It’s Tuesday, so the mayor wants you to shop local to benefit some local non-profit groups.
Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl Monday helped kick off the second annual Evanston Works Together campaign.
The scheme focuses on the four Tuesdays in August — a generally slow shopping day in what — with family vacations — is a generally slow shopping month.
The organizers of the event have gotten 44 local businesses to agree to donate 5 percent of what shoppers spend on those Tuesdays to three non-profit groups — Connections for the Homeless, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore and the Youth Jobs Center.
“It encourages commerce within our ciity, without increasing our city’s debt,” Mayor Tisdahl said at a news conference at 909 Davis St., the location of one of the event’s corporate sponsors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The program has grown since last year, when just 28 merchants and two non-profits took part.
“Youth Job Center is pleased to be the newest partner in Evanston Works Together,” said YJC President Adam Goodman.
Organizers suggested that in addition to helping keep current employees on the job, the program could help prepare more people for the workforce.
Goodman, an engineering professor at Northwestern University, said the YJC placed 60 youth in summer jobs this year.
“Employment is really the only way out” of homelessness, said Paul Selden, executive director of Connections for the Homeless. He said his group has been able to place 120 people in jobs this year.
While it remains below the statewide average, the jobless rate in Evanston now stands at 8.4 percent, its highest level in more than three years.
A list of the participating merchants is available online.