Taft Chicago Launches Public Affairs Strategies Group

Taft is pleased to announce that former state representative Michael J. Zalewski will lead the Public Affairs Strategies Group (PASG) in Chicago and throughout Illinois as part of Taft’s affiliate, Taft Advisors.

Taft Advisors is a bipartisan, diverse, and experienced governmental affairs consulting firm specializing in client advocacy before federal, state, and local governments. The group designs strategies and implements solutions ranging from complex, federal, and multi-year authorizations in Congress to state and municipal policy development. Zalewski and Taft have deep experience navigating all aspects of the intersection of government and policy.

Zalewski began his career in the Illinois House of Representatives in 2008 and served with distinction until the conclusion of his  seventh term in 2023. Throughout his tenure, he gained a reputation as a problem-solver, attacking complex policy issues with vigor and tenacity while maintaining a collaborative spirit. Zalewski led the House Revenue and Finance Committee from 2017 until 2023, helping turn around the state’s fiscal condition, balancing budgets, and earning Illinois several credit upgrades. He authored voluminous state statutes, including the state’s Sports Wagering Act, the EDGE and REV Tax credits, the Marketplace Fairness Act, cocktails-to-go, and the Independent Tax Tribunal Act, among others.

Zalewski will work with existing Taft personnel to serve clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois. 

“Mike is a natural fit to lead this group and formalize our prior lobbying efforts to serve our Illinois clients,” said Cezar Froelich, chairman of Taft’s Chicago office.

“Serving in the House was the honor of a lifetime, and I’m excited to begin this new chapter,” Zalewski said. “I was born in Illinois, am raising my family here, and there’s plenty of opportunity to affect public policy in a meaningful and productive way. I’m thankful to Taft’s leadership for offering me the opportunity to grow the firm’s public policy practice, and I look forward to getting to work very soon.”

“We are excited to have Mike lead this group to build upon our existing government relations practice and also introduce new service offerings to Illinois clients,” said Paul Jenson, partner-in-charge of Taft’s Chicago office. “Through his extensive career in public service, Mike offers unique experience and capabilities to advocate for our clients.”

In 2021, Taft expanded its team of attorneys, lobbyists, and support professionals to launch Taft’s PASG, which was followed by integrating the existing Taft government affairs attorneys and lobbyists into the group. Today, experienced state and local policy teams are present in Taft’s markets, with the firm’s federal policy team’s national practice located in our Washington, DC office.

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