Category Archives: Tools for Change

CivicLab Launches The POWER Institute

The CivicLab proudly announces the launch of a new series of training programs to help you organize, resist, engage and WIN for social justice!

Our first workshops are on basic subjects to prepare people who are new to public life.

Session #1 – Wednesday, June 14 – 7-9pm – “Chicago 101” – What are the basics for preparing to organize and win in a city dominated by the Democratic Machine for 75 years? You will learn about the history of Chicago grassroots victories, how wards work, what aldermen are most vulnerable and much more! All attendees will get a copy of “Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve.”

Session #2 – Wednesday, July 19 – 7-9pm – “Organizing 101” – Did you know Chicago is the home of modern community organizing? Learn the basic skills and mindsets of a community change maker. This will be a highly interactive session with a lot of small group work as you build a case and work on power analysis.

Session #3 – Wednesday, August 16 – 7-9pm – “Grassroots Campaigning” – Learn the basic steps toward putting together a principled grassroots campaign for change and justice.

These sessions are $40/person per session. You can attend all three for $100. We will have snacks but not dinner. All attendees will receive take-away materials with resources and links to more in-depth materials.The workshops will be at the Loyola Law School, 25 E. Pearson.

You must register via EventBrite -> https://power-institute-summer-2017.eventbrite.com [or use the form below]

We will have full-day workshops for advanced training in these areas in the near future. Stay tuned.

Your trainers will be Jonathan Peck and Tom Tresser.

Tom Tresser Jonathan Peck

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CivicLab Profiled in NewCity

Check out this profile of the CivicLab in the April 22, 2015 issue of NewCity.
Thanks, Mike Workman!NewCity screen
Among all the different types of maker spaces throughout the city, there’s really not another quite like the CivicLab in the city’s West Loop neighborhood. Operated by Tom Tresser and Benjamin Sugar, the space is a gathering place and laboratory for what Tresser describes as “civic science,” the enthusiasm in his voice rising as he seizes on a topic he is clearly passionate about, “we make Democracy here.” As a longtime public defender in the city, he is perhaps most well known for heading up the No Games Chicago initiative that opposed former Mayor Daley’s efforts to bring the Olympics to the city.

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“TIF Atlas” Now On Sale!

Now you can own the data that has been driving the TIF Illumination Project all over the city for the past 18 months! Download your very own “TIF Atlas of Chicago Wards” at the TIF Data Store.

We’re using the new ward maps and you’ll see the shapes and names of all the TIF districts as well as the projects funded by TIFs IN EACH WARD. The projects are numbered and all you have to do is look to the appendix in the back of the Atlas to see the name, address, developer and amount of TIF dollars that went to that project. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! We also plot on each ward map all the schools that were CLOSED or cut in 2013. In the back we list the closed schools and list all the cuts that we know of for each public school. More info: tom@civiclab.us.

TIFs of the 1st Ward
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