Category Archives: Training

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

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TIF Presentations Viewed 44,000+ Times!

Presentation views 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 tom@civiclab.us.

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Chicago Reader Cites Work of TIF Project

Reader_pix-8-27-14 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 tom@civiclab.us.

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!

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