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Farewell NCBG, You Will Be Missed

By Alicia Dorr in News on Mar 16, 2007 6:30PM

The Neighborhood Capital Budget Group, a nonprofit, community-run and driven advocacy organization that served as a watchdog for myriad public works, has ceased operations due to lack of funding.

org_5.gifFor those who knew the group best, it was a breath of fresh air and source of clarity in hard times. It watched out for the little guy in some of the key issues that face the Chicago area, such as school funding and construction, lack of city money going to struggling neighborhoods and more. Best known for its critique of where TIF money was spent and its Campaign for Better Transit, a CTA watchdog, the grassroots organization pushed the city's leaders and residents to speak up about such issues as Green Line funding and the amount of money spent on public projects such as Millennium Park.

After downsizing its staff of 10 to two in the face of increasingly sparse funding, the organization finally had to stop all work due to a dilapidating lack of money. It lost key grants and other money from crucial sponsors, such as the Joyce Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, when targets and grant priorities were shifted or changed entirely.

The NCBG is survived by the residents of Chicago, each of whom, whether they were aware of the organization's work or not, will be severely affected by the loss. We can only hope that all of the vital members of the nonprofit have moved on to better places, where they can continue their desperately needed work in guarding public dollars, programs, communities and advocating for the people of Chicago.

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