FY 2015




Mayoral committee recommends priorities in public engagement, economic growth, and
Pro Bono Partners:

Bacon Volpe Communications

M.A. Rood Company

In April, Mayor Emanuel asked a committee composed of 10 government, business, and community leaders from across Chicago's civic landscape to engage on the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the city. The Mayor accepted the committee's report on priority policy recommendations on August 17th. The report identifies 18 recommendations in 3 priority areas: community engagement, economic growth in neighborhoods, and the reach of pre-kindergarten (pre-K) education.

The report's recommendations include:
  • Building a neighborhood ambassadors network across the city
  • Strengthening the City's engagement with youth
  • Engaging communities in local economic planning
  • Using targeted tax incentives to attract businesses to emerging communities
  • Strengthening coordination of workforce development programs
  • Developing a plan for providing full-day pre-K to every 4-year-old in need

With the support of Civic Consulting Alliance and pro bono partners M.A. Rood Company and Bacon Volpe Communications, the resulting recommendations represent a collaborative effort that also engaged Chicago residents, including community, youth, faith, and business leaders.

For more information, please contact Liz Coon.

Chicago is the first large U.S. city to understand the economic impact of its parks
The Chicago Park District oversees one of the largest park systems in the country. To assess the economic impact of the city's parks, Civic Consulting Alliance, Global Economics Group, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants worked together on a first-of-its-kind study. Among the report's findings:
  • Chicago's parks generate $1.3 billion in annual economic impact
  • Collectively, the "mini-parks" scattered throughout communities have the largest overall impact on property values, both on a relative (2.8 percent of property value) and an absolute (more than $300 million as a park class, more than twice magnet parks) basis
  • Half a dozen "magnet" properties such as Grant Park, Jackson Park, and Northerly Island contribute the largest individual impacts
  • Residences within two blocks of a park (43 percent of homes) generate a combined $900 million higher property value than those further away
Beyond the economic impact, each park is a gathering place for neighbors to enjoy programming throughout the year, from festivals to sports leagues. The team estimated that in 2013, more than half a million people participated in programs on park property.

When the results were first released last year, the study itself drew attention from cities and park districts across the world due to its scale and innovative approach to estimating park value.

This summer, Civic Consulting Alliance assisted in the development of a public report, available here.

For more information, please contact Antonio Benecchi. 

The Civic Leadership Academy graduates its inaugural class
Pro bono partners:

For all of the great work they do, local governments and nonprofits are often hard-pressed to find the time and resources to invest in developing their leaders. That's why Civic Consulting Alliance, the University of Chicago, and LISC collaborated to develop the Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a new, interdisciplinary certification program founded to train Chicago's emerging leaders to be successful in their fields.
This past June, the first class of 28 fellows-15 rising leaders from nonprofit organizations and 13 from government offices-graduated from the CLA. The program provided the cohort with six months of classes led by business practitioners and University of Chicago faculty on topics such as leadership, strategy and management, human capital, and civic innovation. Civic Consulting Alliance helped to design the program, recruited public-sector participants, provided feedback on fellows' capstone projects, and taught a unit. The fellows traveled to Johannesburg to apply the lessons they learned in Chicago to a civic challenge alongside their South African peers.

At the conclusion of the program, each fellow received a Certificate of Civic Leadership from the Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
Applications for the second year of the program, which is open to eligible candidates working in nonprofits and public-sector agencies, will be available in September. For more information, visit the Civic Leadership Academy website, or please contact Liz Coon

In other news...
  • Recognizing the vital role technology plays in our state's economy, culture, and future, the State of Illinois asked Civic Consulting Alliance and Lantern Partners to search for a new Chief Technology Officer. Thanks to the work of Lantern Partners, last week the state announced its new CTO, who will lead technology initiatives that benefit residents across Illinois.
  • Earlier this month, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke spoke to 160 guests at our quarterly Civic Cocktails event, which celebrates the work of our partners and clients. In her speech, Justice Burke addressed the problems facing Cook County's justice system and how stakeholders across Cook County have been working to solve them with the help of Civic Consulting and pro bono partners Mayer Brown and A.T. Kearney. "The collaboration between the public and private sectors makes this work possible," Justice Burke noted.

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