Welcome! We are pleased to announce the re-launch of the Chicago Democracy Project (CDP) at Northwestern University Political Science. The CDP is a collaborative effort to combine the best elements of rigorous scholarship with committed membership in community affairs. Housed in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University, we want to make it easier for people to learn about Chicago politics, and to bring real data and reliable analysis to some of the big questions of the day.

We’ll be using this space in a few ways.

First, continuing on the first incarnation of the CDP, we are very excited to launch our new interactive Chicago Elections Database. Have you ever wondered about how different parts of the city voted in a recent election? About where support for a particular candidate came from, or how people in your neighborhood voted on a particular question on the ballot? We’ve created an interactive website in which you can search for any election since 2005–any race, any candidate, any ballot initiative–and instantly map out the results for the city at the ward or precinct level. Having this information so handily available is useful for understanding what’s going on in Chicago politics. You can use it yourself, and our crack staff of researchers will also be using this database ourselves to produce original analyses of Chicago politics and important urban issues. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be posting some of our first reports, so check back in soon.

Second, we will serve as an outlet to highlight the fascinating and compelling research on Chicago and urban issues across the country. Many of our colleagues here at Northwestern and elsewhere will share their insights about what’s going on, and how to understand it–ideas for policy solutions, identification of political changes, and more.

Third, we will be letting you know about upcoming events in Chicago and Northwestern that are worth attending. These will range from academic talks, to civic engagement events, to The more you know, the more you grow.

Finally, but perhaps more importantly, we want this website to be the start of conversations with Chicagoans. We love this city, and are feel lucky to be able to study it for our jobs. But we don’t want to get stuck in our ivory tower, we want to engage with you. So if you’re a community group engaged in a great new initiative, or looking for connections within the research community to do program evaluation, analyze data, or some other idea, please reach out! We want to collaborate with you if we can.

We’ll be posting more in the coming days. In the meantime, we’d like to invite you to our first big campus event Thursday, featuring some outstanding experts and activists from Chicago and around the country for their insights on the upcoming election and beyond:socialmovementspanel1103

See you there, and here at the Chicago Democracy Project.