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. All attendees will get a copy of “Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve.”

Session #1 – Wednesday, September 13 – 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 the about the political and geographic context for Chicago politics.

Session #2 – Wednesday, October 11 – 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, November 8 – 7-9pm – “Grassroots Campaigning” – Learn the basic steps toward putting together a principled grassroots campaign for change and justice. All attendees will receive the chapter “Organizing a Campaign” from Winning Elections in the 21st Century by Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy.

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-fall_2017.eventbrite.com. [or use the form below]

++ Our first full day workshop for running for local office will be on Saturday, October 14, from 10am to 4pm! Details here: https://campaign-training-fall-2017.eventbrite.com. ++

Participants at our first round of “101” sessions said…

o “I wish it could be more than two hours a session”
o “I was really inspired by the class and appreciate thinking about Chicago history and politics.”
o “I learned so much! Thank you!”
o “Very excited about the organization and class – learned a lot today!”
o “I loved the first session and am looking forward to learning more in the forthcoming seminars. I haven’t been able to stop talking about CivicLab with colleagues and friends.”
o “I wish the workshops were more often and closer together!”
o “More time! I would pay more :)”

Civic workshops from the POWER Institute!
Your trainers will be Jonathan Peck and Tom Tresser.

Tom Tresser Jonathan Peck

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“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
Print Friendly, PDF & Email