Rahm Emanuel's TIF task force to meet — under military guard? — on July 28

According to a July 9, 2011 press release from the Office of the Mayor, Rahm Emanuel's "TIF Task Force" will be holding a public meeting at the end of July at the Bronzeville Military Academy on Chicago's south side. The Task Force meeting is scheduled to be held in the gym at the "Bronzeville Military Academy," a public high school run by the U.S. Army and the Chicago Public Schools, located at 3519 S. Giles on Chicago's South Side. The meeting is supposed to begin at 6:00 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.A July 9, 2011 City Hall press release reads as follows:


CONTACT:, Mayor’s Press Office, 312.744.3334,


On Thursday July 28th the Mayor’s task force on Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reform will hold a public hearing to seek community input on bringing transparency, accountability and efficiency to the TIF system.

During his first week in office, Mayor Emanuel assembled a task force charged with creating accountability systems for the TIF program, to ensure that TIF investments generate returns for taxpayers in the form of new job creation and economic development.

The Mayor’s task force on TIF reform brings together small business leaders, financial experts, elected officials, and urban policy leaders from think tanks, academia, and foundations.

WHEN: 6:00 PM, July 28th, 2011

WHERE: Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville, Gymnasium, 3519 South Giles Ave. Chicago IL

To submit an idea to the TIF task force you can visit To find out more information about TIF districts throughout the city you can visit at

The controversial task force, which was quietly created by Mayor Emanuel at the time of his inauguration excluded most elected officials, all TIF critics, and the city's unions. Like most of the official bodies being created by Emanuel, the TIF Task Force relies heavily on investment bankers, financial people, and academics with long ties to the current versions of finance capital running things across the USA.

According to a May 19, 2011 City of Chicago press release, the Task Force is:

Mayor's Press Office 312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the formation of a task force on TIF reform to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to the TIF system.

“This committee has a simple task: to create accountability systems that will ensure our TIF investments go to projects that have real return for taxpayers – new jobs and new economic development,” said Mayor Emanuel.

The Mayor also announced that TIF data will be easily accessible to Chicagoans online at Data on TIF budgets that has formerly been in PDFs has been put into machine-readable format and new data has been added so that every citizen can sift through it. “I am calling on all Chicagoans to engage in this process,” said the Mayor. “Take a look at the website and submit your ideas for improving TIF data availability, or tell us how you think the TIF investment process could be improved.”

The task force on TIF reform announced by the Mayor is a time-limited task force of economic and finance experts that will evaluate and reform Chicago’s TIF program. The task force is charged with:

Crafting an overarching TIF policy with formal guiding principles. Accountability starts with a clear statement of goals;

Developing Return on Investment criteria that can be used to measure TIF performance and establish criteria to judge TIF success or need for reform;

Recommending concrete steps for increasing TIF transparency – by making TIF information easily accessible to taxpayers online and by incorporating TIF information into the City’s main budget;

Evaluating the role that the TIF program plays in the overall City budget.

Carole Brown will chair the task force on TIF reform. Brown is a Senior Managing Director at Siebert Branford Shank & Co., where she leads the firm’s Midwest municipal practice and heads several national accounts.

Taskforce members include: Carrie M. Austin, Alderman, 34th Ward; Adela Cepeda, Owner and President of A.C. Advisory, Inc; Bruce J. Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Melinda Kelly, Executive Director, Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc; Steve Koch, Vice Chairman and Co-Chairman, Credit Suisse's Merger and Aquisitions Group; Andrew J. Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Economic Development; Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation; Julia Stasch, Vice President of US Programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Rachel Weber, Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

The task force will complete its work over a three-month period. Its recommendations will then be incorporated into the 2012 budget.


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