Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Make your Vote Count.

I just finished casting my vote in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. While the candidates at the top of the ballot were important, I also paid special attention to the retention votes for judges and followed guidance of the Chicago Bar Association and Chicago Tribune to reject six judges who are rated unqualified.

Where ever you are I hope you'll cast your vote today and that you'll also look for the list of judges who keep getting reaffirmed in office because not enough people take the time to vote for their rejection.

I won't tell you who I voted for because after the election I need support from who ever is in office for strategies that build stronger non-school support systems for kids living in high poverty neighborhoods.

After spending more than $2 Billion on the elections I'm not sure any politician has money in the bank, but all of those advertising and media companies, as well as the political consultants who make a living off of the election process, have become wealthy off of the elections. The money that went to them could be devoted to supporting intermediary organizations in every city and state, like Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, as well as the hundreds of local tutor/mentor programs operating in every city.

Think the politicians will help make this happen? Think again. We need to raise our collective voices to draw daily attention to the work we're all doing, so more people find reasons to give their time, talent and dollars.

I've launched this conference map to show participation in 2012-13 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences. Anyone attending the conference is encouraged to put their name on the map. Thus, if you see the name of a political leader, business or religious leader, that would indicate that they are showing some interest in helping tutor/mentor programs grow in their district and in the Chicago region.

Perhaps by the time the next election comes voters will be educated to look at maps like this to help them decide if the incumbent or the challenger is actively involved in helping youth in their district

While the election campaigns spend billions of dollars, I have trouble raising a few thousand to support the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences that I have hosted every six months since May 1994, and the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator that I've made available to Chicago for more than a decade.

If just one of the major donors who paid for campaign ads would become a sponsor of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC I could do much more between elections to bring people together, support them with good information, and point them to high poverty neighborhoods and tutor/mentor programs operating in those neighborhoods.

I hope you'll help me find this support.

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