We measure success at the BGA by the impact of our work. In 2016 we’re happy to report our watchdog work made a real difference — from the adoption of good-government laws, to new levels of transparency thanks to our legal team. Here’s a snapshot of the year: 

NEW LAWS: Illinois Adopts 22 Good Government Laws Supported By BGA
Yes, reform is possible! In 2016, the BGA’s Policy team advocated for the adoption of 22 good government laws including: 9 accountability laws, 5 transparency laws, 4 government streamlining laws, 3 ethics and 1 criminal justice reform law. That’s progress!

LEGAL ACTION: BGA Lawsuit Prompts Release of CPD Shooting Videos
Judge orders CPD to release all files and videotapes of fatal Chicago Police Department shootings over the last five years in response to a BGA lawsuit.

LEGAL ACTION: Forced Release of Emanuel Emails, New Policy Change
As a result of a BGA investigation and legal action, the City of Chicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel release more than 3,200 pages of Emanuel’s private emails related to city business—subject to any applicable legal exemptions—and institute a new policy that will ban city employees and officials from using their private email accounts to conduct city business. 

LEGAL ACTION: Court Overturns Injunction Blocking Release Of Police Misconduct Records
Chalk up a win for transparency and accountability as the Illinois Appellate Court lifts an injunction blocking the release of police misconduct complaint records.

FINE: Casino Pays $1.65 Million
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines pays a $1.65 million fine following an Illinois gaming board investigation spurred in part by the BGA. 

If you believe the BGA’s watchdog work is paying off, please help us continue it. 


 NEW LAW: Local Governments Told To Rein In Travel Spending
A new state law inspired by BGA investigations means meals, hotels and other travel expenses will get tougher scrutiny.

FIRING: Rauner Housing Appointee Out Amid Allegations
After inquiries from the BGA, the Rauner administration forces out a housing official amid pay-to-play allegations.

DONATIONS PROMISED: Elected Officials Agree To Pay It Back
Following questions from the BGA about nonprofits donating money to Illinois politicians, a number of elected officials agree to refund money.

RESIGNATION: Accused Of Perjury, Chicago Cop Quits
Several months after the BGA and CBS2 highlight the case of a Chicago cop who allegedly lied in court in an attempted murder case, the Chicago Police Department moves to fire her, and she resigns.

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