Mass E-Mail Campaign Aims at Putting Pressure on Mayor Daley and City Council to Declare TIF Surplus and Return Hundreds of Millions to CPS and other Taxing Bodies


Amy Smolensky, 312-485-0053


Tue, 08/24/2010

CHICAGO -- The Raise Your Hand Coalition, a growing coalition of parents and organizations collaborating for long-term, sustainable funding for education, has launched its citywide “GIVE BACK TIF” Campaign ( 

A web-based, mass letter writing campaign, “Give Back TIF” allows users to e-mail letters to their Alderman and to Mayor Daley using an automated system.  Thousands of people used the same system in the coalition’s “No to 37” campaign last spring to send out over 155,000 emails to Illinois state legislators, which resulted in the restoration of proposed education cuts.

The “Give Back TIF” campaign sends a powerful message to city alderman and Mayor Daley that the surplus funds from the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) must be returned to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and other taxing bodies. The estimated TIF surplus is approximately $700 million, which were originally diverted from CPS and other governmental entities.  Under the provisions of TIF, if the Mayor declares that there is a surplus, CPS would receive more than $350 million.

“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) still face a huge deficit resulting in lay offs and program cuts across the city,” said Wendy Katten of the Raise Your Hand Coalition.  “Our aldermen and Mayor Daley need to hear our collective voices on this issue the same way the State heard our message last spring.  The city of Chicago needs to look at the TIF surplus and give back the money it owes to CPS and other taxing bodies.”

The “Give Back TIF” website and letter can be accessed through the following URL:

About Us: 

Raise Your Hand (RYH) is a growing coalition of parents and organizations that are collaborating to influence the public sector to enact changes that will result in appropriate, equitable and sustainable funding for public education. RYH works to create a long-term education funding framework that is not contingent on political party, election cycles or special interest agendas. Members include parents, students, teachers, administrators and community members who believe that fair and equitable funding is a core component in providing outstanding public education.

Press Announcement File: 

Blog Category: