Launching of Incentives Program with an eye on national influence; Labor of Love is a tribute to deceased husband's dream In 2004, after hearing then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama's convention speech, my husband turned to me and said, "That man is the next great Democratic President.". As fate would have it, my husband became ill at age 51 and died just prior to the primary election season. The third anniversary of his death will be in March of 2009. In February, I will be launching my late husband's (Andrew John Kovalinsky, deceased March 12, 2006) incentives program in the hopes that it may be a tribute to his work with regard to Under No Influence, which he created and directed in the 1990s, and will link his labor and his name in a lasting in memoriam, to President Barack Obama. The program was lauded at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and by New Jersey Senator Gordon MacKinnes in 1998. In a televised interview conducted by Senator MacKinnes, my late husband spoke of his hope and belief that civic spirit could experience a resurgence in America.
(at left: Andrew John Kovalinsky; 1952-2006)
Designed as a youth program which would advocate anti-substance abuse and peer and gang pressure clubs, U.N.I. was inspired by the campaign speeches of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Its implementation was intended to involve the corporate sector and unite businesses, schools, and communitites; however, in 2006 it - or a program oddly similar in name and design - apparently underwent a transformation and appeared as "Above the Influence", a purely educational anti-substance abuse program with no community service involvement or incentives inter-active program. Sponsered by the Bush-Cheney Administration's Partnership for a Drug Free America, it received millions of dollars in federal funding ( 30 million in September 2008 alone). In any case, due to a myriad of duties and obstacles, my husband's program never reached the implementation level. As his widow, it is my hope that I can return the program to its original purpose intended by Andrew, and to enable it to fulfil its true task under a Barack Obama Administration. I have altered the name to "Under New Influence" to reflect the spirit of Change and new leadership in Washington, DC in 2009.