Thursday, February 03, 2022

Wealth inequality in Chicago and Cook County

I receive the Urban Institute eMail newsletter and today there was an article about a new interactive map that visualizes Chicago's wealth inequality across the region.  You can view the article at this link.

Slide the bar to the right and you see differences in median net worth and emergency savings. Slide it to the left and you see households of color.  It's clear that wealthy areas have fewer people of color. 

The article that accompanies the map offers some suggestions of how policymakers can help Chicagoans accumulate liquid wealth,  however  it ends saying "With Chicago's significant inequity and Illinois's poor finances, closing wealth gaps will require policies at the national, state and local levels, commitment from nonprofits, and changes from the private sector."

2/12/2022 update - here's a WBEZ article about the Wealth Gap, that goes into greater detail for the Chicago region. 

Here are a few articles that I've written that focus specifically on building public will to invest consistently over many years in strategies that help more kids in poverty areas move through school and into jobs and careers out of poverty. 

Actually, everything I have done via the Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-present) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011-present) for the past 30 years has had this purpose. 

I have focused on helping workplace volunteers, from many different backgrounds, become involved in the lives of inner-city youth via organized, tutor and/or mentor programs.  As volunteers grow their involvement, the kids go from being "someone else's kids, to being their own kids" and as they learn about the root causes of poverty and the challenges kids face, many will return to their networks and bring reinforcements.

They will help build public will. 

 This article shows the volunteer growth cycle that can come from within an organized tutor/mentor program. 

This graphic shows how we need to influence policy makers, business, donors, and everyone who does not live in poverty, in order to build and sustain programs in high poverty areas that help people move from poverty to opportunity.  See it described in this article.  

I added the Urban Institute article to the "poverty and crime mapping" section of the Tutor/Mentor Library where there are many similar articles to draw from. Another section to look at is a set of "poverty, race, inequality" links. 

If you are troubled by the inequality we face then start reading these articles, and invite others to join you. Start a discussion group. Start thinking of ways to get more people involved. 

Here's something else for a few of you to look at. Getting enough people involved to actually create the changes that the Urban Institute recommends is an effort in community building, movement building and political activism.  Take a look at the article I point to in this Tweet, that talks about measuring the growth of a movement, as a tool for building further growth and achieving goals. 
I added links to these articles in the 'community building and collaboration' section of the Tutor/Mentor library, where they join more than 100 other articles. 

Write about this. Help build the movement.

If you're looking at these articles and writing about some of the ideas I share, as Daniel Delmanto, from Brazil, did in this article, please share your links and connect with me on one of these social media platforms. 

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