City Council 101

Chicago’s new City Council will take office on May 15th. But how does it all really work, inside the council chambers? Join the Better Government Association’s policy team for an in-depth seminar on the history, rules, and workings of Chicago City Council.

BGA State Policy Agenda 2023

Our Policy Agenda: The Better Government Association policy team researches, drafts,  supports and advocates for legislation that improves transparency, efficiency, equity and accountability in government in Illinois. We actively seek to work with other policy advocates, the public and government officials to advance these important goals, for the benefit of the people of Illinois. Outlined below…


Transparency Watchdog

BGA OpenGov is the Illinois affiliate of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Without access to information about the workings of government, it would be impossible for citizens to determine whether taxpayer dollars were being spent responsibly and equitably, or to hold public servants accountable for their actions. 

Policy Statements

New: Get Involved

Get Involved

Tools to help you locate your elected lawmakers based on where you live and follow legislation we’re tracking.

See What the Illinois State Legislature Is Doing

Better Government Association believes in transparency and accountability, which is why we have partnered with FastDemocracy to bring you some of the most powerful tools to keep tabs on your lawmakers in Springfield and their legislative actions.


Research & Analysis

BGA Budget Hearings Snapshot

Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced her proposed city budget for 2023 on Monday, Oct. 3. City Council begins meeting on Thurs., Oct. 6 for a twelve-day series of departmental budget hearings, at which budget staff and department heads are available to answer questions from the alderpersons.


Greising: Annual Budget-Making Won’t Solve Illinois’ Pension Crisis. We Need a Far-Reaching Fix-It Plan.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker started his budget address on Wednesday with a passel of numbers meant to get our attention. During his first term, the state has eliminated a $17 billion backlog of unpaid bills, built a rainy day fund of $2.3 billion and repaid several billions of dollars worth of debt. The list went on. Then Pritzker…