Civic Education Task Force - Successfully worked with leadership in the Illinois General Assembly to convene the first “Task Force on Civic Education” to assess the current state of civic education and make specific recommendations for reform. CAC executive director was appointed to sit on the task force by the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs.
Youth Civic Engagement: Constitution Week - CAC hosted Kelly Hayes, First Amendment advocate and youth community organizer, who shared her first-hand experiences at four DuPage area high schools regarding her First Amendment freedoms to peaceably assemble and to petition the government, as well as the adversity she encountered.
Illinois Civic Mission Coalition - CAC co-authored “Advocacy and Policy” chapter regarding necessary policy reforms for civic education in Illinois in the McCormick Foundation’s Illinois Civic Blueprint.
International Democracy Exchange - CAC hosted an intern from a non-profit in Egypt focused on youth civic engagement and in exchange a CAC Community lawyer traveled to Egypt and Morocco to learn how emerging democracies are attempting to establish policies that encourage and protect civic engagement. The program was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. CAC’s participation resulted in numerous invitations to presented to various local organizations throughout the year.
Open Meetings Act Violation - Assisted an Elmhurst Alderman to win an important ruling from Illinois Attorney General Public Access Counselor that stated that public bodies may not discuss land use issues in closed session under the guise of land acquisition, especially when the public body already owns the property. CAC also helped Elmhurst community members organize and successfully advocate for the public release of closed session tapes based on the above ruling.
Access to the Ballot - Facilitated a study of electoral boards throughout DuPage and suburban Cook counties to document how decentralization of election administration restricts voter choice in Illinois by barring candidates and policy questions from making it to the ballot. CAC also authored a law review article “Challenges to Ballot Access and the Challenges Therein” for the DePaul Journal for Social Justice summarizing the findings of the electoral board study and recommending reforms.
Transparency - CAC was approached by the Wheaton Park District to help them improve government transparency.
Transparency - Collaborated with journalists and interns at Medill Watchdog to expose systemic anti-democratic practices at the DuPage County Forest Preserve and local school boards that resulted in articles for the series “Transparency in Suburban Government.”
Helping Citizens Address Issues of Public Concern
Every year CAC assists numerous individuals and community groups navigate through the government process. Community lawyering services include helping individuals file Freedom of Information Act requests, successfully appealing denials to the Illinois Attorney General Public Access Counselor, answering Open Meetings Act questions and assisting individuals in pro-se representation.