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Showing posts from January, 2014

Teenage Voting: Democracy Week's Primary Objective

by Shawn Healy, Civic Learning Scholar Chicago elections are famous for the slogan, "Vote early and vote often." However, Illinois voters rarely live up to this adage. Turnout for national and state elections fall below national averages, and youth voting in local elections is abysmal, ranking 47 among 50 states and the District of Columbia. Next month, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), in partnership with the Board of Elections, the McCormick Foundation, and a coalition of other civic organizations, is seeking to reverse this disturbing statistic. During "Democracy Week," scheduled for February 3-7, CPS and its partners plan to orchestrate a massive voter registration drive among high school students in an effort to capitalize on "Suffrage at 17" legislation passed last year. The new law enables 17-year olds to vote in the March 18 Primary so long as they will be age 18 by Election Day in November.CPS has approximately 35,000 students in its nearly 150 high …

Getting Up to Speed: McCormick 101

by Phil Zepeda, Director of Communications Growing up and spending most of my adult life in Chicago, I was very familiar with the McCormick Foundation, probably due to my interest in local philanthropy at a young age.But now that I have the great fortune of working for this legendary organization, I’ve been able to hear about the rich life of our benefactor, Robert R. McCormick, and gain a better understanding of his contributions to our area – some monumental and others cultural.For instance, it was McCormick who coined the term “Chicagoland,” with historians tracing its first use back to 1926. McCormick led the effort to expand Chicago north of the Chicago River along Michigan Avenue. In 1918, the Chicago Tribune created an editorial platform raising attention about important civic improvement issues. His “Extend the Chicago Plan” was built off of Daniel Burnham’s city plan and promoted completing Michigan Avenue and building the Michigan Avenue Bridge.Naming Chicago’s airport “O’Ha…