of its kind to be launched at a regional level.

The program will "provide an economic benefit to the city, a return on investment," said Marie. "To get someone back to work quickly benefits the whole region."

Chicago Tribune: Chicago, Cook County create Skills for Chicagoland's Future jobs program


World Business Chicago: Mayor Emanuel, President Preckwinkle announce Skills for Chicagoland's Future to address workforce skills gap in Chicago, Cook County


Chicago Sun-Times: Employers, city, county seek to match worker skills with job openings 


Report untangles ethics concerns for 30,000 public sector employees 


Jones Day

The Chicago Ethics Reform Task Force released the second and final part of its report for improving the City of Chicago's ethics ordinance.


"Jones Day was honored to support the work of the Ethics Reform Task Force," said Dan Reidy, Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Chicago office. "The project gave some of our top performers a chance to tackle important questions and direct their expertise to an effort that was directly within their wheelhouse--and that will have a big impact locally."


The Task Force, established by the Mayor in December of 2011, was chaired by Cynthia Canary and included Dawn Clark-Netsch, Sergio Acosta and Alderman Will Burns. Jones Day and Civic Consulting Alliance provided pro bono support.


Part I of the report, released in April, recommended, among other items, strengthening the gift ban, adding whistleblower protections and improving the City's training and education.



Released in late August, Part II focused on the structure and roles of Chicago's main ethics institutions and recommended reforms to:

  • Clarify the roles of the three ethics bodies, and eliminate the possibility of duplicative investigations
  • Enable the Inspector General and Legislative Inspector General to settle cases
  • Allow written, anonymous complaints and written complaints initiated by the Legislative Inspector General against aldermen and their staff
  • Institute a two-year statute of limitations and two-year time limit on investigations
  • Provide 30 days' notice to all subjects of investigations prior to a request for a probable cause hearing
  • Create an employee bill of rights so that all employees know and understand their rights under the law
  • Extend the post-employment two-year lobbying ban to aldermen and staff 


Chicago Tonight: Ethics Reform Task Force releases Part II of report


Chicago Tribune: Ethics reform: The ball's in Rahm's court 


Chicago Tribune: Emanuel appointees propose more oversight on ethics


Who's the new vice president of CTA? Hint, you know him already 
Tom McKone, Vice President of Management and Budget
During his 7 years at Civic Consulting, Tom worked with 42 partners:

Tom McKone has a habit of making things work.


When he joined Civic Consulting his first project was simple:  the State had just merged two regional planning boards, CATS and NIPC, on paper; now make it work in practice.  Proposing a new name was the easiest part.  He rejected the obvious--CATNIP--and thus CMAP was born, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.


At that time, Civic Consulting wasn't very green. Not only was every copy single-sided, we'd never done an environmental project. Tom set out to fix both. First he convinced our staff to work on Chicago's environmental sustainability; then he sat down with the Mayor's chief of staff; and then he convinced dozens of companies to invest more than $15 million in environmental projects for two mayors. Somehow, he points out, it was easier to get the $15 million investment in environmental projects than to get our office to commit to double-sided printing.


Another thing that bothered Tom: why do buses always travel in bunches? If you asked a public transit professional, he'd say bus bunching is like the snow in Chicago. It happens. Deal with it.


That answer wasn't good enough for Tom. His insight was that we were measuring the wrong thing. It wasn't bus bunching that was the problem; it was the unpredictable waiting at the bus stop. Recasting the issue in this light actually gave rise to a number of supervisory changes that drastically improved service. You can find still find the performance metrics on CTA's website.


Then Tom noticed that the oceans were rising and decided to do something about it. He led Civic Consulting's partnership with the City to enact the Chicago Climate Action Plan and, in the process, helped Chicago win the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Award. 


For seven years, Tom has been an indispensable leader at Civic Consulting. Now CTA is saying that they can't get enough of him as a consultant. They need him as Vice President of Management and Budget.


Tom, good luck at CTA. Keep up the good work.