Two Iconic Illinois Democrats …

by Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

On Monday evening, April 13, Tenth Dems University presented a program at the Highland Park Public Library featuring former Illinois Senator Adlai Stevenson III.  Speaking before a full auditorium, Senator Stevenson recalled his years in the United States Senate as a much less partisan time in which legislators could work together for the benefit of the country.  Since leaving the political arena, he helps to lead the Stevenson Center on Democracy in Mettawa, whose mission is to provide forums for the exploration of issues important to the American people.

Two iconic 1Sen. Stevenson also talked about sustaining our democracy by engaging young people in civic activities, which is the purpose of the Mikva Challenge.  Brian Brady, the Mikva Challenge’s Executive Director, talked about this program—spearheaded by former 10th District Congressman Abner Mikva—and its success in encouraging young people to participate in the political process.

Amanda Loutris, now a Tenth Dems intern, and Pawan Sajnani, both students at Stevenson High School, recounted their experiences as Mikva Challenge participants.  The enthusiasm of these youngsters was inspiring, as was a short film showcasing students whose lives have been enriched by the program.

During the Q & A that followed the formal presentation, Tenth Dems volunteer Kiki Richman remarked, “Working on a campaign is a great experience and young people gain valuable skills from that exposure.  They learn they can make a difference.”

The Mikva Challenge has reached over 6,000 young people in the city of Chicago and hopes to expand to more suburban schools, including those throughout the 10th District.

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