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Train. Organize. Win. Training from the POWER Institute – Fall 2018

Why is Chicago so corrupt? What does a community organizer do? How can you help someone run for local office? What is a TIF and how does it impact your community? Get the answers – and much MORE – at the POWER Institute’s Fall 2018 workshop series!

The CivicLab has launched the POWER Institute (People Organizing to Win, Engage & Resist) to get you TRAINED to ORGANIZE and WIN a Chicago and a world that we all deserve and can prosper in. Our trainers are super experienced in grassroots democracy with over 60 years of public campaigns between them!

Session #1 – Wednesday, October 10 – 7-9pm – “Chicago 101” – What are the basics for preparing to organize and win in a city dominated by the Democratic Machine for 75 years? You will learn about the geographic and political history of Chicago from the 1800’s through the present day. The past is prologue. Learn Chicago’s past in order to change her future.

Session #2 – Wednesday, November 14 – 7-9pm – “Community Organizing 101” – Did you know Chicago is the home of modern community organizing? Learn the basic skills and mindsets of a community change maker. This will be a highly interactive and hands-on session as you construct a Power Matrix for a real campaign. “Power concedes nothing without a demand!”

Session #3 – Saturday, December 15 – 10am-12:30pm – “TIF 101 – Organizing For Community Development/Grassroots Economics” – Did you know that Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts pulled over $493 million in property taxes out of our communities in 2017? How does this secretive program impact our communities? How can you organize around these harms? Learn from the TIF Illumination Project – we’ve been invited to do 73 community presentations since 2013! How powerful is this work? Watch short testimonies by community leaders who brought us to their wards here: http://tinyurl.com/TIF-Organizers-Talk.

At this session you will learn:

– how TIFs work
– how big a deal they are in Chicago, Illinois and the uSA
– public policy issues they bring to your community
– how people are organizing around TIFs around the country

We will compare notes and talk about the upcoming 2019 elections. Do you know where the candidates stand regarding grassroots economic development?

Session #4 – Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – 7-9pm – “Grassroots Campaigning 101” – Learn the basic steps toward putting together a principled grassroots campaign for change and justice. We will go over the basics of preparing a campaign to run for local office. How to think about the ground game and “behind the scenes” work that must be done before the campaign begins. Attendees will analyze the election prospects of their own aldermen based on election results from 2015.

All attendees to Session #4 will receive access to the chapter “Organizing a Campaign” from Winning Elections in the 21st Century by Dick Simpson and Betty O’Shaughnessy. Understand what it takes to win so you can win.

Classes will be at the Loyola Law School, 25 E. Pearson Street in Chicago, Room 1202. Sessions are $40 each or take all four for just $100! You can also attend three sessions for just $75.

Participants at our July 2018 “Chicago 101” session said…

“Tom and Jonathan really came through! Their presentation on ‘Chicago 101’ made people mad about how Chicago works, and it made people curious, but most of all it got people engaged. This is exactly the kind of education every citizen needs in order to make meaningful change in our city. One of my favorite moments of the night was when one particularly engaged audience member literally threw her hands up and said, ‘Why doesn’t anybody teach us this stuff?’ Well, Tom and Jonathan are teaching this stuff – and I will gladly welcome them back to continue to inform, engage, and empower our community.” – Gabe Piemonte, Candidate 5th Ward Alderman

“Your ‘Chicago 101’ training was great last night!! It was the boost I needed. It reminded me of what I really care about and where I come from in terms of activism and my roots. In our activism we are working with a lot of people who have never engaged so conversation is tough because they aren’t aware of the history, there is no context. We often get caught up in nonsense and focus is lost as we try to get the newly engaged to act. Being with seasoned pros was so nice. I gained some new perspective and knowledge as well as reaffirmation of my values and goals. It was energizing and gave me some clarity, just what I needed for the burnout I’ve been feeling. I’m really looking forward to the next two sessions!” – Meaghan McAteer, Co-founder Indivisible Brookfield




December 15 2018


Date: December 15, 2018
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
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Loyola University School of Law

25 East Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611

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The CivicLab