Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chicago Poverty - Little Change in 30 years

If you are a subscriber to the Chicago Tribune you can read today's editorial, with a headline of "30 Years Later - So Much Endures". You can also read a commentary by Father Michael Pfleger, under the headline "Still Forgotten, Still Abandoned"

I'm a subscriber to the printed version and on-line, so I'm able to read these articles, and create an archive of stories like this. But for thousands who might want to join the Tribune's crusade, but who don't want to subscribe, this information is missing it's target. You can't read it. Too bad.

If you've followed my blog, you know I've offered this message for many years. On April 27, 2015 I included this image from a 1993 Chicago SunTimes story, which started out saying "Chicago neighborhoods that were poor 20 years ago are even more entrenched in poverty today because the city lacks a comprehensive battle plan".

In October 2013 I posted this article, offering suggestions for leaders who were reading the Tribune's Plan Chicago editorials.

Over the weekend I-Open, a network of change-thinkers based in Cleveland, Ohio, posted this article on their blog. It's intended to prompt leaders to determine if a Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy is needed in Ohio cities.

On my Facebook page someone asked "who should should be looking at this?" I'm hoping that "anyone who has an itch to get involved, and may have some serious money to bring to the table" will read this. I'm hoping people "who do not want to launch a new initiative and reinvent the wheel, but want to research what is already happening, and add reinforcements to those efforts as a starting point to innovating additional needed solutions, will read the article, along with people who are already advocates in this arena, like the writers at the Chicago Tribune, or Father Pfleger, or business leaders who might be planning to make multi-million dollar gifts to universities.

My focus is on collecting the information needed to build a network connecting silos, programs networks and focusing resources on all high poverty areas, using maps and similar tools. Such a resource is needed in every city, and needs to be constantly updated. Such a resource is needed for combating poverty, and for addressing other issues that related to the well-being and economic vitality of a community. It's a resource that can be used by anyone in the region to build, and sustain, greater involvement, of more people in supporting long-term solutions in more places.

I hope the Chicago Tribune makes it's A New Plan of Chicago articles freely available to any reader interested in the future of Chicago, not just subscribers. I hope leaders and philanthropists from many cities will look at this and other stories on my blog, and want to help bring this strategy and resource to their own city.

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