Monday, May 16, 2011

Mayor Rham - Ask for something in return.

In 1997 I was one of 10 people to represent Chicago in the President's Summit for America's Future, held in Philadelphia. After that I was part of an Illinois Summit held in the Governor's mansion in Springfield.

I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Mayors (Chicago was not represented) and I suggested that one way to build support for kids was to put a map of their city at the door to their office then ask each company who wanted a contract or financial award from the city to put a pin on the map indicating some place where that company was using its money, technology, knowledge and employee talent to do something that was helping Chicago kids move through school and into jobs.

This map shows tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Using the Interactive Map, companies can identify different tutor/mentor programs throughout the city and provide financial and talent support. If companies who do business with the city begin to put pins on the map showing where they are helping the city's kids, the Mayor would begin to be able to see where resources were well distributed and where more help was needed.

Each year this map could be one demonstration of the Mayor's commitment to helping Chicago be the best city in the world for ALL kids to have opportunities for success in life.

I've been suggesting this for many years. I've yet to see much evidence of mayors, or business leaders, using maps like this to build a distribution of resources to neighborhoods where kids need more help for many years.

We received a $50,000 gift in late 2007 to re-build our mapping capacity. That money ran out in 2009. We would certainly appreciate another donor stepping forward so we can update the maps to 2010 census information and keep the information on them up-to-date. That way we might still enlist the Mayor and business leaders to use them.

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