Non-profit

Citizen Action Illinois

Website:

www.citizenaction-il.org/

Location:

CHICAGO, IL

Tax ID:

36-4163480

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $653,741
Expenses: $649,324
Assets: $28,988

Citizen Action Illinois (styled Citizen Action/Illinois) is an Illinois-based advocacy group that promotes left-of-center social and economic policies both in Illinois and across the U.S. The organization is heavily funded by government worker labor unions, especially American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 31. [1]

Background

CAI is both an individual membership organization and an organizational coalition, with the latter of being represented through CAI’s affiliated organizations, such as the Public Action Foundation. [2] The affiliated organizations are represented by CAI’s 89-member Policy Council, which meets quarterly to discuss CAI’s next steps. [3]

Board members are ex-officio members of the Policy Council;[4] organizations represented by board members as of 2017 include the Chicago Federation of Labor through Jose Ramirez,[5] the Service Employees International Union Local 1 through Tom Balanoff,[6] and United Auto Workers Region 4 through Ron McInroy. [7] Other board members include former State Sen. Alice Palmer (D-Chicago) and former Cook County Clerk David Orr (D). [8]

Funding

In 2017, Citizen Action Illinois reported total revenue at $512,673; total expenditure at $454,557; and net assets at $55,574. [9] In 2016, CAI had total revenue at $653,741; total expenditure at $649,324; and net assets at -$2,542. [10] In 2015, CAI had total revenue at $651,392; total expenditure at $717,891; and net assets at -$18,994. [11]

Citizen Action Illinois receives substantial funding from organized labor. From 2010 through 2015, AFSCME District Council 31, a major government worker union in the state of Illinois, reported paying $845,000 to Citizen Action Illinois. [12] The Sixteen Thirty Fund, the advocacy fundraising arm of the Arabella Advisors network of liberal advocacy philanthropy projects, provided Citizen Action Illinois with $25,000 in 2017. [13]

Leadership

William McNary is the co-director of Citizen Action Illinois and concurrently works as the legislative chair of the Responsible Budget Coalition and sits on the boards of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, the Voter Participation Center, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. [14] He previously served as a senior advisor for the campaign speech regulation group Public Campaign (now the Every Voice Center), was a founding member of Health Care for America Now, and was the founding president of USAction. [15]

Lynda DeLaforgue was the co-director of CAI until her death in early 2019. [16] DeLaforgue was a career liberal political activist, working on campaigns for now-U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL), and former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington (D). [17] When the left-wing organizing group Illinois Public Action closed and was succeeded by Citizen Action Illinois, DeLaforgue became CAI’s associate director in 1997; she would take over the organization as co-director in 2000. [18]

Julie Sampson is the political director of CAI, and previously worked as a regional field director for USAction. [19] Benjamin Head is the millennial organizing consultant of CAI and concurrently serves as its political director. [20] He previously founded Men4Choice, and sat on the New Leaders Council Chicago board as recruitment co-chair and mentorship co-chair. [21]

Policy Advocacy

Citizen Action Illinois most notable advocacy campaign seeks to enact an amendment to the Illinois State Constitution to raise state income taxes by moving to an income-based rate system from the current flat rate system. [22] Labor unions, including unions that have funded Citizen Action Illinois, have supported the effort. [23]

References

  1. Smith, Mailee, and Joe Tabor. “Madigan’s Money: AFSCME Spending Trail Reveals Extensive and Hidden Political Activity.” Illinois Policy, April 13, 2019. https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/madigans-money-afscme-spending-trail-reveals-extensive-and-hidden-political-activity/. ^
  2. “About Us.” About Us | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://citizenaction-il.org/about ^
  3. “About Us.” About Us | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://citizenaction-il.org/about ^
  4. “About Us.” About Us | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://citizenaction-il.org/about ^
  5. Bushey, Claire. “He’s Fighting for the Organized-and the Unorganized.” Crain’s Chicago Business, June 29, 2017. https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20170629/ISSUE03/170629846/profile-of-jorge-ramirez-head-of-the-chicago-federation-of-labor. ^
  6. “Who’s Who – Tom Balanoff.” Crain’s Chicago Business, August 28, 2013. https://www.chicagobusiness.com/node/723161. ^
  7. “Ronald D. McInroy.” UAW Region 4, August 10, 2018. https://region4.uaw.org/about-us/ronald-d-mcinroy. ^
  8. Citizen Action – Illinois Chapter, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Part VII ^
  9. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Citizen Action Illinois. 2017. ^
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Citizen Action Illinois. 2016. ^
  11. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Citizen Action Illinois. 2015. ^
  12. Author’s calculations from data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor Management Standards Payer/Payee search from forms filed by labor unions. Queries conducted September 3, 2019. ^
  13. Sixteen Thirty Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I ^
  14. “Staff.” Staff | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff. ^
  15. “Staff.” Staff | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff. ^
  16. Megan, Graydon. “Lynda DeLaforgue, Liberal Activist and Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, Dies at 60.” Chicago Tribune, January 22, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-met-lynda-delaforgue-obituary-20190118-story.html. ^
  17. Megan, Graydon. “Lynda DeLaforgue, Liberal Activist and Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, Dies at 60.” Chicago Tribune, January 22, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-met-lynda-delaforgue-obituary-20190118-story.html. ^
  18. Megan, Graydon. “Lynda DeLaforgue, Liberal Activist and Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, Dies at 60.” Chicago Tribune, January 22, 2019. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/ct-met-lynda-delaforgue-obituary-20190118-story.html. ^
  19. “Staff.” Staff | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff ^
  20. “Staff.” Staff | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff ^
  21. “Staff.” Staff | Citizen Action / Illinois. Accessed August 15, 2019. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/about/staff ^
  22. “Fair Tax Amendment & Economic Justice.” Fair Tax Amendment & Economic Justice | Citizen Action / Illinois, n.d. http://www.citizenaction-il.org/fair-taxes-and-economic-justice. ^
  23. Kersey, Paul. “Progressive Income Tax: Brought to You by Illinois Unions.” Illinois Policy, August 21, 2012. https://www.illinoispolicy.org/progressive-income-tax-brought-to-you-by-illinois-unions/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. William McNary
    Co-Director

Coalition Memberships

  1. Citizen Action
  2. USAction
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1999

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $653,741 $649,324 $28,988 $31,530 N $547,548 $0 $0 $190,919
    2015 Dec Form 990 $651,392 $717,891 $59,587 $78,581 N $503,475 $0 $0 $447,781 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,687,560 $1,795,845 $125,407 $77,902 N $1,530,076 $0 $0 $200,128 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,728,770 $2,633,320 $258,123 $102,333 N $2,558,320 $0 $0 $206,437 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,009,007 $1,067,226 $161,694 $101,354 N $842,479 $0 $0 $194,335 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $732,249 $860,441 $295,184 $176,424 N $571,289 $0 $0 $190,582 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Citizen Action Illinois

    27 E MONROE ST STE 1100
    CHICAGO, IL 60603-5698