It’s been an N.P.A. kind of week at work and in the media. We had a very successful training with some of our newest leaders, facilitated by James Mumm–director of organizing for National People’s Action. The focus of the meeting was organizing: how leaders can help recruit new members, strengthen the organization and win on our issues.
Great turnout, lots of participation–this wasn’t a lecture, but a workshop. Laughter, learning and lasagna (well–sub sandwiches and salad actually!)
Also, our national coalition is getting a lot of press:
as a key member of the new Americans For Financial Reform, a coalition of groups that was formed to push the Obama Administration and Congress to re-regulate the banking and finance system.
A great article in The Nation entitled Naming The Enemy describing both the direct action protests at our annual Washington, DC conference and N.P.A.’s intentional decision to target the shadowy political power of corporations, rather than the more showy hits against elected officials.
N.P.A. founder and legendary housing activist, the late Gale Cincotta, is featured prominently in a new book by Alyssa Katz Our Lot: How Real Estate Came To Own Us.
In an interview about the book on Salon.com, Ms. Katz is asked: “Is there anybody in this whole saga who stands out as both well intentioned and well informed, who was prescient about what was going to happen and said stop?”
The kind of conscience and hero in my book is a now-deceased activist named Gail Cincotta, who is really central to all these progressive policy changes to help fight discrimination in mortgage lending, get the Community Reinvestment Act passed, urge more lending to credit-worthy and qualified low- and moderate-income people. She would go and testify in Congress year after year about how these programs were going and she would just call them out on it constantly and say, What are you doing? These loans are not helping people, they’re proving really harmful and you have a responsibility to do something.