Civic Groups Call on Chicago City Council to Improve Transparency and Public Access

Joint Letter Cover

February 29, 2024

In a joint letter sent Tuesday, the Civic Federation, the Better Government Association and the League of Women Voters of Chicago urged Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago’s City Council to improve transparency and public access to information regarding legislation being considered by the council. The coalition also provided several recommendations for process improvements.

The group has called for increased opportunity for the public to review and weigh in on legislation in advance of the council’s decision-making in meetings. The City Council has been asked to provide sufficient information on legislation under consideration along with enough advance notice on agenda items to allow members of the public to read the available materials and prepare written or oral testimony in a timely manner. 

In its letter, the coalition also points out the recent reversal of a City Council decision to close public access to the second floor City Council chambers without soliciting the public’s input. Advocacy on the part of the Better Government Association helped lead to the rule reversal and illustrated the importance of civic organizations working to preserve public participation in the democratic process. 

View the joint letter, including the coalition’s full list of recommendations for the Mayor and City Council, here.

Read the coalition’s joint press release here.