Thursday, April 19, 2018

Does Your Elected Representative Have a Map Gallery on Her Web Site?

Yesterday I received an email newsletter from Spotlight on Poverty that featured an interview with Dwight Evans of the 2nd Pennsylvania Congressional District. It mentioned that he hosts maps on his web site and I did some digging and interaction with Rep. Evans on Twitter, to find the link.

Below is a screen shot of his map gallery page, with a screen shot of the ESRI map that you get when you click on one of the map icons in his gallery.

If you spend some time on this blog you can read articles posted since 2008 encouraging Chicago and Illinois politicians to  use maps strategically to show where non-school, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are needed in their district, who is already there providing these services (and who often need help themselves), and places where the incumbent has delivered needed support. That could be dollars, volunteers, attention, partners, or all of these.

My past articles and the maps the Tutor/Mentor Connection created are intended to inspire and serve as templates for work others could be doing in many other places.  Click here, here, and here to see a collection of articles.

While I focus on helping youth tutor/mentor programs grow, the map platforms and articles that I point to show many indicators of need and could be used to help a wide range of service providers....a comprehensive system of support....be available in different map areas.

My father's family is from Philadelphia and I've many siblings, nieces and nephews living there, so I hope Rep. Evans and others will take a look at what I've suggested, and that they will send me links to pages on their web sites where they host map galleries and blog articles showing their use of maps.

At the same time, this use of maps should be happening in Chicago, Illinois, every US state and in every big city in the world.

However, I can't influence what happens in most of these places because I don't live there. However, there's a strategy that you can follow.

Last Tuesday the weekly ChiHackNight featured Judy Hertz, Executive Director of Midwest Academy She gave an introduction a power analysis, planning and community organizing strategy that I think many could benefit from using.

Browse the #ChiHackNight tweets from Tuesday, April 17, and you can see photos and comments from here presentation. Here's the video from Tuesday's session.


If you do the research and follow her recommendations, you can help people in every district figure out ways to influence people in power. It's a process. It takes work. The maps can help.

If your elected representative is using maps the way I'm suggesting and hosts a map gallery on his/her web site, send me your examples and I'll add them as updates to this article.


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