News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Ravinia Garden Club To Host Plant Sale

Submitted by the Ravinia Garden Club

The Ravinia Garden Club will hosts its annual Garden Fair on Saturday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Jens Jensen Park, Ravinia.

Ravinia Garden Club
Annual Garden Fair
Saturday, May 17th
8:30 to Noon
Jens Jensen Park, Ravinia

The plants available for sale have been growing in club members’ gardens for years and have become acclimated to this climate. You will find perennials of superior quality that have proven to do well in this area. The Ravinia Garden Club was established in 1927 and is one of the oldest garden clubs on the North Shore. We educate and serve the community.

Lake Forest College Welcomes New Trustee

From Lake Forest College

Wendy Dietze

Wendy Dietze

Katherine E. “Wendy” Dietze will serve the Board of Trustees as a member of the Development and Alumni Relations Committee and the Post-Graduate Outcomes Committee through 2018.

Ms. Dietze, a resident of New York, brings to the board nearly 20 years of experience in distinct directorships. She is corporate director for Liberty Property Trust, Matthews International Corporation, and Cowen & Co., and she previously served as corporate director for Northeast Optic Network, CTC Communications, and Light Path Technologies. Her work also extends to these nonprofits: Foreign Policy Association, City-Meals-On-Wheels, and the New York State Council of Humanities.

Ms. Dietze was Brown University’s Senior Advancement Director from 2005-2007, where she was responsible for establishing and managing a New York City development office and working with the President and members of the Brown Corporation. Previously, she held management positions at Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Brothers.

Ms. Dietze graduated with her BA in comparative literature from Brown University in 1979 and with her MBA from Columbia University in 1984.

“Wendy Dietze will be an outstanding trustee, and the College is very fortunate to have her join our board,” said President Stephen D. Schutt. “Her broad, valuable experience in the financial world, as a corporate director, and in higher education will serve the College exceptionally well, and I look forward to working closely with her.”

The Bride Price in Uganda: 12 Goats, One Blanket and a Hoe

Editor’s note: Allison Godwin Neumeister travels from Lake Forest to Uganda twice annually to distribute aid and partner with organizations that support the health and education of children in Uganda. Allison shares her stories with GazeboNews in a series of personal letters about her time in Uganda.

By Allison Godwin Neumeister

I went to an Introduction Ceremony recently, a lively event where a bride introduces her future husband to her parents, seeking permission to marry.

At dawn, 20 of us packed into a matatu (i.e.: minibus), carrying with us two live chickens that would soon make their way to the buffet table. On my lap, I held two adorable boys who were experiencing their first car ride and visit to a city. Like eager puppies, they leaned out the window to catch the wind and scenery.

As we drew close to our destination, the scene transformed from old women in African kitenge laboring in the fields to young women stylishly dressed in brightly colored gomesi, with carefully plaited hair and sequins affixed to their cheeks. The colors of Africa are spectacular, and Introduction ceremonies blend all the elements together creating a beautiful canvas of color.

Bridesmaids; photos by Allison Godwin Neumeister

Bridesmaids; photos by Allison Godwin Neumeister

Woman carrying produce.

Woman carrying produce.

The Introduction

An Introduction Ceremony has two critical elements: The meeting between families and a transaction known as the “bride price,” both of which are central to African marriage and society.

The introduction provides families of the groom and bride the opportunity to formally meet and establish a bond. This bond generally extends beyond the family to the clan and the community.

The groom with his groomsmen.

The groom with his groomsmen.

Today, the formal introduction and bride price transaction took place behind closed doors (or thatch hut), and guests were very patient. While the in-laws did the customary meet and greet, the rest of us sat patiently in the heat with stomachs growling.

Finally, when the groomsmen walked past me with a hoe, blanket, goats and several cases of soda, I knew that formalities were drawing to a close and soon we’d sit down to a celebration of goat and mashed plantain (matoke).

Bride Price

Bride price is a bit of a misnomer because the bride isn’t actually appraised in value — thank goodness. Generally, the term refers to the payment made in exchange for the bride’s family’s loss of her labor or education fees. The custom varies between tribes.

