As a subscriber to the paper (the Sunday paper only) and a daily reader of the local online news at Syracuse.com, I recently received a February 7, 2020 "Letter From The Editor" written by Trish LaMonte--the Editor and VP for content of the paper. (excuse me for being so dead tree-centric but I generally refer … Continue reading What Should Syracuse Dot Com Cover?
Syracuse Common Council meeting of the DPW committee 5-7-19 At the D.P.W. committee meeting at Common Council today, the discussion was on road paving (and thanks to our group--a bit on curbs/crosswalks.) There was a relatively short discussion on the need to ensure that there is sufficient public participation in the discussion before the Council … Continue reading Let the guy with the calculator decide?
“The organizer’s job is not to create conflict, but to expose the conflict that already exists. Conflict exists any time a landlord fails to maintain his property but collects rent, any place where children pass a drug house on the way to school and on and on. When this conflict is exposed it creates a … Continue reading On Conflict
Yeah, yeah--Happy Holidays etc. But, more importantly, just as when Public Enemy famously urged us to fight the power: “let’s get down to business/ mental self defense and fitness.” Our first action must be to combat the direct and immediate threats that will start on January 3rd, 2017 when the new Congress is seated: repeal … Continue reading “As You Walk You Make Your Own Road”
While attending a meeting of a coalition of groups that have been working together for about two years to improve the health and safety of the neighborhoods in the city of Syracuse, I was confronted with the quote you see above, the meeting facilitator had printed it out on a big sheet of newsprint hanging … Continue reading Why Can’t We Be Friends?
It's been a year of change here at "Still Racing . . ." After twenty years, I left my position as a community organizer with Syracuse United Neighbors. I have taken a new job as an advocate for disability rights with ARISE--a center for independent living (CIL) here in Syracuse. There are 37 CIL's in NY State … Continue reading Still Organizing In The Street
Twenty years ago today, I took a job that changed my life. I took a job that has become my career. I took a job that has become shorthand for how I explain myself to the world. I took a job that profoundly changed the way I look at government and politics. I took a … Continue reading Twenty Years Ago . . .
I'm a community organizer. The shibboleth of community organizing is "educate, agitate, organize." Lay out the reasons behind the problem, get people pissed off about it and then work together to change the situation. It's the opposite of social work, a field of work that identifies personal problems to correct rather than the "powers-that-be" that … Continue reading Organizing My Fat Self
A friend of mine, someone I hadn't seen in awhile, commented on a Facebook posting of mine today. He asked how things were going in Syracuse, and since he has labored as an organizer, I laid the typical, world-weary organizer rap on him as a reply: Things are limping along in Syracuse--more poverty than ever … Continue reading “So, What Do We Know?”
Of all the folks I've met since becoming an organizer in 1994, I owe more to Claire McGrath--both professionally and personally-- than anyone else. At SUN, she has been an integral leader--chairing meetings, plotting strategy and deciding policy on the Board of Directors (even signing my paycheck as treasurer.) Personally, she and her family rescued … Continue reading Claire McGrath