FY 2015
YTD totals




A "Model City," says Arne Duncan 

Pro bono partners:


Ariel Investments


The PrivateBank


Earlier this month, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan declared Chicago a "Model City" on behalf of the President's Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, acknowledging Chicago's commitment to financial empowerment for all Chicago students and parents. Civic Consulting Alliance and partners have provided research, analysis, and coordination to support the development of an ambitious, city-wide financial capability plan. 

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, discussing financial education at Ariel Community Academy

The new plan will launch this summer and is receiving support from a broad range of partners: 
  • Ariel Investments
  • Chicago Public Library
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • City Colleges of Chicago
  • City Treasurer
  • Department of Family and Support Services
  • Discover
  • Mayor's Office
  • Non-profit financial education providers
  • Philanthropic partners
  • University of Chicago PovertyLab
Together, these groups will bring coordination to the work of more than 130 different organizations that provide financial education in Chicago today.


Reflected Arne Duncan, "Chicago's commitment to financial education furthers [our] vision by seeking to give children the tools and resources they need to make smart decisions now that will only benefit them in the long run." 

For more information, please contact Melanie Halvorson.

Common sense saves common cents

Pro bono partners


Mayer Brown


The PrivateBank

The 11 pension funds for employees of the City of Chicago, sister agencies, and Cook County collectively manage $35 billion in assets, paying $144 million in fees to investment managers every year. These fees are negotiated by each fund individually and are not based on the aggregate value of all the funds, potentially increasing costs by millions of dollars annually. 


Over the last two months, Civic Consulting Alliance, The PrivateBank and Mayer Brown worked closely with the City Treasurer's office to identify opportunities for funds to share information and negotiate fees based on the collective value of their assets. 



This initiative, a high-priority opportunity in City Treasurer Kurt Summers' 90-day plan, has already received support from five pension boards. "Civic Consulting's efforts will help our office save millions of dollars for Chicago's taxpayers," said Treasurer Kurt Summers. "Their hard work and dedication will pay dividends for decades to come."


For more information, please contact Chris Bordoni.

In the news: "City Treasurer Kurt Summers thinks he's got $50 million in pension savings"


Loop Link to double downtown bus speed

Pro bono partners


The Boston Consulting Group



Earlier this month, Chicago Department of Transportation officials announced "Loop Link," a new project to double the average speed of buses traveling downtown. Using a strategic plan developed by the Boston Consulting Group and Civic Consulting Alliance, and a business engagement plan developed by Civic Consulting and a KPMG extern, the City will construct bus-only lanes to ease congestion and reduce the length of commutes. 



The new bus rapid transit system will serve a two-mile downtown area, including Washington, Madison, Clinton and Canal streets. The project's impact will also extend beyond downtown: by reducing service bottlenecks in the Loop, bus bunching and service gaps should decrease across the system.


"We are cutting right at the heart of congestion that has plagued the Loop for decades," said Rebekah Scheinfeld, Commissioner at the Chicago Department of Transportation and a former pro bono partner of Civic Consulting Alliance.


For more information, please contact Brian Fabes. 

In the news:


In other news...

  • Kennedy-King College received the Aspen Institute's Rising Star Award for community college excellence. As a result of reforms that are part of the City Colleges' Reinvention strategy, Kennedy-King has increased its graduation or transfer rate by 50 percent over the last five years.
  • In early March, the general population at Cook County jail fell below 8,000 for the first time since 1991 - a sign of progress for efforts to improve the County's criminal justice system. Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners A.T. Kearney and Mayer Brown have been supporting collaboration across the County's criminal justice system since late last year. 
  • At its February Leadership Council meeting, Thrive Chicago announced the creation of a Board of Directors, which will oversee the finances and operations of the new organization.
  • Civic Consulting Alliance is serving as a knowledge partner to the Chicago Forum on Global Cities, a forum held by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs from May 27-29. For more information, please contact Ivy Tzur.

Questions? Comments? Interested in writing a guest article? Please email Wally Hilke with any newsletter feedback.