Among the Bagisu, the customary bride price is four cows, four goats and some cash while among the Bakonzo tribe, it’s one hoe, one blanket, 12 goats and 12 jerry cans of local brew. Actually, the deal can be sealed with as little as a single hoe or bag of sugar. Customary law establishes that once the gift is physically accepted by the elders, the transaction is final. Unlike most African purchases, however, this purchase is 100% refundable.

A groomsman with goat

Offering a goat for the bride price

So here’s the interesting stuff…

When a bride is “purchased,” she generally becomes the property of her new husband and whoever else contributed to the bride price, typically the clan or extended family. Therefore, if she “misbehaves,” her husband can seek damages and recover the bride price.

Further, since the clan also has a stake in the outcome of the marriage, the bride is, for all intents and purposes, considered property of the clan and community. An unfaithful wife will not only face a beating by her husband, but also the wrath and ostracism of the clan.

Generally, African women view marriage as a sacred contract and follow their traditional roles — a life of servitude and obedience to their husbands, somewhat reminiscent of America’s pre-feminist days. Many African women take great pride in serving their husbands and consider it an important function to “protect” them.


The groom and bride

The groom and bride

While village women stay close to home to attend to domestic duties, men enjoy their freedom in the trading centers or in distant homes where they may keep another wife or two. (The brother of my host has five wives.)


Polygamy (technically polygyny) is practiced widely in Uganda and many parts of Africa, particularly in rural settings. Its origins range from ensuring population growth to securing bonds between clans. It’s a hotly debated topic, and Kenya recently passed a bill legalizing it, bringing civil law in line with customary law. Legal or not, the vast majority of Kenyan and Ugandan men have multiple partners.

I can’t yet determine why educated women knowingly enter into a co-wife or polygamous arrangement, but it’s very common. Perhaps the fear of being alone is too great. Better to marry in a co-wife arrangement than to marry no one. (Remaining single is not an option in the village.) My sympathy really goes to the first wife, who often marries her true love, unaware that within a few years, her status may downgrade from “wife” to “first wife.”

The Downside of Polygamy

Most of my male African acquaintances maintain multiple relationships outside their first marriage. It’s an aspect of the culture that I shouldn’t judge, but I’m critical of the practice.

Sanctioned extramarital activity, as its practiced in sub-Saharan Africa casts a wide sexual net that accelerates the spread of sexually transmitted infections. At the health clinic, we see women repeatedly infected with syphilis due to their philandering husbands. It takes a strong woman to turn down her husband’s sexual advances, and many women are beaten if they refuse. Even if her partner is HIV+, it’s culturally unacceptable for a woman to turn him away. Needless to say, extramarital sex is a major contributor to the spread of HIV in SSA.

There are many reasons I object to polygamy as I see it practiced in Africa today, but the most obvious argument is that polygamy doesn’t respect the principle of equality between men and women. It demeans women. Further, it’s heartbreaking to see women abandoned without the legal option to divorce or remarry. Estranged wives are terribly lonely and often left with few resources to care for their children.

Generally I see many men enter into a marriage with intentions to remain monogamous. Eventually, however, they get sidetracked, get a girl pregnant and then rationalize polygamy. One could argue that by marrying their pregnant mistresses, they are acting responsibly.

The bride taking a break with a friend.

The bride taking a break with a friend.

Allison with children from the village.

Allison with children from the village.

Agenda: Lake Bluff School District 65

Lake Bluff School District 65 Board of Education Regular Meeting
April 22, 2014
6:00 PM
Village Hall, 40 E. Center Lake Bluff, IL 60044 AGENDA

Board Members:
Mark Barry, President
John Marozsan, Vice-President
Christine Letchinger, Secretary
Leigh Ann Charlot
Julie Gottshall
Richard Hegg
Susan Rider

CLOSED SESSION MOTION: Moved that the Board of Education enter into Closed Session to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity; and the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the school board, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired; and, collective negotiating matters between the school board and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.

A. Amended Budget for 2013-2014

3. 7:00 P.M. – REGULAR MEETING Determination of Quorum and Call to Order



6. PUBLIC COMMENT – Mark Barry
(We welcome comments from our staff, parents, and constituents. The Board President will determine the format and ground rules for comments in the best interests of the audience and the Agenda.)

