President’s Message

Welcome to, the digital voice of the Civic Federation. Here you can find our publications, as well as blog and multimedia content, all available free of charge. All Federation content is easily searchable by date, issue, content type and many other categories in the Library section of the website. This website also features a separate section for the Federation’s State of Illinois-oriented research institute, the Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability (IIFS). Information about the features available through this site is available on the “Help” page.

The Federation’s two blogs, here and here, offer rapid-response commentary and analysis in response to events in the news and add additional context to Federation and IIFS research. This website also includes a page devoted to some of the long-term and special projects we undertake.

Even as we embrace the possibilities presented by the Internet and social media, the Civic Federation retains its long commitment to the evidence-based, non-partisan mission of its founders. Just as when the Federation was founded in 1894 by civic and business leaders Jane Addams, Bertha Palmer and Lyman Gage, today the top businesses and service firms in Illinois assist the Civic Federation as members of our Board of Directors.

Board members are integral to our work in support of rational tax policy, fiscal reform and improved government efficiency. Their independent perspective and expertise is crucial to the execution of our mission to provide a non-partisan, objective perspective on State and local government tax and finance issues.

The Civic Federation has a well-earned reputation for producing authoritative research, providing reliable information and taking action on public finance issues throughout the Chicago area and State of Illinois. We are proud to be a trusted resource to public officials, the media and the general public for independent information on the most challenging issues facing our governments.

I encourage you to consider membership in the Civic Federation. You can visit our “Membership” page for more information about joining our organization. Your support and participation will continue a century-long tradition of Chicago’s business leaders working together to improve government.




Laurence J. Msall
The Civic Federation