ACLU of Illinois attorneys were among a platoon of lawyers that fought for some of Chicago’s most significant reforms during the last five decades, according to an article on

Even as so much has been achieved, the tough work of fixing today's problems remains a challenge.

“An era that began with Paddy Bauler declaring, 'Chicago ain’t ready for reform' ended with every politician on the scene, including the new mayor, promising to bring it. But what [Mayor-elect Rahm] Emanuel and the others call for remains vague and often elides the city’s deepest problems.

Patronage is withering on the vine—but the vine is still rooted. Massive election fraud has disappeared but cheating here and there is still with us.

We are no longer the most segregated of cities, but racial and economic inequality remains our most festering sore. No entity continues to call out for reform more than our school system, but the so-called reforms proposed by Emanuel, rooted in those of his predecessor, are technocratic nostrums that have thus far flunked despite reams of flackery saying otherwise.

The heroic lawyers of recent decades wrought reform and changed the city, but reform must be an ongoing process as new issues emerge, such as privatization and the myriad inequities of tax increment financing (TIFs). We’re waiting for the next generation of heroes. Chicago is ready for them.”