A. PTO Report
B. LBES Principal Report
C. LBMS Principal Report
D. President Report
E. Superintendent Report


A. Approval of Amended Budget for 2013-2014
B. Approval of Contract Extension with Olson Transportation for 2014-2015
C. Approval of Bid for Custodial Services
D. LBTC – Ratification of Contract
E. Approval of Amended Calendar/Last Day of School 2013-2014
F. Approval of Field Trip – 5th Grade Outdoor Education
G. Approval of Field Trip – 6th Grade Springfield
H. Approval of Field Trip – 7th Grade Outdoor Education
I. Approval of Field Trip – 8th Grade Washington, D.C.
J. Approval of Settlement Agreement – Lake Bluff Park District
K. Approval of Superintendent’s Contract and Goals
L. Approval to Reemploy Administrators (Blackmer, Roehrick, Rubenstein)
M. Approval of Jay Kahn’s Contract (title change only)
N. Approval of Amendment I to 2013-2014 Dr. Rubenstein Contract O. Approval of Amendment II to 2012-2016 Dr. Sophie Contract
P. Approval of Policy Second Read
1. 7:340 Student Records
Q. Approval of Personnel Report R. Approval of Consent Agenda
1. Regular Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014
2. Closed Session Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014
3. Special Meeting of the Board of Education, April 8, 2014 4. Closed Session Meeting Minutes, April 8, 2014
5. Approval of PCard Report

6. Approval of Bills Payable

7. Approval of Treasurer’s Report

8. Approval of Activity Reports

(We welcome comments from our staff, parents, and constituents. The Board President will determine the format and ground rules for comments in the best interests of the audience and the Agenda.)


Agenda: Lake Forest School District 67

Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Lake Forest High School West Campus
5:30 p.m.
(The school district will not conduct Regular Business until 7:00 PM)


Discussion of matters related to the appointment, employment, compensation, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body.
5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1)
Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent.
5 ILCS 120/2(c) (11)
Personnel – Reduction in Force Pending Litigation
Imminent Litigation






Mission/Vision/Goals Report
World Language Programming Report

A. Board Education Committee – Lesley Fisher, Jeff Folker, Beth Clemmensen
B. Board Finance & Operations Committee – Rick Schuler, Rob Lemke, Mike Borkowski
C. Policy Committee – Mike Borkowski, Jeff Folker
D. Compensation Committee – Rob Lemke

A. North Suburban Special Education District – Mike Borkowski
B. Illinois Association of School Boards/ED-RED – Bill Andersen
C. Curriculum Coordinating Committee – Lesley Fisher
D. Spirit of 67 Foundation – Lesley Fisher
E. APT Meeting – Lesley Fisher
F. Other
A. Approval of Policy 4:20 Update –1st Reading
B. Approval of Olson Transportation Renewal
C. Approval of Postage Machine RFP
D. Approval of Student Fee Schedule
E. Approval of Everett Tile Abatement Project
F. Approval of Deer Path Locker Replacement Bid
G. Approval of 2013-2014 Final Calendar
H. Approval of Proposed Board Meeting Dates 2014-2015
I. Approval of Mission, Vision, Goals – First Reading
J. Approval of World Language Proposal
K. Approval of Resolution Authorizing Honorable Dismissal of Teachers
L. Approval of Resolution Authorizing Honorable Dismissal of Part-Time, Non-tenured teachers
M. Approval of Resolution Authorizing non-reemployment of Full-time, First, Second and Third
Year, Non-tenured teachers
N. Approval of Resolution Authorizing non-reemployment of Part-time, Non-tenured teacher
O. Approval of Assistant Superintendent of Growth, Talent Development and Human Relations
Multi Year Contract
P. Approval of Human Resources Items
Family and Medical Leave Absence Change in Status

A. Approval of Disbursements, Payrolls & Financial Statements March 2014
B. Minutes of A Regular Meeting, March 18, 2014
C. Minutes of An Executive Session, March 18, 2014
D. Minutes of A Board Workshop, April 1, 2014
E. Disposal of audio recordings: July 24, August 20 and August 27, 2012
*Any item may be removed from the consent agenda at the request of a Board Member.



