25 East Washington, Suite 1515
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Contact: Adam Gross
Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) is a public interest law and policy center that focuses on transforming segregated public housing, increasing the supply of affordable housing, addressing the foreclosure crisis, improving public education, and helping restore open, honest, responsible, and accountable government in Illinois. Since its inception in 1969, BPI has worked on the cutting edge of law and policy and at the forefront of efforts to address compelling issues of social justice and quality of life in the Chicago metropolitan area.
PILI Interns & Fellows work under the direct supervision of BPI attorneys. They research legal and policy issues, write memoranda, briefs and policy papers, develop legal strategies and participate in various aspects of our advocacy work – examples of which are described below.
As counsel for the plaintiffs in the landmark Gautreaux litigation, BPI is advocating for public housing residents on many fronts, and is deeply engaged in the Chicago Housing Authority’s multi-billion dollar effort to transform the City’s isolated, crumbling public housing projects into mixed-income communities. Among other things, BPI plays a central role creating and implementing plans for redeveloped communities and working to ensure that public housing residents receive the supportive services they need. Through Gautreaux, BPI has helped provide better housing and enhanced life opportunities for more than 25,000 victims of the CHA’s racial discrimination.
BPI is also recognized nationally for its affordable housing advocacy. BPI has spearheaded efforts to increase the supply of affordable housing in Illinois and to broadly disperse such housing throughout the region, including in communities with good jobs and schools, but little or no affordable housing. The organization was instrumental in passing a path-breaking state law to help encourage the creation of affordable housing in communities that lack it. BPI has also been instrumental in developing state, county and local programs to address the foreclosure crisis. BPI has produced dozens of publications on a range of affordable housing issues.
BPI is exploring a range of options to improve educational opportunities for families living in communities where public housing is being transformed. BPI filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s current school funding system. Previously, BPI worked with a group of neighborhood schools to significantly advance student learning by building individual school capacity for rigorous professional collaboration and whole school change.
And, BPI recently published a comprehensive report on Illinois inspector general offices. Recommendations from the report will form the basis for advancing specific policy and legislative initiatives. Additionally, BPI is acting as pro bono counsel for the Inspector General of the City of Chicago in its effort to require the City’s corporation counsel to comply with a subpoena that requests confidential information needed for the Inspector General to investigate a no-bid contract with a former top aide to Mayor Daley.
This agency is approved to host a Law Student Intern during the summer of 2017. They are also approved to host Graduate Fellows.