The national motto of France, coined during the French Revolution, is "liberté, égalité, fraternité" (liberty, equality and brotherhood.) My post's title is a suggestion for the state of modern American politics: liberty, partisanship, bewilderment. The conventional wisdom of current American politics is that the increasingly partisan parties on both sides have left a sizable number … Continue reading Liberté, Partialité, Perplexité (The Accelerated Culture)
The day after Howie Hawkins lost his bid to become the 4th District representative on the city's Common Council, his 15th unsuccessful run for political office, he got arrested at a direct action protest in favor of a single-payer health insurance system. All I can say is, "Welcome home to direct action protest, brother!" During … Continue reading Voting, The Least You Can Do To Change The World. The Very Least.
This is a true statement, not a joke. I don't usually read the right-wing cartoon Mallard Fillmore, but the community organizer reference caught my eye. The humor intended by the cartoonist is what he sees as a distinction made by liberals that is an equivalence in the minds of conservatives. To my mind, there is … Continue reading This Is A True Statement, Not A Joke.
Last Sunday, community organizing was the subject of a New York Times article in the . . . wait for it, Fashion & Style section. This is the section described by Jack Shafer of Slate thusly: If the New York Times' Sunday Styles were a hairdo, it would be a wig. If it were on … Continue reading Community Organizing Is Now Hip! God Help Us.
Well, I didn't see this one coming. I wrote up a position paper on a current topic under debate in Albany that will have an impact on our neighborhoods. Not a huge deal, my organization planned to release the statement to the media and ship it off to our representatives in the Senate and Assembly, … Continue reading Learning To Take A Punch
Great article in the Washington Post recently about the effect that Barack Obama's election has had on community organizers. That "hope" that Obama kept talking about seems more realistic now, especially for organizers toiling in the trenches. All I know is that the annual convention for the organizing network that my neighborhood organization belongs to … Continue reading “Community Organizers Are The New Oilmen.”
Studs Terkel died at the age of 96 on Friday. Studs was an author, actor, disc jockey, radio talk show host and general raconteur--the toast of Chicago for decades. But he was also a man of the left, unapologetic and proud to stand up for those less fortunate. The best anecdote I've read in the … Continue reading Hope Dies Last. Thanks, Studs.