Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tribune says "Give us Ideas"

In it's 11/24/2010 editorial, the Chicago Tribune says to candidates aspiring to be the next Mayor of Chicago, "Give us Ideas".

Remember when Ross Perot was running for President. He used charts and graphs to illustrate his ideas.

I've sent email to some of the candidates for mayor and alderman, encouraging them to use charts and maps in their campaigns, and if they get elected.

For instance, they could use maps to show all of the high poverty areas in the city, where poorly performing schools are located, and where crime and violence is highest. They could add overlays showing community resources, like volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs (we could help with that).

Then, they could talk about ways they would mobilize businesses, universities, faith groups from the city and suburbs to help populate each of the areas showing high need, with programs that will work to solve the problems of these neighborhoods.

They could use charts like this to illustrate their vision of helping kids born or living in high poverty neighborhoods go through school and into college, vocational school, the military then into adult lives with productive jobs. These charts would allow them to emphasize the need for long-term solutions, and the involvement of many Chicago area residents over many years. They could even show that a youth entering first grade today is only going to be entering 4th grade when they are up for re-election and won't finish high school until they have served three full terms!

Finally they could also show where they are outlining a vision and strategy that would lead to a wide range of constantly improving youth and community service organizations focused on this "birth to work" goal, and where they are documenting actions they and their boosters are taking every day to achieve that goal. We'd be happy to teach them to use the OHATS system we've developed to track our own actions toward this goal.

This might be too much to ask, but as the Tribune editorial says,

Chicago faces a financial crisis. Its pension systems could go belly up in a few years, risking the retirements of city workers. Its schools, though they have made substantial progress, still fail too many children.

Next mayor, what are you going to do about that?

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