100 Days In, BGA Policy Reviews Mayor Johnson’s Government Ethics Campaign Promises

100 days ago this Wednesday, Brandon Johnson was sworn in as mayor of Chicago.  During the campaign, Johnson, along with all other candidates except incumbent mayor Lori Lightfoot, responded to a Better Government Association questionnaire focused on transparency, accountability and ethics in government.  Below are Johnson’s responses from the campaign trail, with the BGA policy…

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

Better Government Association Statement: Supreme Court FOIA Ruling Limits Transparency; Significantly Broadens Exemptions to FOIA

A unanimous Illinois Supreme Court ruling yesterday in a case called Chapman v. Chicago reverses a lower court’s ruling and blocks plaintiff Matt Chapman’s open records request for information from the City of Chicago’s Department of Finance. The court’s ruling undermines the public’s right to know about the workings of government and is a threat…

“ComEd Four” Trial Underscores Need for Strengthened Ethics Reforms

In response to today’s guilty verdict in the federal corruption of former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, lobbyist Mike McClain, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, and former lobbyist and City Club president Jay Doherty Better Government Association President David Greising said the following:  “The jury’s guilty verdict on all counts strikes a blow against the culture…

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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

Lightfoot’s Outgoing Executive Orders Defy Precedent; Court Conflicts with Council

Executive-office pens in the City of Chicago saw a flurry of activity during the transition from Lori Lightfoot’s mayoralty to Brandon Johnson’s. The outgoing mayor issued thirteen executive orders during her last week in office, while Johnson signed four following his May 15th inauguration ceremony. Neither Illinois’ statutes nor Chicago’s municipal code contain explicit language…

How a FOIA Loophole in Illinois Puts Kids at Risk

A BGA Policy analysis of the 16 county detention centers across Illinois has found that only three successfully have completed audits mandated by federal law to enforce protections against sexual assault. Analysis of those audits, policy manuals and other data provided to BGA Policy shows that in the wake of blowback at the Cook County…