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Blog, Featured: Fifth Annual Poetry and Prose Writing Awards Night Competition

The Tenth Dems Community Connection 5th Annual Poetry and Prose Awards Night is Tuesday, April 14th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. This writing competition invites high school students in Waukegan, North Chicago and Zion Township to submit original, unpublished entries on the theme of “Hope.” Awards will be presented to the winning entries at the Poetry/Prose Contest, to be held at the Ramada Waukegan/Gurnee, 200 N. Green Bay Rd., Waukegan. Free snacks will be served.

Space is limited! To RSVP to attend the contest, click here, contact us at 847-266-VOTE (8683) or by email at


poetry corrected 2015

Blog, Featured: Early Voting Has Begun for the April 7, 2015 Election

Early voting continues until April 4, 2015.

Getting ballots by mail continues until April 2, 2015.

Election Day is April 7, 2015.

In Lake County, early voting is 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday – Friday. On Saturdays, early voting is 9 am to 2 pm. You must vote at your assigned early voting site. For who and what is on your ballot, your assigned early voting site, and more, go to the Lake County Clerk’s office here and enter your name, address and date of birth.

In Cook County, early voting is 9 am to 5 pm Monday – Saturday. You can vote at any Cook County early voting site. Some Cook County early voting sites have voting on Sunday March 29th from 9 am to 3 pm. For a list of Cook County early voting sites go here. If you live in Cook County go to David Orr’s Cook County Clerk’s page on the upcoming election for more information.

See the Clerks’ offices sites for grace period registration information.

Local elections matter. Exercise your right to vote.

Vote Local


Blog: Senate President Cullerton on Governor Rauner’s Cuts

On March 9, 2015, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton addressed the City Club of Chicago. His remarks concern the cuts proposed by Governor Bruce Rauner in his budget. The highlights of Cullerton’s speech are posted by the City Club of Chicago here.


Blog, Newsletter Articles: A Morning at the Job Interview Workshop

By Dave DuBordieucomconlogo

For more than five years, Tenth Dems Community Connection volunteers have been facilitating a monthly job interview workshop in conjunction with Waukegan Township’s anti-recidivism efforts.  In 2014 the workshop was expanded to include a short unit on job retention.  In the following essay, the workshop’s newest volunteer facilitator describes his typical day at the workshop.

After driving up Sheridan Road, winding through the verdant ravines and past the luxurious mansions of Lake Forest, through the picturesque little village of Lake Bluff, beyond the bucolic Crab Tree Farm, and along the woods and fields of the Shore Acres Country Club, the contrast to the rough-and-tumble industrial urban streets of North Chicago and Waukegan is striking. Entering into the nicely furnished conference room at the Waukegan Township Supervisor’s Office feels like a return to a comfortable and typical business setting for a white, middle-class guy. However, as the attendees for the workshop file in, one is instantly reminded of the challenges facing the people outside these walls. Instead of contemplating the nuances of subtle corporate politics in the interview process, we acknowledge the one question of most concern to so many in the room: How do I deal with the felony conviction in my background?

As we begin, the feeling of despair and futility in the room is palpable. Long stares, heads down, dejected and feeling forced to attend, our students sit and wonder what will come next. This is clearly our mission then: to address this mood, to build up these spirits, to unfold these wings, and to get these birds to fly boldly, facing into the wind.

With an odd mixture of school marm and stand-up comic, we proceed through a guided morale-building session. First the school marm: “Sit up straight during the interview! Look people in the eye! Don’t fidget! No gum chewing! No cellphones!” Then the comic: “Smile! I want to see your teeth!” Pointing, “I don’t see any teeth there!” Somebody starts giggling, and it becomes spontaneous. Then it’s on through the details.

We have 10 pages of material to cover, and only an hour to do it, because then we need to get into the Job Retention Workshop, and only have a half hour for that. But before we start anything, we need to get the elephant out of the room. “Who has a felony conviction? Raise your hand.” Three quarters of them do. Then we discuss the critical importance of developing a collection of excellent references—your pastor, a previous employer, a public official—anyone who will vouch that you are a changed person, and of building a resume that backs up that assertion.

Then it’s on to sales training. After all, as we point out, you are all now salespeople, and the product you are selling is yourself. Now here’s how to do it. Line by line we go through it: preparation ahead of time, studying the company, knowing exactly how to get there so you won’t be late, how to smile and make eye contact, getting a business card, repeating the interviewer’s name, knowing what you will say to every question that might be asked, asking knowledgeable and relevant questions, smiling and shaking hands on the way out, and appearing likeable the whole way in and out of the building, a joyful sprite everyone wants to work with. By this time, there is usually quite a bit of smiling and guffawing going on. People are starting to understand they are putting on a show when they go in for an interview, and that they want to become consummate actors in its presentation.  And then the icing on the cake: a follow-up thank-you letter.

Then we talk the numbers game: it’s like fishing. You don’t expect to reel in a fish the first time you cast your line. You have to keep tossing it back out, over and over. Since you have one chance in a hundred of getting a job at a given interview, the answer is simple: Go out to a hundred interviews. Then you’ll get that one job. Got a felony conviction? Maybe the other candidates do, too. Do a better interview, and you’ll get the job. Twenty other people interviewed? How many of them were joyful sprites in the office and sent a thank-you note afterwards?

Then we talk about practicing. The handout we have given you is your bible. Study it. Learn it. Practice it – over and over, and over again, at home, with your best friend, spouse, or grandmother, whoever is available. Get all your lines down so they just flow out without you even thinking about it. When you come back from an interview grade yourself against it. What did you do well, and where do you need to improve? We remind them each interview is primarily an opportunity to get better at interviewing. The first one will be horrible. By the time you’ve done 99 you will be a past master at it, and on the 100th you will be so excellent at doing it you will be a shoo-in.

So that is our attempt to motivate. The students always seem much different on the way out: smiling, looking each other and us in the eye, shaking hands, chatting about their plans, and clutching their newly-found batch of directives, off to face those buffeting winds on the outside.

Blog: International Women’s Day 2015 Theme: MAKE IT HAPPEN

All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality.

Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for our global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

Various organisations identify their own International Women’s Day theme, specific to their local context and interests. Many charities, NGOs and Governments also adopt a relevant theme or campaign to mark the day. For example, organisations like the UN, Oxfam, Women for Women, Care International, Plan, World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and more – run exciting and powerful campaigns that raise awareness and encourage donations for good causes. The UN has been declaring an annual equality theme for many years.