Lennie Jarratt, Education Matters
ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, May 23, 2014 Monday, May 26, 2014 Tuesday, May 27, 2014
School Improvement Day – 1⁄2 Day Memorial Day – No School
Board of Education Meeting – 7:00 p.m. LFHS West Campus, Board Room
ef – Board of Education Meeting Agenda 4.22.14

11th Annual Girl-Wise Conference Planned in Lake County

Submitted by Lake County 19th Judicial Circuit:

Girl-Wise is a daylong free conference for all girls attending junior high or high schools throughout the Lake County community. This year’s Girl-Wise conference will take place on Saturday, May 3, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., at the College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus, Building C. The day begins with registration, a clothing donation center, Jr. Challenge course teambuilding activities, and a resource fair. Thereafter, the girls will convene in the main auditorium for opening remarks and the featured speaker.

The featured speaker for this year’s conference is Erin Merryn. Erin was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. It is now her mission to take the stigma and shame off of sexual abuse survivors and give them a reason to speak. By doing so she speaks at many forums nationwide and has worked very hard to create Erin’s Law. Erin’s Law, for states that have passed it, is a requirement of all public schools to teach sexual abuse prevention. Erin will be telling her story of overcoming, education, and prevention.

Afterwards, the attendees will be divided into junior high and high school breakout groups to address topics dealing with stress, empowerment, healthy body and minds, school success, and others. During the morning breakout sessions parents will also have an opportunity to attend an informative workshop. This year’s topic is “Positive Body Image and Self-Esteem.”

Following lunch, which is provided for all of the participants, the girls will view a play performed by the “Reality Theatre Troupe” of Omni Youth Services and complete the second half of the breakout sessions. Throughout the day, the young ladies participate in several activities and are provided a wealth of information to absorb; e.g., how to begin new friendships, strengthen old friendships, bolster self-esteem, empower and motivate oneself, and just have fun.

The conference historically has attracted about 90 girls. It is a collaborative effort between a host of agencies and volunteers that include the 19th Judicial Circuit, Regional Office of Education, College of Lake County, Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Officers Association, Juvenile Justice Council, Omni Youth Services, NICASA, Zacharias Center, Warren Township, One Hope United, Students from Warren Township High School, Huntington Learning Center, Lincolnshire Police Department, the Fitting Room and many volunteers throughout the community.

Need A Ride? Lake Forest Has Zipcar Car Sharing Service

Submitted by City of Lake Forest

Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing company that offers wheels by the hour or by the day, is now serving the Lake Forest community with two cars available for use at the East Lake Forest Train Station. Two Zipcars, a Mazda 3 named “Fresh” and a Jeep Compass named “Colcord”, are now conveniently located in the lot just north of Deerpath in the southeast corner.

“Green initiatives were strongly emphasized in the City’s Strategic Plan and I’m happy that Lake Forest is achieving these goals through the introduction of car sharing. Additionally, Zipcar will be a great asset for students, residents and visitors to the community,” comments Mayor Don Schoenheider.

“Cost-savings, convenience, reduced demand for parking are just some of the benefits that we are confident the Lake Forest community will experience by offering Zipcar as a transportation alternative,” said Charles Stephens, Zipcar Chicago general manager. “Since each car shared takes approximately 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, Zipcar can also help reduce the community’s overall carbon footprint and impact on the environment.”

Those interested in becoming a Zipcar member can find more information and apply online in just a few minutes at Approved members will be mailed their “Zipcard”, which is the key to the Zipcars in Lake Forest and the entire fleet of over 10,000 Zipcar vehicles globally. Members can then make reservations on nearby vehicles via Zipcar’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android, online or over the phone. To gain access to the reserved car, members simply place the Zipcard against a small scanner located on the windshield of the car, and the doors automatically unlock. The keys are located inside the vehicle near the ignition. At the end of the reservation, Zipcars are returned to their designated parking location where they were picked up.

The Zipcar application fee is $25 (a one-time fee) and annual Zipcar memberships are $60 for a full year of membership or $6 per month. A Zipcar reservation includes gas, insurance, a reserved parking spot and up to 180 miles per day. There is a gas card inside the car which Zipcar members can use to add fuel. Drivers must be age 21 years or older, and rates on the Lake Forest vehicles will start at $8.50 an hour and $74 a day.

