Last month there was an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune by Blomberg’s Peter Orszag entitled,
“Why young people want nothing to do with politics?”
A survey of high school and college students found that 90% said they would not consider running for public office.
“What’s new?” was my reaction.
Back in the summer of 1974 I spoke to fourth or fight graders at the grade school on Green Street.
A little blond girl in the first or second row asked me if I would like to be President.
“Sure,” my 32-year old self answered.
“It’s the top of my profession?
I got a chorus of nos.
My guess was that it was the relentless reporting on the Watergate Scandal and the possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Not a lot positive about politics that year.
Up to that point I had not given away any of the legislative scholarships.
I couldn’t think of a way to award them rationally.
That little girl inspired me.
Why not give kids an incentive to get involved?
I decided to have an application form in which, besides the usual stuff, potential college students would tell me what they had done in civic and/or public affairs.
A committee made the selections and I signed the forms for the students they selected.
That the process was a good one was ratified when I re-entered the Illinois House in 1993.
I asked the Legislative Printing Unit if anyone had scholarship applications.
What I was handed looked almost exactly what I had developed in 1974.
Since then, of course, such legislative scholarships have been abolished.
Not all had as objective awarding process.