Event Detail

2021 Virtual Governmental Research Association Conference

Event on July 19, 2021


The Civic Federation is pleased to partner with the Governmental Research Association to co-host a virtual conference July 19-20, 2021.

Register here via Eventbrite.

To watch a video about the Gatherly platform the conference will use, click here.

Please note:

AGENDA (all times Central)

Select materials and speaker bios linked below.

MONDAY, JULY 19, 2021 (all times Central)

9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. — Gatherly 101 and Helpdesk
Gatherly Lobby

10:00 a.m. — Welcome
Gatherly Ballroom
Sarah Wetmore, President, GRA
Laurence Msall, President, Civic Federation

10:15 a.m. —  Kickoff: The Post-COVID New Normal—What Will Detroit’s Revenues Look Like Post-Pandemic
Gatherly Ballroom
Leslie McGranahanVice President & Director of Regional Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Rick MattoonVice President & Regional Executive, Detroit Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

11:00 a.m. — Break

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. — Panel 1: Bail Reform Efforts Across the U.S.
Gatherly Ballroom
As pretrial reform efforts continue to sweep across the nation, some areas of the country are further along than others in moving away from a money-based bail system that has for centuries marginalized low income and people of color. With the passage of a landmark criminal justice reform law in February 2021, Illinois will end the use of cash bail and institute new pretrial release procedures in January 2023. New Jersey has proven that pretrial reform can be done successfully and without harming public safety, while efforts have had mixed success in places like Texas and New York.

This discussion will explore bail reform efforts across the U.S., with a particular focus on the unique experiences of Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. State leaders and criminal justice reform experts will discuss the challenges and barriers associated with achieving reform and the lessons learned that can be applied as more states and local jurisdictions pursue evidence-based and risk-based pretrial practices.

12:15 p.m. — Break

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. — Facilitated Group Discussions: Choose One or Some
Gatherly Small Group Discussion Room (Reforming Police Budgets Roundtable in the Gatherly Ballroom)

Topics and Facilitators:

Table 1: Pandemic Learning Loss: Policy Options, Criketa Matlock, Charter Schools USA
Table 2: Forming a Taxpayer Relief Task Force, Dominic Calabro, Florida TaxWatch
Table 3: Communications Collaboration + Shrinking Newsrooms, Katy Broom, Civic Federation
Table 4: Helping Downtowns Recover with Conversion Tax Credits, Kent Swanson, Riverside Investment & Development; Jared Fleisher, Rock Central; Roland Calia, Civic Federation
Table 5: Fundraising During a Pandemic: What Have We Learned? Jaye Hobart, Civic Federation

Ballroom: Reforming Police Budgets Roundtable, Rob Henken, Wisconsin Policy Forum; Chris Morill, GFOA; Annie McGowan, Civic Federation; Karen Volker, Cure Violence Global; Ivy Lee, Office of the Mayor of San Francisco; Maureen Quinn McGough, Policing Project at NYU School of Law; Sandy Jo MacArthur, University of Chicago Crime Lab.

1:30 p.m. — Adjourn for the Day

TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2021 (all times Central)

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. — Panel 2: The Future of Conventions and the Hospitality Industry: The Case of Chicago
Gatherly Ballroom
Conventions and hospitality are crucial industries to Chicago’s economy, but have also been the most impacted by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will explore how the tourism, convention and hospitality industries might recover from the pandemic and how they will continue to evolve after a year lived virtually.

  • Moderator: Jeffrey Bethke, Managing Partner, Ingenuity Advising & Chair, MPEA Board
  • Panelists:
    • Larita Clark, CEO, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
    • Robert Reiter, Executive Committee, Choose Chicago & President, Chicago Federation of Labor
    • Danny Ecker, Reporter-Commercial Real Estate, Crain's Chicago Business
    • Sam Toia, President & CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association

11:45 a.m. — Break

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. — Panel 3: Broadband and the Digital Divide
Gatherly Ballroom
Accessing the internet is fundamental to modern life. However, according to the American Community Survey, approximately 17.3% of US households lack access to a broadband connection. This lack of connection is isolating in “normal” times. The pandemic has further exacerbated this issue with millions of households unable to access tele-health, remote learning, and remote work. This panel of experts will discuss the work their organizations have done on internet accessibility, community impacts, disparities, and solutions.

  • ModeratorPaul Matthews, Executive Director & CEO, Worcester Regional Research Bureau
  • Panelists

1:00 p.m. — Break

1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. —  Awards Luncheon
Gatherly Ballroom

    Keynote Speaker: Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor for Cannabis to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker
    Former Illinois State Senator Hutchinson was one of the architects of Illinois' landmark adult-use cannabis legalization law.
    She will discuss the social equity provisions contained in the law and provide a look at the future of a growing industry.

    Presentation of the 2021 Frederick P. Gruenberg Award to Janet Howard

    Announcement of the Winners of the 2021 GRA Awards Competition

2:15 p.m. — Adjourn

AGENDA PDF (all times Central)