One Cause At a Time – Archive

An Archive of Chicago Now One Cause at a Time Posts

Archive for January 2016

Open Letter to Governor Bruce Rauner

leave a comment »

Illiinois Governor Bruce Rauner Dear Governor Rauner,

I am a registered voter in the state of Illinois, a proud resident of the city of Chicago, and an election judge. So I write this as someone qualified to reach out to you, and more importantly, someone whose opinion you should value.

Because quite honestly, you’re doing a really poor job in governing the citizens of Illinois. For all the cynics who claim that you bought your term as Illinois Governor, well…

….I hope you got what you paid for.

First, there’s the six months plus in terms of the budget stalemate. Although, yes, you did mention some possible thawing in December…we haven’t moved forward. You claim that it all boils down to resistance to your “reforms” in Springfield – that legislators aren’t willing to simply give way to your ideas.

But two of your most recent decisions…have me concerned. So much so that I’m wondering if we can add your name to that “recall Rahm Emanuel” bill being pursued in the state’s legislature.

First, your suspension of funding for social services is….well, the kind of behavior I would expect from someone who purchased (rather than earned) his political position. And yes, for me it’s personal – my mother, who has various health issues, depends on some of those programs. My cousin, who is autistic, is also a beneficiary. Quite honestly, many people throughout the state are suffering, and you’re basically throwing them a royal curve ball.

(Now, before you complain that I’m being Chicago-centric, let me point out that you’re hurting people in the Metro East area – that’s the area across the river from St. Louis, Missouri – as well as in southern Illinois. So if many of your wealthier constituents are congratulating you on your “strong fiscal leadership”…..your less-than-fortunate ones are condemning you for your lack of empathy. Yes, the money has to come from somewhere…but you’ve shortchanged the majority of your voters. That’s not a sign of smart, powerful leadership).

But your move to push legislation that would allow state control of the Chicago Public School system….well, I get it. Another midwestern Republican governor did the same thing with some success….but right now, that move has some very negative political and social repercussions for that state.

And not to put too fine a point on it….but that recent “pension reform” statement you made is backfiring. You might want to reconsider your overall leadership strategy.

Now, being governor isn’t like, say, being an investment banker. In the private sector, you can take charge, easily shift funding, etc, because it only affects your immediate business. Many of the decisions you made in the business center rarely – if ever – affected the greater community.

But as Governor, those same tactics are affecting the state of Illinois. You can’t just take over a school system – messed up as it is – because you think you can do better. You need to work within the system with your peers and colleagues….because your decisions affect the lives of every resident of Illinois.  Knowing the problems our state was facing – and having an eyes wide open perspective – you sought and campaigned for the role in which to fix these problems.

Good leadership – especially when driving social good and community benefit – isn’t about assuming that you know best and your way wins. Strong political leadership is similar to strong business leadership in that great leaders act from a set of principles and get buy-in. Granted, both Chicago and Illinois have very entrenched factions and practitioners, but so do many businesses. Working to build consensus can be tough, but it’s possible – if you don’t believe me, Jim Collins wrote an entire book based on that premise.

Unfortunately, though, I think it’s too late: you seem to be like many other Illinois governors who prioritized their personal interests over those of the state. I am tempted to end this blog post with a cheap shot like “You’re acting like Rod Blagojevich with a better haircut”…but I believe I can end this on a more professional, respectful note.

And I’m open to a rebuttal – you’re more than welcome to have one of your staff reach out to me via e-mail or this blog’s Facebook page. You could even leave a comment below – I moderate comments, and will not tolerate trolls. But I say all of this not because I’m a “hater”, as younger people might say, but because I love the great state of Illinois – and the great city of Chicago – and I needed to express my concerns.

Thanks for reading!



Written by gordondym

January 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Quote For Today from Martin Luther King, Jr.

leave a comment »

MLK Quote

Written by gordondym

January 18, 2016 at 8:35 am

Nonprofits and Social Enterprise: What Are Your Biggest Challenges?

leave a comment »

As a Chicago Now blogger, I have been writing about technology, nonprofits and social enterprise in Chicago. for several years. I have featured various organizations, discussed various resources, and started conversations about community and mission-driven organizations. But there’s one thing I haven’t done in this blog….and I’m kicking off 2016 by soliciting your feedback.

My main question for Chicago nonprofits and social enterprise is this: what are the biggest challenges for your business or organization? 

Much of this was inspired by a seemingly innocuous Hubspot article about marketing challenges….but it made me realize that, as a community-minded  blogger, I had overlooked a key factor in my writing.

never solicited community input to determine where to focus my writing – yes, I did encourage people to join our Facebook group and subscribe to our e-mail newsletter. I was willing to accept solicitations for coverage….but did I ever ask for them? If I did, I don’t remember….and that’s not a good thing.

Look beneath Chicago’s prevalent startup culture, and you’ll find a variety of nonprofits and social enterprises (as well as other organizations) doing some really critical work in building the Chicago community. Work that integrates technology in ways that make a huge, positive impact on our city. It is rarely, if ever, given a public spotlight. My goal for 2016 is to change that – this year, I want to focus as much on the hidden treasures within Chicago’s social change community as much as the organizations doing the most public work.

On this blog, there’s room for both corporate volunteering and smaller, more grassroots-oriented efforts. There’s also room to explore some of the challenges all social change agents face, and this blog considers both nonprofits and social enterprise key allies in rebuilding the Chicago community. Despite a year of high political drama, with so much uncertainty, One Cause At A Time needs to play a role in building its own community, and part of that is being aware and addressing those challenges directly, providing resources and insight that can help Chicago nonprofits and social enterprise meet those challenges head-on.

So I’m asking you, the reader who works for a Chicago nonprofit or social enterprise (and we don’t discriminate between L3Cs and Benefit Corporations), to let us know what your biggest challenges are in working towards driving social change and community benefit in Chicago. (I will also be reaching out to my professional contacts as well, because like any nonprofit/social enterprise professional, I must continually educate myself on the present state of the field).

But how can Chicago professionals in nonprofits and social enterprise provide insight into the biggest challenges for their business/organization? There are a variety of ways to contact me, including

This blog values community input, and it’s only right and proper that we ask for the challenges that Chicago nonprofits and social enterprise face on a daily basis. But the only way that we can provide great content is to know what’s happening….and bring those issues to light.

Thanks again, and looking forward to 2016!

Want to receive updates via e-mail? Just type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.


Written by gordondym

January 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

Happy New Year 2016 from Chicago Now’s ONE CAUSE AT A TIME

leave a comment »

New Years Chicago Now

Happy New Year 2016 from Chicago Now’s One Cause At A Time!

As we enter the New Year, we encourage you to reach out – please follow us on Facebook, or reach out via our About page.

Thanks, and looking forward to the coming year!

Written by gordondym

January 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

Posted in Administrata

Tagged with