Project Description

Tom Tresser

co-founder, Vice President, COO of the CivicLab Chicago

Tom Tresser is a civic educator and public defender. His first voter registration campaign was in 1972. In 2008 he was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks, a neighborhood effort to stop the privatization of public space in Chicago. He was a lead organizer for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer grassroots effort that opposed Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid. In 2010 Tom was the Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President. With Benjamin Sugar Tom co-founded The CivicLab, a co-working space where activists, educators, coders and designers came to work, collaborate, teach, and build tools for civic engagement. Located in Chicago’s West Loop, the space operated for two eventful years closing on June 30, 2015. He is the lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project that is investigating and explaining the impacts of Tax Increment Financing districts on a community-by-community basis. That work has led to 78 public meetings. Tom is the organizer and editor for Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve, which has triggered 66 public meetings across the city. He has trained hundreds of people over the years in community organizing and election campaigning. More at