Since 1969, the mission of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI) which is a public interest law and policy center, has been to address issues of social justice and quality of life in the Chicago region. BPI's staff of lawyers and policy specialists collaborates with non-profit, business, community and governmental organizations to accomplish their mission.
On April 16, 2012 at BPI’s annual dinner, they presented the coveted Champion of the Public Interest Award to Mikva Challenge and to Change Illinois!, two well deserving recipients.
Mikva Challenge, founded as a tribute to Judge Abner Mikva and his wife Zoe, helps develop tomorrow’s leaders by providing opportunities for Chicago area high school students to participate in the political process. Since 2000, Mikva Challenge programs have empowered over 20,000 students to become civically active in their communities; Which stays true to the Mikva Challenge theme – “Democracy is a verb.” Change Illinois! has been working since 2009 to combat the state’s culture of political corruption and strive toward a governmental reform. The organization labors to engage Illinois residents to create a government that is more transparent, accountable and responsive. A main accolade for Change Illinois! was their success in enacting Illinois’ first law that limits campaign contributions. Now they are focused on reforming the way Illinois draws its political boundaries.