About Us

The CivicLab as a physical space is closed. We operated for two eventful years and closed on June 30, 2015.

We are planning to return! If you would like to help us launch CivicLab 2.0 in 2018 contact us. We need an interim home while we make BIG civic plans!

Meanwhile, our civic work continues!

On January 13, 2018 we did our 64th TIF Illumination for the 34th Ward! here’s what host/organizer William L. Smith said:

“This is a critical time in our country’s history and now, more than ever, we need our voters to be able to make informed decisions. That’s where CivicLab’s TIF Illumination Project comes in. Tom will bring your community the undisputed facts about the TIFs in your area, their values and any projects that are funded by those TIFs. As I learned in my TIF Illumination, the information Tom provides passes any scrutiny from the Machine and can turn a small meeting into enlightening discussion of civic affairs. This is a resource I invite you to take advantage of and share with your community. You wouldn’t lead an army into battle unarmed. Don’t lead voters to the polls uninformed.”  Contact us today! Let us Illuminate the TIFs in YOUR ward.

We are proud to announce the launch of The POWER Institute to train people to be effective in public life and to win for justice. Over 100 people took workshops with us during the first round of offerings, June-November 2016! See the current roster of workshops at www.powerinstitute.us.The POWER Institute
Over 2,200 people have attended 55 public meetings around our first book: “Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve.” It’s a collection of short articles by Chicago experts outlining ways to save and generate MAJOR revenues for Chicago. Order the book by clicking on the image below. Find out more about this civic engagement project at www.wearenotbroke.org.

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We have done 64community meetings explaining and exposing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts via The TIF Illumination Project! Visit the TIF Illumination Project at www.tifreports.com. Over 5,200 people have attended!
You can make a non-deductible investment in our work via PayPal: