The CivicLab ( www.civiclab.us ) and the TIF Illumination Project ( www.tifreports.com ) will launch a new crowd-funded civic education project. We intend to publish a short book of essays entitled "Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve" based on this Huffington Post Chicago essay by Tom Tresser ( www.tresser.com ) from September 2015: http://tinyurl.com/We-Are-Not-Broke-HP.
We anticipate needing to raise $10,000 via crowdfunding. The project will not move forward unless we raise these funds. Local and national foundations have turned down proposals from Tom Tresser and the TIF Illumination Project 15 times in the past three yearsnecessitating a turn to the general public to fund this work.
The web site for this project is: www.wearenotbroke.org . The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on Generosity ( a sister site to Indiegogo.com ) at tinyurl.com/Chi-Not-Broke-Campaign .
We are seeking to broaden the conversation on civic possibilities in Chicago well in advance of the 2017 budget cycle. This project is based on the three years of research and public education done via the TIF Illumination Project as well as Tom Tresser's past ten years work fighting privatization and doing grassroots democracy all over Chicago and Cook County.
Besides a physical print book, we will also place the material on a book-related wiki site which will have links to references and examples. We will invite people to use this wiki to ADD and DEEPEN the references and examples used in the book.
We see this as a massive, ongoing popular education campaign that will bring thousands of ordinary Chicagoans into substantive public policy discussions about the future of Chicago.
The book will follow this outline:
1. Preface Why this book, Tom Tresser
2. How to Think About Budgets Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. ACCEPTED www.ctbaonline.org
Section 1 Money That Is Stolen From Us That We Did NOT Have To Spend
3. The cost of corruption in Chicago Prof. Dick Simpson, University of Illinois at Chicago. ACCEPTED - pols.uic.edu/political-science/people/faculty/dsimpson .
4. Toxic Bank Deals Jackson Potter, Chicago Teachers Union. ACCEPTED - www.netrootsnation.org/profile/jackson-potter .
5. The Cost of Police Violence - Jamie Kalven, Invisible Institute. ACCEPTED - http://invisible.institute/jamie-kalven .
Section 2 Money That Is Hidden From Us
6. Tax Increment Financing The Off the Books Slush Fund Tom Tresser.
Section 3- Money That We Are Not Collecting
7. A Progressive Income Tax For Illinois Hilary Denk, Co-Chair, Issues Committee of the Board of the League of Women Voters Illinois. ACCEPTED - denkmediation.com/about-hilary-denk .
8. What a LaSalle Street Tax Would Do For Chicago - Ron Baiman, Assistant Professor of Economics in the Graduate Business Administration program at Benedictine University. ACCEPTED - www.linkedin.com/in/ron-baiman-05186113 .
9. A Public Bank For Chicago Amara Enyia, PhD, former candidate for mayor, Public Policy Consultant, Principal of ACE Municipal Partners. ACCEPTED - www.linkedin.com/in/amara-enyia-0ab93064 .
Conclusion, Final Box Score Number of Proposed Revenues, Call To Action Jitu Brown, Education Organizer for KOCO, one of the Dyett 15 hunger strikers, national leader of support for public education. ACCEPTED - http://iel.org/leadership-jitu-brown
We will activate our networks to book the authors for speaking gigs around the city after publication, which is anticipated by June 1, 2016.
The book will be available for sale and download online. We will approach local civic organizations and public sector unions to purchase large quantities of the book for their members. Copies will be sent to all the aldermen and we will do a press event in or near City Hall to announce the availability of the book in the late spring.