For further information from the City, please contact Matt Havlik at or 847.810.3677. For more information on Zipcar, please contact CJ Himberg at or 617.336.4537.

Lake Bluff: A Favorite Place To Rest And Nest for American Woodcocks

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association's Woodcock Walk; photo from LBOLA's Facebook page.

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association’s Woodcock Walk; photo from LBOLA’s Facebook page.

By Adrienne Fawcett

Lake Bluff real estate received top billing from American Woodcocks in Lake and Cook Counties, according to a recent birding survey.

Members of Illinois Audubon Society’s Lake/Cook Chapter conducted the survey at the request of the University of Arkansas, which is studying American Woodcock migration. Lake Cook Audubon President Rena Cohen said her organization covered 35 sites in Lake and Cook Counties and that birders counted 12 woodcocks in one night in Lake Bluff’s 35-acre Skokie River Land & Water Reserve, the highest number recorded by the group. The surveys were completed by April 9 because the University calculated that birds staying beyond that date are here to nest, not just migrate through the area.

More recently, on April 19, Lake Bluff Open Lands Association held its annual Woodcock Walk in the same area, and the Woodcocks didn’t disappoint.

So … What’s an American Woodcock and why should we care? describes American Woodcocks as “plump, short-legged shorebirds with very long, straight bills.” (Click here to listen to the woodcock’s peent call, flight and wing sounds and growling challenge call.)

For images of this interesting bird, please click here.

Lake Bluff’s David Barkhausen ventured out at dusk on Thursday evening, April 17, to see if Woodcocks were in town, and he heard at least three or four from the middle of the Skokie Preserve, which is located south of Route 176, west of Green Bay, and east of the Skokie River a quarter mile east of Route 41. He heard several Woodcocks and had a decent look at one circling overhead and then landing a few times. He also got very close to a Woodcock dancing in circles on the ground while uttering its every-few-seconds loud “peent” cricket-like call.

“After doing this for a minute or more, the male Woodcock takes off high in the air and circles rapidly at around 100-200 feet,” said Barkhausen. “He then descends suddenly, and you hear the whistling flutter of his wings and can often see the bird drop down just before he hits the ground and resumes the ‘peenting’ sound. The bird I was near was in some fairly tall brush, so I could not see him or his dance on the ground even though I was within 50 feet of him.”

Intrigued, he followed up his birding exploration with an email to Lake/Cook Audubon’s Rena Cohen. Here’s a Q&A between the two (published on GazeboNews with their permission).

Barkhausen: Do birdwatchers in search of Woodcocks sometimes use flashlights to try to spot the birds on the ground, or will that scare them off too readily or stop them from doing their “peenting?”

Cohen: Flashlights are discouraged but I can’t tell you for sure if the light will distract the birds in any way.

Barkhausen: How long are they apt to stick around? Do they nest here, or are they migrating? I gather this springtime activity is a mating ritual. How long might it last?

Cohen: Woodcocks do nest here but some just stop here and continue on their way during migration.

A few factoids – these birds arrive early (in late March) because they eat worms and don’t need insects like most spring migrants do. Their beaks have a flexible tip that helps them dig up worms, and their “dance” (Google it if you haven’t seen it) is believed to help them locate worms under the ground. They typically make a 360-degree turn as they peent so it frequently sounds as if they’re moving away even if they aren’t. Also, the sound they make when they fly up in the air to display is made by air passing through three very thin wing feathers that are noticeably thinner than the rest .

Barkhausen: Another question is how long is the mating ritual dance apt to continue? You did say that some of them stay and indicated that if they’re still here (after April 9th), they’re likely to make this home. Would that be until late fall?

Cohen: Hmm, good question! I don’t know when they stop displaying, but the literature says they continue to display long after most females have laid eggs. That can happen as early as March, but I can tell you that one of them at Heller Nature Center was still displaying on Wednesday, and they’re certainly still active now.

