"The City Club of Chicago, a who’s who of business people and political leaders and a required stop for most anyone who wants to win office around here..." -- New York Times

"[The] City Club is an amazing forum which harkens back to an era of public discourse. There is a dynamic in your gathering which the mightiest blogs cannot touch." -- Hon. Richard J. Durbin

The City Club of Chicago is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose members include prominent business, civic and government leaders in Chicago. The organization attracts those interested in civic responsibility, public issues, open political debate and networking opportunities. Founded in 1903, it is the longest-running civic forum in Chicago.

The mission of the City Club of Chicago is to provide a forum for the discussion of civic and public affairs in Chicago, the metropolitan area and the State of Illinois.

Early beginnings

When the City Club began, it operated amidst adverse social and working conditions and a notoriously corrupt political system. The City Club took a leadership role in working to improve these conditions. The City Club continues this tradition by critically looking at the operations and conduct of entities affecting the common good.


Today, the City Club of Chicago has over 1,900 members. Prominent members of the City Club of Chicago past and present are: Jane Addams, Hon. Tom Cross, Hon. Richard J. Daley, Jonathan Fanton, Henry Horner, Louis Sullivan, Hon. Patrick Quinn, Hon. Richard M. Daley, Hon. Ray LaHood, Hon. Christine Radogno, John W. Rowe, Hon. Anita Alvarez, Cardinal Francis E. George, Hon. Lisa M. Madigan, Hon. Anne M. Burke, Hon. Luis Gutierrez, and Hon. Jesse White.

National recognition

City Club forums have frequently garnered attention in the media, both locally and nationally. CBS-2, FOX-32, NBC-5, WGN-9, WLS-7, WTTW-11, CNN, Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, National Public Radio, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Herald, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Reuters, and The Washington Post have all featured City Club of Chicago activities.

Our forums have included high-profile speakers such as:

  • U.S. President Barack Obama
  • U.S. Senator Richard Durbin
  • U.S. Senator Mark Kirk
  • Governor Pat Quinn
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
  • Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • U.S. Representative Geraldine Ferraro
  • U.S. Representative Paul Ryan
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts
  • Capitol Fax Editor & Publisher Rich Miller
  • Chicago Blackhawks Chairman & Wirtz Corporation President Rocky Wirtz
  • U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald