Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Political Map Benefits Who?

This map was posted on Mapping for Justice today by Mike Trakan of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. It shows the Illinois 4th Congressional District, which has been represented by Luis GutiƩrrez.

Note how this wraps around the 7th District, held by Congressman Danny Davis (see map here).

Congressman GutiƩrrez was a guest speaker at the spring 1999 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference. Congressman Davis has also attended a T/MC conference. So did President Obama.

Unfortunately, none of these leaders have ever provided financial support to help the Tutor/Mentor Connection create these maps, host the tutor/mentor program directory, and host the conferences. We don't know if they have used the maps to mobilize resources for their districts either, though I've given the maps personally to Davis.

If you are trying to raise kids or do business in these districts, what does this say to you? As we think of who should be the next Mayor of Chicago, what does this say?

When you look at T/MC maps, look at where there are concentrations of poverty and poorly performing schools. Are there non-school tutor/mentor programs in these areas? You can use the interactive map and program locator on the http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net site to find contact information and web sites for the tutor/mentor programs we list (if the organization has provided that information). Thus, you can compare one program to another, and build your own understanding of "what is a good program" and "what can you, your business, or your church, or your elected leaders do to help good tutor/mentor programs be available throughout a political district.

Look at Mike's blog, or the maps tag on this blog, to see how maps can be included in social media stories. Kids in local high school could be doing this. So could planners in local companies.

We're looking for donors and sponsors to help us keep this service available to Chicago and will be holding a Mapping Solutions event on Nov. 17 at Webster Wine Bar. Click here to find details and an address to send a donation.

We'll also be showing ways to use these maps, at a workshop during the Nov. 19 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference.

Be a sponsor for the conference, or Mapping Solutions, and you can help the T/MC keep its services available to Chicago.

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