Their mating habits are also interesting. Some males display at several singing grounds and mate with multiple females. The female often visits four or more singing grounds before nesting, and she may keep up these visits even while she cares for her young. The male gives no parental care. I guess that’s why he has the energy to keep on doing his courtship flight – which has given him the nickname “sky dancer.”

Agenda: Lake Bluff Park District, April 21

Submitted by the Lake Bluff Park District


PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Park Commissioners of the Lake Bluff Park District, Lake County, Illinois (the “Park Board”) will hold a Regular Board Meeting of the Park Board on the 21st day of April 2014, at 6:30 o’clock P.M., at the Recreation Center, 355 W. Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois.

The Agenda for the Meeting is as follows:


A. Call to Order
B. RollCall
C. Approval of Agenda
D. Statement of Visitors


A. Approve Minutes of March 17, 2014 Regular Board Meeting
B. Approve Minutes of April 7, 2014 Committee of the Whole Meeting
C. Approve Minutes of April 11, 2014 Special Meeting


A. Approve Invoice Schedule for the period ending April 1, 2014
B. Approve Invoice Schedule for the period ending April 21, 2014


A. 2014 March and Year to Date Financials B. PurchaseCards–Ratification


A. Property and Public Land Use Advisory Committee – Appointments – Approval
B. Ordinance 2014-D – Declaration of Surplus Personal Property and Authorization for Disposal – Approval
C. Sunrise Park and Beach – Policies – Approval
D. 2011-14 Strategic Plan – 1st Quarter – Update


A. CommunityComments B. Correspondence


A. Staff
B. Finance, Administration and Future Planning Committee
C. Beach and Parks Committee
D. Facilities and Programs Committee
E. Tri-Board/Intergovernmental Committee
F. Friends of Lake Bluff Parks
G. Joint Task Force
H. Property and Public Land Use Advisory Committee
I. Commissioner Comments
J. President’s Report


A. Discussion of the meetings lawfully closed under the Open Meetings Act, whether for purposes of approval by the District of the minutes or semi-annual review of the minutes as mandated by Section 2.06 per 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21).




Any person with a disability requiring reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should notify Ron Salski, Executive Director, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Park District Administrative Office, 355 W. Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff, IL 60044-0095; Fax: (847) 234-7275; email; or telephone (847) 234-4150×18. Notice should be given at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Any request for a qualified interpreter generally requires 5 days notice in advance.

Ron Salski
Secretary, Board of Commissioners
Lake Bluff Park District, Lake County, IL

‘Tenth Dems’ Political Group Seeks Applicants for Internships

Submitted by the Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats organization

The Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems), a grassroots political organization that helps mobilize voters and interest groups in one of the most widely watched and intensely contested congressional districts in the country, is now accepting applications for its summer 2014 internship program.

The internship is a substantive program designed for high school, college and graduate students seeking an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the political process. This is the perfect time to complete a political internship as Democrats prepare for the critical 2014 midterm elections. General assignments include staffing of events and issue forums, door-to-door canvassing with candidates, working in campaign offices and conducting research.

In the past, Tenth Dems interns have staffed events featuring then-state senator and now-President Barack Obama; the late George McGovern, South Dakota Senator and 1972 presidential candidate; Vermont Governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean; U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Mark Begich of Alaska; and our own Dick Durbin, as well as numerous other Illinois state and local elected officials. Tenth Dems has also held events featuring frequent MSNBC contributor John Nichols, and that network’s Karen Finney, host of the weekend TV show Disrupt.

Interns may also choose to complete specialized assignments in new media, IT management and political outreach.

Internships are unpaid, educational positions. However, course credit is available from some high schools and colleges.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a grassroots political organization and to develop important skills,” said former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash, a Tenth Dems leader. “Many of our interns have gone on to law school, worked in Springfield or Washington or gotten jobs with national non-profit organizations.”

Acceptance into the program is selective, competitive and contingent upon an interview. Applicants need not reside in the 10th District, but they must have an interest in electing Democrats and be able to travel to our offices and devote a minimum of 16 hours per week to the internship.

Applicants should submit a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program, along with a resume summarizing their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal. To apply or request more information, contact Matthew Bondy, Internship Coordinator, or Lauren Beth Gash by email at