As I mentioned in my prior post, Guiliani and Palin both took swipes at community organizing during their Republican convention speeches. The response is coming fast and furious. Even in my little backwater of a blog, I had a 10-fold increase in hits–all of them on my Barack and organizing posts.
Thanks to Al Z.’s comment on my prior post, you can see Barack’s comment on the flak given to community organizing at a public appearance yesterday in York, PA. I also received an e-mail from the campaign with the following statement:
Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies. And it’s no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning. Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.
Here’s another spirited defense of community organizing from John Atlas, Board chair of the National Housing Institute on their weblog Rooflines:
The genius in America does not lie with our mayors, small town or big city, but with our community organizers who teach us collaborative problem-solving, shore up our core religious and governmental institutions, and make sure laws designed to end discrimination, like the Community Reinvestment Act, are enforced by government regulators.
Finally, here is a weblog created by organizers in New York City–Community Organizers Fight Back. The opening post has drawn over 300 comments already.
I was excited when this campaign started about the publicity that Obama’s experience as a community organizer would bring to our relatively obscure profession. Little did I imagine that it would be the Republicans bringing us the publicity.
Fight On! Now I’ve got to go help an elderly couple sign up for Home Energy Assistance Program benefits and give them information on how we are working to make home energy more affordable–the beginnings of a tough campaign.