CCAC eNews
March 2016
CCAC eNews is the monthly newsletter of the Chicago Central Area Committee. For more information about the CCAC or to inquire about membership, please contact Kelly O'Brien at (312) 602-5148 or

Download the 2016 Meeting Calendar!
The CCAC 2016 Meeting Calendar is ready to download in PDF format. The Calendar lists this year's dates and locations for our popular luncheon speaker series, hosted each month by a different CCAC member organization. (NOTE: Locations subject to change--see website for newest calendar. Meetings open to paid members and guests, only.)
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CCAC Hears about Politics and Public Affairs: A View from Inside
CCAC would like to thank Michael Csar, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP, for hosting CCAC’s monthly luncheon on March 8, 2016. At the meeting, the membership heard from Thom Serafin, Founder & CEO of Serafin & Associates, and FOX 32 News Political Analyst. He offered his unique insight into the 2016 primary season, from the hottest local races in the March 15 Illinois primary to the presidential battles in both parties. 
Serafin made several predictions on the outcome of the elections based on his experiences. The CCAC Members asked a great deal of questions and greatly appreciated the shared insights. When Serafin was asked, “What’s on the horizon?”, he simply said, “There is a shift in the political party. People are mad and aren’t going to take it anymore. People who haven’t been voting are now actively participating and firing off their depth charges to the different parties.” 
In reference to the Presidential battles and the many candidates, Serafin mentioned that most people are focused on Donald Trump and the real surprise is Bernie Sanders. Noting the difference in delegate count, Serafin noted that Bernie Sanders is more ahead than people thought he would be: Not including Super Delegates, he and Clinton are almost tied.
Michael Csar, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath; Thom Serafin, President & CEO, Serafin & Associates; and Greg Hummel, Chairman of CCAC
Serafin had an interesting interpretation on Donald Trump. “The Trump situation is really unique—It changes everything,” he said. Based on Serafin’s view, Republicans, Independents, Reagan Democrats, are voting for Trump because he tells them, “I hear you. Everyone has not heard you. I know what it means to be politically correct to be sitting on the sidelines and letting everyone else walk by in this entitlement society.” Then, according to Serafin, someone else comes around and says, “Donald Trump is telling you the wrong thing. He’s wrong. He doesn’t understand what’s really going on. He’s really a bad businessman, etc.” Serafin expressed that even though Trump may be perceived as a bad businessman, that doesn’t change the way those people in the streets feel and those are the 35-40% that are voting for Trump. Serafin continued to speak about how important it is for Rubio and Kasich to win. Serafin believed, “If you can stop Trump from winning in those respective states, you then have a brokered convention. The brokered convention in July is critical. Not one candidate will have 100% of the vote.” Explaining the process of the brokered convention, Serafin noted for the first ballot delegates are required to vote for the candidate they were associated with in the primary. However, on the second ballot, they’re free to go in a different direction. With a hint of sarcasm, Serafin said, “What a wonderful way to pick a candidate! A regular Slugfest!”
Serafin pointed out “The enthusiasm for voting in the Republican Primary has shot through the roof. There has been an increase of about 33% or more voters depending on the state and they are not all Republicans. Some are Democrats and people you have never seen or heard from.” 
Serafin believed on the Democratic side, there is low turnout. He said, “People aren’t interested, which is good for the Party regulars but not necessarily good for the local race.” Serafin posed a question. “How do you get people to vote? It has to be some excitement. You have a couple of good races on both the Democratic and Republican side. But what’s going to drive voters out here in Illinois?” Serafin continued to explain by saying that, “the national battles will certainly bring out the voters. We need more voters!... There are more Independents than both the Democrats and Republicans combined. There are a total of 43% of Independent voters in the county.”
Serafin noted how the media plays an important role during the elections. He said, “The Internet is very important today. Social media and how we move messages and the participation is huge. Everyone is a writer and things go viral within minutes. This is the change in the world of politics and how we campaign and win voters.”  Serafin asked the question again, “How do we get people to vote? We’re all in business and we have business in public affairs. But this is the People’s business and it’s important too.” Serafin expressed that most people are angry because they’re not getting the bang for their buck. He said, “The people aren’t seeing the Representatives, Legislators, Senators, Congressman working for us. Everyone speaks within the same margins and are all politically correct. Then here comes someone who is telling it like it is and all of a sudden, they connect. Well now, Trump is connecting.” 
According to Serafin, the race that is key is Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s re-election as State Representative from the 22nd District. Serafin noted that in this race, “over $3.3 million has been spent in a race where you have only 40,000 voters in a district of 100,000 people.” 
In respect to the mess in Illinois politics, Serafin added, “As a whole, legislators are happy that they’re working and showing progress but Governor Rauner has vetoed everything.” He continued to say, “The worst thing about this whole situation is that people are getting paid, but there isn’t any work being done.” Serafin believed that education funding may be the pressure point which can lead to a resolution on this matter.  To recap, Governor Rauner approved the Education bill in the current year’s State Budget, but the rest of the State Budget isn’t finalized. Serafin expressed that this is an interesting issue that will affect us all. “If there is no budget, then the schools don’t open.”
The race for State Representative in the 5th District, between incumbent Ken Dunkin and Juliana Stratton is ongoing. In regards to the Kim Foxx and Anita Alvarez race for Cook County State’s Attorney, Serafin noted that this race looks like more of what they call a “controlled vote.” Kim Foxx has the support of the newspaper, government group, Pat Quinn, and Dick Durbin. But overall, both candidates need the voter turnout.
In conclusion, not only was it beneficial in having an inside look into the 2016 Primary Elections, it also provided awareness how voter turnout, social media and legislation will affect the country. Below are the final results of all the races Serafin discussed during his presentation which was done a week before the primary on March 15th!
President-Democrat Illinois
Hillary Clinton (D) 1,002,832 -- 50%
Bernie Sanders (D) 968,227 -- 49%

