Jim Jacoby of the American Design and Master-Craft Initiative and Jim Cohen of BeSparked interviewed me in July for this series of master designer podcasts. What, you may ask, do I have to do with design? Ah ha! You’ll just have to listen to this wide-ranging 47 minute interview where I talk about my background in the arts and the connections between design, space and civic engagement. If you do listen – please comment at the bottom of the podcast web page.
We upload all the TIF presentations to http://www.slideshare.net/tomtee. These presentations have been viewed over 44,000 times!
The champ is the two presentations on the 27th ward which were viewed a total 4,292 times.Thar works out to something like 10 views every day since they were uploaded.
So – if you are one of the people whose viewed these presentations and found them valuable – PLEASE support our work by (1) signing our email list at http://tinyurl.com/SignUp-CivicLab, (2) consider renting a desk with us (we’re in Chicago’s West Loop), and (3) making a deducible contribution via our fiscal agent, the Investigative News Network – http://tinyurl.com/SupportTheLab-INN. Contact Tom Tresser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to tireless TIF reporter Ben Joravsky of The Chicago Reader for this wonderful piece. He connects the dots from the supposed state of Chicago’s finances to the plight of our public schools and the tens of millions, nay, hundreds of millions of property tax dollars, we shower on major corporations.
None of this work would’ve been possible without the hundreds of hours contributed by our all volunteer team of coders, map makers, graphic designers, researchers and community organizers who – collectively – have now Illuminated 127 TIFs across 29 wards. The full record of these forums are here. If you want YOUR ward Illuminated, contact us at email@example.com.
When we Illuminate a ward we tell you: (1) overview of how TIFs work in Chicago, (2) how many TIFs in the ward, (3) best estimate of how much $ those TIFs took from your ward, (4) how much money left in TIF accounts FROM your ward, (5) who got paid from TIFs in your ward. We even provide a nifty graphic map that lays all this out in a super clear manner. No one else can tell you all this!
The TIF Illumination Project has reviewed all 151 annual reports of the city’s Tax Increment Financing districts. At the end of 2013 the city’s TIF accounts held $1.71 BILLION in property tax dollars! This is a modest increase from 2012. A full report on our 2013 research is here.
The TIF Illumination Project is completely volunteer driven but we can really use your contribution so that we can publish all our work in multiple formats. Donate via PayPal here.
Back by (somewhat) popular demand!
“July marks one year since the CivicLab, a non-profit organization, opened its “democracy design studio” in the West Loop of Chicago.