Speaker Series on the Intersection of History, Law, and Social Justice - Convened forums with experts on: "Consumer Advocacy: Do Corporations Own Us or Do We Have a Dog in the Fight?", "During the War on Terror, What Does History Tell Us About Free Speech?", "The History and Current Context of Fair and Affordable Housing in DuPage County." Series made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.
Youth Civic Engagement - Collaborated with three high schools during Constitution Week to showcase examples of embracing First Amendment freedoms. Qasim Rashid, author of The Wrong Kind of Muslim, shared his faith-based persecution in Chicago and in Pakistan as a vehicle to highlight the importance of the Free Exercise of Religion Clause.
Civic Education Task Force - Successfully advocated for the convening of the first legislative Task Force on Civic Education, was appointed a Task Force member, and ensured statewide public hearings.
Getting and Staying on the Ballot Community Forum - Facilitated a forum outlining common mistakes made in circulating petitions for candidacy and citizen-initiated referendums.
Alternative Election Systems Community Forums - Facilitated four forums on how home rule communities can adopt cumulative and ranked choice voting as a means to achieve fair political representative.
Advocacy and Government Monitoring
Public Access Counselor Determination Letters Public Database - Collaborated with the Chicago Headline Club to obtain and analyze hundreds of non-binding determination letters and will soon post them publicly.
Statewide Open Meetings Act Audit - Collaborated with the Illinois Press Association to audit government compliance with website notification requirements statewide. Audit results indicated paltry compliance.
Freedom of Information Act Violation - Assisted citizen win a determination letter ruling from the Illinois Attorney General Public Access Counselor regarding misuse of the Freedom of Information Act's preliminary draft exemption as applied to government contractors.
Legislative Advocacy - Spearheaded a coalition that successfully won a gubernatorial veto of a Freedom of Information Act bill that sought to create a new category by which public bodies could unnecessarily delay responding to legitimate requests for public information.
Helping Citizens Address Issues of Public Concern
Assisted hundreds of individuals and
community groups address issues of public concern. Community lawyers addressed issues including citizen shut out from giving public comment at meetings of public bodies and citizen shut out from giving testimony from public hearings on zoning and development.