Media Contact: Patrick Corcoran - [email protected]
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Announcing the new ChicagoCode.org providing one-stop access to
the Chicago Municipal Code
The new ChicagoCode.org is being released this week to coincide with the March 18 Chicago City
Council meeting, giving residents, business owners and government workers the most accessible, userfriendly, and interactive way to access the Chicago Municipal Code on the Internet. The site has been in
beta testing since it was released on November 20, 2013, and has helped more than 45,000 people 13,334 while using mobile devices - to access, understand and interact with the city’s most important
data set. ChicagoCode.org averages nearly 200 new, unique visitors per day, spiking to nearly 500 new
visitors on Wednesdays when the City Council meets.
This digital transformation was produced by The OpenGov Foundation in concert with the Office of the
Chicago City Clerk, the City of Chicago and the city’s codification partner, American Legal Publishing.
ChicagoCode.org upgrades the City’s laws and legal codes from hard to use and hard to find files - such
as PDFs and frames-based websites - to organized, modern and efficient online formats. This
straightforward switch delivers significant results: more clarity, context and public understanding of the
laws’ impact on Chicago residents’ and entrepreneurs’ daily lives, on their own terms.
Click here to learn more about the power of ChicagoCode.org, part of the America Decoded
Chicago City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza said she is a proud partner of the local innovators behind the
“It’s a little known fact that many municipalities charge for access to the documents that set laws and
policies. That’s beyond ridiculous,” Mendoza said. “It’s our goal to make our City government the most
accessible in the entire country and this product is a user-friendly way to access a very complex
document. You are going to want to bookmark this website.”
The Chicago Municipal Code is thousands of pages long and includes everything from the building code
to rules about where you can park on a Sunday afternoon.
Seamus Kraft, executive director of The OpenGov Foundation said Chicago Decoded is part of a
broader initiative to bring the law - the most important information in any community - to the people in
more accessible, modern formats that can be used and reused without cost or restriction.
“The foundation of Chicago - the source code of the city - is the law. Without world-class public access
to this crucial information, it is that much harder for community members to lead a successful civic life,
start a business, and create a world-class place to live. Breaking down the barriers that stand between
residents, their government and their law - that’s what ChicagoCode.org is built to do. We are excited to
continue working with Clerk Mendoza, her team and the rest of the City of Chicago to continue
upgrading how government delivers for residents in between elections,” Kraft said.
ChicagoCode.org is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan implementation of The State
Decoded, developed and administered by The OpenGov Foundation.
Plans are underway to build upon the website framework. Those include analysis of city council
legislation and regulations and the addition of court rulings and opinions. Other add-ons include social
media integration, a built-in glossary of legal terms, scholarly article citations and more.
The data that powers ChicagoCode.org is made available online to the public by the City of Chicago via
American Legal Publishing. The official code is maintained by the City of Chicago and the Office of
the Chicago City Clerk.