President-Republican Illinois
Donald Trump (R) 548,528 -- 39%
Ted Cruz (R) 428,363 -- 30%
John Kasich (R) 278,244 -- 20%
Marco Rubio (R) 122,206 -- 9%

State's Attorney-Democrat Cook County
Kim Foxx (D) 621,698 -- 58%
Anita Alvarez (D) 306,191 -- 29%
Donna More (D) 138,112 -- 13%

House District 5-Democrat Illinois
Juliana Stratton (D) 18,488 -- 68%
Ken Dunkin (D) 8,804 -- 32%

House District 22-Democrat Illinois
Michael J. Madigan (D) 16,068 -- 65%
Jason Gonzales (D) 6,862 -- 28%
Grasiela Rodriguez (D) 1,451 -- 6%
Joe Barboza (D) 491 -- 2%
Next CCAC Meeting:                                       
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at Forum Studio
Join us at Forum Studio on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 for the next CCAC lunch meeting, hosted by Tyler Meyr, Principal, of Forum Studio.
David Gwinn, Director of Design, Silliman Group, LLC


Tuesday, April 12, 2016



12:00 pm -- 1:30 p.m.



35 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 1300, Chicago, IL



Tyler Meyr, Principal

Forum Studio

Kelly O'Brien at

"A Good City Hides Its Parking"
Architect/Developer, David Gwinn with over 16 years of experience in design related fields, offers insight into one of the longstanding development challenges in today’s urban environment: how to hide the car. Silliman Group, LLC is a multidisciplinary Design/build firm based in Hyde Park Chicago. Silliman’s work for the affiliated property management company of Mac Properties, LLC includes historic renovation and brand identity work of properties, and management of new construction, as well as general contracting of their designs in Chicago, St Louis and Kansas City.  Using the City Hyde Park project, designed by Studio Gang Architects, in the south side of Chicago as a case study for design, this lunch conversation will examine current trends, challenges and opportunities in handling parking in future developments in Chicago.  
CCAC Young Leaders Membership Tier & Upcoming Quarterly Meet-Up
CCAC is pleased to have launched this new membership tier.  As you know, this initiative is geared towards young professionals, and includes dynamic programming and networking opportunities tailored to Chicago’s next generation of leaders.  Through its Young Leader initiative, CCAC is aiming to ensure that Chicago’s future continues to have thoughtful and civic-minded leaders to meet the future demands of a world-class city. Our next gathering is scheduled for June 23. The John Buck Company is giving a Property Tour of their new development located, at 201 N. Garland Ct., Chicago, IL. The tour begins at 5:30 pm with a Happy Hour to follow. For membership information and to RSVP contact Kelly O'Brien at
Young Leaders whose firms are CCAC Members are automatically included and welcome to attend.  Non-firm/Individual Young Leader Membership is $1,000.00 annually.   To download the below flyer please click on it for a version to distribute. 
Final Notice to Join CCAC For A Delegation in Cuba: Discovering It's People, History, Culture, and Local Challenges
CCAC is planning an 8 days and 7 nights trip full of learning, fun, and friendship in Cuba with the Global Relations Travel Club (GTRC) from September 3rd - 10th, 2016. The Delegation will be visiting historical sites in Old Havana, Vedado, Havana, and Pinar del Rio. We will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of the City's Integral Development Group for a presentation on Planning, Restoration, and Urbanization in Old Havana. Each day promises to be filled with activities as well as touring exclusive Cuban venues. Only a few spots remain if you are interested in being a part of this wonderful trip to Cuba. Please contact Kelly O'Brien,
(312) 602-5148
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