November 11, 2015
The Civic Federation and Motorola Solutions Foundation are pleased to announce the 2015 Excellence in Public Service honoree, Karen Tamley, Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. The award recognizes a non-elected government official who has had an extraordinary impact on the quality of state and local government services in Illinois. The award will be presented on Thursday, December 10, 2015 at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park with a reception beginning at 8:00 a.m., followed by breakfast and the award program at 8:30 a.m.
Karen Tamley was named Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in March of 2005 by Richard M. Daley and reappointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in May of 2011. MOPD promotes full inclusion of people with all types of disabilities and strives to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation. Under Commissioner Tamley’s leadership Chicago received the Accessible America Award from the National Organization on Disability, and for two years MOPD was named “Best Government Department” by the Deaf Illinois Awards.
As Commissioner, Tamley leads numerous disability policy and accessibility compliance initiatives in key areas such as transportation, city infrastructure, emergency preparedness, housing, schools and technology. She also oversees the delivery of independent living services such as in-home supports, home accessibility modifications, amplified phones and employment readiness to thousands of Chicagoans with disabilities.
Commissioner Tamley serves as the City’s representative regarding disability-related policy on a number of boards and committees, including the Pace Board of Directors. She also serves on the boards of Meals on Wheels and Dare2 Tri. In September of 2015, President Obama appointed Commissioner Tamley to the United States Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board, an independent federal agency that develops national accessibility standards. In March of 2015, she received the annual Distinguished Fellow Award from Leadership Greater Chicago.
Commissioner Tamley is also a Steering Committee Member of ADA 25 Chicago. The year-long initiative of The Chicago Community Trust has convened 200 civic partners this year to increase inclusion and expand opportunity for people with disabilities in metropolitan Chicago in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Commissioner is co-chair of The Chicago Community Trust’s Persons with Disabilities Fund, co-chair of the new Leadership Institute for People with Disabilities and founded and leads a national monthly meeting for Commissioners of disability offices in ten major U.S. cities.
Past recipients of the Motorola Solutions Foundation Excellence in Public Service Award include Illinois Department of Human Rights Director Rocco Claps, Former Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino and Former Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos.
Tables for the awards breakfast may be reserved for $600 and individual tickets for $65. To request an invitation or for more information, please contact Jennifer Breslin at PJH & Associates at 312.553.2000, via email, or through PJHchicago.com where guests can RSVP online. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services will be available at the event. Please indicate any additional accommodations needed via RSVP or by contacting Jennifer Breslin.