The Chicago Democracy Project at Northwestern Political Science (CDP@NU) is a research and public engagement project led by political scientists Thomas Ogorzalek and Jaime Dominguez, supported by the political science department and Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. Along with our team of researchers, we analyze important issues in Chicago metro-area politics, showcase research on city politics, host speakers and events to spread political consciousness about local affairs, and partner with local organizations and groups to provide rigorous, non-partisan empirical analysis to make our community a better place to live.

The Chicago Democracy Project originated in 2000 as an effort by Professor Dominguez to create a freely available, online resource for gathering information about and better understanding Chicago politics. The initial project, still online here, entails a long-term (1975-2000) online political database that measures policy outcomes for the City of Chicago.  The CDP@NU continues to serve this purpose to bridge the digital divide by providing citizens, community groups, and religious organizations with important information and analysis of local politics. It will also serve as a resource for researchers and members of the press who are interested in urban and local affairs.

Our first reboot initiative is the Chicago Elections Database, a comprehensive, interactive database of Chicago electoral results from 2005-2016, which you can access here. We will update and add features to this database frequently. Right now it is a great tool for finding out what the results were in particular races, and how those races played out across the city. We have a handy guide to using the database here.

In the future, we will conduct public opinion studies about important issues in Chicago politics and American politics more broadly, providing insight on our own political community and its distinctive place in U.S. national politics. We will also be using our crack staff of researchers to use political science to help inform local debates, using our database and information they gather from the city. The site will also serve as a forum to spread information about the latest urban research and ongoing events in Chicago and at Northwestern generally.

We are eager to learn more from community members about what kinds of information and analysis are most useful to them. There are many resources available from the city itself, but we can always do more. If you are interested in developing a research partnership, building more expertise on a particular issue, or if you only have a particular question about Chicago politics, please contact us.