Tom Tresser

Civic educator and public defender.

Tom Tresser ( is a civic educator and public defender. His civic work is about encouraging civic engagement, grassroots economic development, government accountability and extending the Commons. He works to protect and expand the Public space and defeat privatization. He was a co- founder of Protect Our Parks, which stopped the privatization of Lincoln Park. He was an organizer and spokesperson for No Games Chicago, a grass roots volunteer effort that helped derail the bid for the 2016 Olympics. He has taught/is teaching a number of classes on creativity, leadership, nonprofit management and civic engagement for Roosevelt University, Adler University, Loyola University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, Adler University and i. c. stars. Tom was the Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President in 2010. In July of 2013 he launched The CivicLab, a co-working space in the West Loop dedicated to collaboration, education and innovation for civic engagement ( The CivicLab operated for two years and closed in June of 2015. He is also the Lead Organizer for the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Illumination Project ( In July of 2016 he published "Chicago Is Not Broke. Funding the City We Deserve" - In the summer of 2017 with Jonathan Peck he launched the POWER Institute to train people to fight and win for justice - He has been invited to present at 105 public meetings around the city in the past four years.