Stephen Lerner from SEIU (the guy who helped create the brilliant Justice For Janitors campaign) gave a keynote address at the 11th anniversary dinner of Grass Roots Organizing in Missouri--a kick ass group that is, like SUN, a part of National People's Action. Check out the last part of this speech if you need a … Continue reading “There’s No Better Time To Believe In Justice Than Right Now!”
OK, we're all probably being a little too dramatic about the possibilities of Occupy Wall Street, but damn if it isn't inspiring. THE media story of the moment is now about economic inequality, not budget cuts and austerity. That alone is a victory. Anti-bank activists have been fighting some of these same battles since post-World … Continue reading Prosaic Politics During Revolutionary Times
h/t Words On Walls
I'm struck by the over-the-top rhetoric that is accompanying the protests over the closing of the Ida Benderson Senior Citizen Center, a drop-in program run by the city's Parks & Recreation for many years. The Center is scheduled to be closed by the city on October 1st--its $120,000 annual rent and the extra expenses for … Continue reading Desperately Seeking The Revolution
The huge sticky post-it notes, the magic markers and the deafening silence when you ask the assembled folks "who wants throw out the first idea?", are occupational hazards for a community organizer. After all, one of Saul Alinsky's famous Rules For Radicals is "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." If you … Continue reading Why I’m Tired Of The “Vision Thing.”
"Everybody's restless and they've got no place to go/ Someone's always trying to tell them/ Something they already know/ So their anger and resentment flow." - - "Mohammed's Radio" Warren Zevon As an organizer for Syracuse United Neighbors (SUN), I was looking forward to a Common Council committee meeting last night. After all, SUN had … Continue reading Educate, Agitate, Organize.
I was ambivalent about the tax increase passed by the Syracuse Common Council and then vetoed by Mayor Stephanie Miner. In a system where 75% of the school district's funding comes from state sources, increasing the school property tax rate is an ineffective way to deal with the enormous shortfall facing the Syracuse City School … Continue reading The Journey Of Councilor Tom Seals: From Jefferson Smith to Richard Nixon