Civic Consulting Alliance:  Smart work.  Great city. 

April 2013 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 has 46 active projects.



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First Lady helps launch fund to reduce youth violence


Pro bono partners:



Bain & Company


Burrell Communications


DLA Piper LLP 


Ernst & Young LLP


Frank Gihan


IBM Corporation


McDonald's Corporation


McKinsey & Company




Perkins Coie, LLP


Trotter Consulting Group LLC


University of Chicago Crime Lab


Xerox Corporation



First Lady Michelle Obama made an inspiring appeal to business leaders for more programs to serve Chicago's youth.


"This fund will help create ladders of opportunities for all of our kids," said Mrs. Obama. "If there is even one thing we can do, even one step we can take to save another child...then don't we have an obligation to try?"


Garnering national news, the First Lady's speech was part of the public kickoff to implement the plan to reduce youth violence. Civic Consulting and 14 pro bono partners invested $3.5 million over 2 years to help the City and County create the plan.



The initial focus for implementation is to expand proven programs to help those at greatest risk of violence. To that end, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson and Loop Capital CEO Jim Reynolds, Jr. are co-chairing the Public Safety Action Committee (PSAC) and Get In Chicago. They have already raised more than $30 million of the $50 million, 5 year goal.


For immediate impact, Civic Consulting staff helped the Committee issue an RFP for summer funding.


For more information, please contact Alexander Gail Sherman.


Chicago Tribune: Michelle Obama brings anti-violence message to Chicago


Civic Consulting partners help transform Health System


Cook County Health and Hospitals System is the safety net for hundreds of thousands of underserved residents and is critical to the financial sustainability of the region's other hospitals. Historically, the Health System has had a reputation of being poorly managed.


With the Affordable Care Act, health systems will be paid to keep people well rather than to provide more care. To prepare for this new funding approach and improve operations, the Health System is shifting its emphasis from responding to acutely ill patients to providing primary and preventative care, and to coordinating care across health providers to keep patients well.



This shift requires enormous change at all levels of the System. Bain & Company and Civic Consulting Alliance helped the Health System plan for this change and develop a leadership structure to support the plan.


"It is rewarding to devote our expertise to our community's biggest challenges," said Jim Rechtin, Partner at Bain & Company. "I am proud that my team had impact on the public hospital's future here. Investments like this are how our firm shows its commitment to the community--and it seems like every Bain associate wants to be on Civic Consulting projects."


In addition to Bain, more than 10 partners are collaborating to re-shape the Health System in preparation for health reform.


For more information, please contact Shruti Jayaraman.

Tourism meeting highlights pro bono partners

Pro bono partners:


The Boston Consulting Group


McKinsey & Company



Presenting to 1,200 travel and hospitality industry leaders at Choose Chicago's annual meeting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel highlighted pro bono work by Civic Consulting Alliance and its partners, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey & Company.


BCG analyzed consumer perceptions, as well as how marketing and new attractions could affect visitation. McKinsey assessed growth needs and identified current initiatives, key gaps, and areas of opportunity. 



"As a native of the area, I leapt at the chance to be a part of this project," said Nneka Rimmer, Partner and Managing Director at BCG. "Working with Choose Chicago and Civic Consulting Alliance was a true pleasure, and I was excited to be part of re-imagining Chicago's tourism offerings. I can't wait to walk on the 'Riverwalk.'"


This work is central to meeting Chicago's goal of 50 million visitors per year by 2020. Achieving this goal will generate up to 37,000 additional jobs, $3 billion in incremental direct spending, and $575 million in additional tax revenues every year.  


For more information, please contact Liz Coon.


Alumna feature: "Civic Consulting helped prepare me for the challenges of law school"

Hannah Fine
Associate Civic Fellow, 2011-12 

Nothing could have prepared me for law school better than my fellowship at Civic Consulting.


As an Associate Civic Fellow, I learned how the private and nonprofit sectors can support and work with local government, and I gained exposure to many areas of interest in a short time. These experiences helped me decide to attend law school as a Public Interest Scholar at Boston University.


The projects I worked on at Civic Consulting showed me how legal knowledge is a crucial tool for social change. On the Taxi Code Modernization project, I worked with a team to update an entire code. Now I use my knowledge of crafting legislative language in class, studying how courts interpret statutes.



Partnering with Jones Day on the Ethics Task Force Report let me see how a large law firm engages with pro bono work, and I gained insight into what lawyers do on a daily basis. Through interviews with ethics experts and academics, I learned how attorneys gather the information they need. That experience has been incredibly helpful for client intake interviews in my own pro bono work.


Overall, my year at Civic Consulting helped me prepare for the challenges of law school as a result of both the work I conducted and the mentoring relationships I had with colleagues at every level of the organization.


If you are a Civic Consulting alum and would like to share your story, please contact Alexander Gail Sherman.