At a community meeting on TIF accountability last week (see last week’s Newstip ) — part of a citywide educational effort to build a movement for TIF reform — Valerie Leonard of the Lawndale Alliance gave lessons learned in her group’s work on the Lawndale TIF. (Leonard’s powerpoint is posted at her blog Staying In The Loop ; see also the March 28 Newstip  on the Lawndale TIF.)
Leonard covered basics like the approval process, relevant laws and ordinances, residents’ rights and legal standing, and ethical issues. And she suggested activists be prepared for possible consequences.
These include positive consequences, like engaging the community, and negative consequences: “attempts to discredit groups and their messages…; leaders are often isolated and labeled as troublemakers; exclusion from key meetings by community ‘gatekeepers’; key stakeholders begin to distance themselves; retaliation.”