Archive for the ‘Community Organizers’ Category

>Western Tribune Column September 10…Community Organizers

September 11, 2008

>Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin made sarcastic, demeaning remarks about community organizers last week at their party’s national convention, and the Republican crowd loved it, cheering for several minutes as they realized a new way to belittle Barack Obama, because of work he did soon after college.

The Republicans ‘comments inaccurately portray the work done by legions of volunteers and paid organizers who work to improve the lives of others in their communities.

People like Elvira Kidd. Elvira has been involved in community activities for decades, and is an advocate for education. Most recently she is leading the Bessemer Neighborhood Association whose latest project involves getting dangerous trucks off of Dartmouth Avenue.

Or Erica Young. Erica has led a successful effort to transform an abandoned school yard into a community garden by bringing individuals, civic groups, institutions and corporations together. Jonesboro Community Garden can be used as a site for education as well as a place for a relaxing stroll.

And a local woman who shall remain nameless who helps find housing for abused or other women (and men) who need shelter and a little time to get back on their feet.

There’s Isabelle Rubio, who works with the Hispanic community and who, because of the trust she has gained, was able to work as a liaison between cautious Hispanics and law enforcement officials in the investigation of a gruesome murder scene recently in which five men were tortured and murdered.

And David Nicholls who is trying his best to save Arlington School in Bessemer, and is assembling a team of people to complete a project started a decade ago; the designation of Bessemer’s south side as a historic district.

These are the people who, in most cases without government assistance, make our communities a better place to live. None of these people hold the title of community organizer, yet that is the role they are playing.

To listen to the Republicans, the services these people provide are worthless. But as citizens of this and surrounding communities know, they are priceless. And while no one says their experiences alone would qualify them to be president, the organizational skills and compassion required are qualities that we need to see in our leaders.

What we don’t need is a president and vice president who offer little help and even less support to those who are less fortunate than themselves.

>Community Organizers

September 4, 2008

>I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning, because I woke up and remembered Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin and the whole crowd of well to do’s making fun and laughing at community organizers.

Barack’s campaign let me know that “community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.”

And from Jason Linkins:

“Community organizers mobilize volunteers that are young and old. They work from churches and community centers. They go to work in small towns and big cities. They assist people of all ages, and all walks of life. They tutor children, care for the infirm, spend time with the elderly, get food to the hungry, clothes to the needy. They expand opportunities and improve lives.

“Why, if I’m not mistaken, they even make sure that voters can get to the polls on those odd Tuesdays in November.”

Palin said community organizers don’t have real responsibilities. Governor Palin needs to read this Guide to Organizing to learn what they do, but maybe after the election.

And Northwest Progressives offers this as to why Palin hates community organizers.

1. Community organizers work to bring people together for the common good. The only interest Governor Palin and Senator McCain care about is their own interest (and likely the rate their bank gives them).

2. Community organizers frequently assist the poor to improve their circumstances. Senator McCain, Governor Palin and their fellow Republicans only care about improving the circumstances of corporate America and the richest 1%.

3. Community organizers work for change. Barack Obama will bring us change we can believe in. Senator McCain and Governor Palin love the status quo and will bring us four more years of the same old thing.

4. Community organizers develop leaders among regular folk, like you, me and our neighbors. Senator McCain and Governor Palin fear regular people coming into power because it will put a halt to the gravy train that they and their rich friends are on, and send them off into the political wilderness.

Community organizers play a big role in public health. I have personally seen this in Birmingham, Bessemer and Jamaica.

Oh, and Governor Palin, contrary to what you said, the world is a community, and by all counts the community of nations could use a little organizing. You and McCain sure aren’t going to do it.