Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Politics of Englewood

This is a  map of the greater Englewood area of Chicago, taken from a Southsideweekly.com article titled Without Representation: How Englewood got mapped into pieces.

I drew the line down the middle to show how the Englewood and West Englewood community areas are dividied.

I've posted a number of articles featuring Englewood, on the tutor/mentor blog.

Here's one from 2009, under  headline of:

Chicago Kids Victims of Neighborhood Violence

I encourage you to read the feature article of Sunday's Chicago Tribune, titled Innocence in Peril, which shows the tragic impact of violence and drugs on kids living in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.

 Then I encourage you to use the interactive tutor/mentor program locator to zoom in on the Englewood neighborhood (zip code 60621) and learn about existing volunteer-based tutoring /mentoring programs, or other youth organizations that provide some form of tutoring for kids in these areas.

This is map of Englewood from Tutor/Mentor Program Locator

 When you look at this, don't think of tutoring or mentoring as a simplistic strategy that cannot overcome the complex, deeply rooted poverty, segregation and racism in Chicago. Think of this as a strategy that connects adults, businesses, faith groups and other resources beyond poverty, in long-term personal connections which transform the volunteers and what they are willing to do to help kids and families.

 If we don't increase the number of people beyond poverty, who get involved with as much commitment as they would to help their own kids, we'll never have the dollars and political will-power to change the systems of support for kids living in poverty.

 As you use the interactive map, you can create overlays showing faith groups, businesses, universities in the area who could be helping tutor/mentor programs grow. You can also look at the highways that bring working people from the suburbs, through these neighborhoods every day. Look at the faith groups on the suburban end of these highways, and think of them as partners who could be educating their members to use this information, and their resources, to help tutor/mentor programs grow in poverty neighborhoods.

Visit the Tutor/Mentor Institute to learn more about strategies that readers of this Tribune story might learn so that they are more of the solution, than a drive by reader.

In November 2015 I wrote another article, titled "Using Maps in Long Term Planning" and showed how an area where two shootings took place had multiple layers of political representation. 

The ChicagoSouthsideweekly.com article shows how this dilutes accountability, and may be contributing to the lack of progress on some of these issues.

I've been using maps to tell stories and draw resources to high poverty neighborhoods since 1994. Browse through sections of this blog, and the Tutor/Mentor blog, to see many of these.

If you value this work, I could use some help, with contributions, to keep on doing it. Click here if interested.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Vision for a Resilient Chicago

view map here
The map at the left shows areas of Chicago where people were living in economic hardship in 2014. The red is the areas of high impact, while the darker blue shows areas of medium impact.

This map is part of an ambitions new plan, titled Resilient Chicago, to create a Chicago "where residents, neighborhoods, institutions, corporations, and government agencies are successfully connected to each other in the pursuit of economic opportunity, safety, equity, and sustainability."

I encourage you to take time to go through all sections of the web site and download the full report.

I was not part of the planning process, which started in late 2016, and don't know if any of the ideas on the Tutor/Mentor blog, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site, or this blog, were viewed by any who were part of the planning process.

However, I've been sharing maps pointing to these neighborhoods for more than 20 years, focusing on efforts that bring people together to build and sustain mentor-rich non-school programs in each of these areas, as part of a larger strategy of getting more people involved in trying to address the many problems related to poverty, segregation, income inequality, etc.

The devil is in the details. How does the city get from "here", the launch of this plan in 2019, to "there", a time in the future when most of the goals of the plan have been met?

Follow this link and view some of the articles where I've used the "here to there" concept. Maybe there will be some ideas that leaders can apply to help Chicago make this plan a success.

If you are part of this process and would like to bring me and the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC experience into the process, I'd be happy to connect. I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam. I'm on LinkedIn and Facebook, too.

If you value this information, a contribution can help me keep it available. Click here

Friday, February 8, 2019

Uses of Maps in Conservation Efforts - Discussion

For  25 years I've been trying to build support for the mapping efforts of Tutor/Mentor Connection, which focus on identifying areas of high poverty, then mobilizing people and resources to  build and sustain solutions in these areas, such as volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

During this time one obstacle I've faced is that most people don't use maps this way, or focus more on other geo-based issues, such as conservation.  Below is a Tweet that came across my feed. I encourage you to read the article.

The argument in this article is "We already have enough maps. Why create more?"  I can appreciate that.

While I've been trying to map poverty and locations of tutor/mentor programs in Chicago since 1994, few have come forward to say  "Let me help you".  Instead, new platforms with a similar focus have been created.  Furthermore, I find too few efforts where people are using the data-maps in stories intended to influence public policy, volunteer involvement, business and philanthropic support, etc. for work that needs to be done within any specific map area.

I have been aggregating links to data and mapping platforms for many years and created the concept map shown below to share some of these.  Look at articles on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor blog to see ways I've used maps in stories for many years.

I don't think we'll ever reach a point where there is just one data-map that everyone uses. That's just not the way people work. Thus, my recommendation to the conservation people is that someone create similar concept maps and web libraries, so at least people who focus on conservation (or other issues) could find these and learn to build stories from multiple platforms of information.

If you like my articles and concept maps, click on the "help me" button and send a contribution.