Chicago Mayoral Transition Acceleration
Over the past century, Chicago has only had four Mayoral elections without an incumbent on the ballot. Given this history, the 2019 Mayoral transition was a rare transfer of leadership—and an exciting opportunity to accelerate progress in addressing our city’s most pressing challenges and captures exciting opportunities.
But the transition was also a strategic and logistical challenge, as it was the first time that a newly elected Mayor had to prepare to lead the City in less than seven weeks, between the runoff election on April 2nd and the inauguration on May 20th.
Recognizing that this transition would impact all Chicagoans and the region for years to come, Civic Consulting Alliance stepped up to ensure a smooth transfer of power from day one of the new Mayor’s term. Along with our pro bono partners, our team prepared for and helped to execute this first-of-its-kind transition in three phases:
Pre-general election (Fall 2018 – February 26, 2019): We compiled a detailed fact base of City departments and agencies, an appointment calendar, and nonpartisan strategic options in nine core issue areas.
Runoff (February 27 – April 2, 2019): At the invitation of both runoff candidates, we worked with their non-political transition teams to present our background materials and to help each team create detailed plans in anticipation of an accelerated transition period.
Transition (April 3 – May 20, 2019): We helped Lightfoot’s team manage the entire transition program, debriefed the outgoing administration, developed operating plans for the new Mayor’s Office to launch work in priority areas on day one, created hiring plans, and published a transition report with recommendations from more than 400 Chicagoans on 10 issue-focused transition committees.
On May 20, 2019, Lori Lightfoot took office as Chicago’s 56th Mayor with a plan in place and input from diverse stakeholders in hand.
This project truly demonstrates the value of Civic Consulting Alliance’s model—our ability to be responsive to our city’s needs as they arise, and to leverage the specialized expertise of our partner network to tackle any challenge. This work could not have been done without the help of our pro bono partners, including Accenture, Arena Partners, Baker McKenzie, BMO Harris Bank, The Chicago Public Education Fund, EY, FCB Chicago, KPMG, Lantern Partners, Rohan Mascarenhas, Mayer Brown, Soledad McGrath, McKinsey & Company, Protiviti, John Ramirez, Russell Reynolds Associates, Tribune Media, and UChicago UrbanLabs.
In turn, our contributions to the transition will impact not only the future of our city, but also our vision for our work. By taking a broad view of Chicago’s challenges, and incorporating input from many perspectives, this project: helps us prioritize areas within our platforms to deepen our impact; enhances our ability to serve local leaders; and promotes cross-sector collaboration.