We Need Another Lady Bird

One way I get energized for a day of searching for that next great opportunity in the public relations arena is through a brisk morning walk in my North Side Chicago neighborhood. We reside in Avondale,and the neighborhood to our north (by a block) is the better-known Logan Square.

Along with keeping up a fast pace for 30-plus minutes each morning, I get a bit of exercise another way: Stooping to pick up litter, which I deposit in the nearest trash can. I find the expected — fast food wrappers, beer bottles, plastic bags — and the unexpected, like a nice 3/4 inch metal pipe, suitable for conduit or water. It’s rare when I don’t find two handfuls of trash while strolling a two to three block span. And mind you, we’re in a relatively “good” part of Chicago, one that has seen a great deal of investment the past decade. Logan Square contains the best preserved section of the city’s “emerald necklace” of landscaped boulevards and its only true square.

Enough history and promotion. This blog is about a job search and public relations. Here’s the purpose of this post. In the mid 1960s, a very powerful American used her position to do something truly remarkable: Create awareness for the need to beautify America and the harm litter caused to our highways, cities and towns. It was a precursor to the conservation movement that remains strong today.

Born Claudia Alta Taylor, the lady in question is best known as Lady Bird Johnson, wife of the 36th President of the United States. It was through Lady Bird’s quiet determination that campaigns like “Don’t Be a Litter Bub” took flight, (pun intended) and groups like Keep America Beautiful gained national recognition. Not sure if she had any experience in PR, but Lady Bird certainly mastered how to effectively build relationships, persuade and communicate.

In this era of disposable everything, it’s no surprise that my morning constitutional includes trash pick up. Just wonder when the next Lady Bird will
arrive. Until then, I’ll keep walking, stooping and depositing trash where it belongs.

I’m keeping Avondale and Logan Square beautiful.