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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Community Organizing cont'd ...

Well, as of 10:15 p.m. Thurs. night, West Bronx Blog had a record number of unique visitors for the day (665), thanks to Greg Jost's post about the Republicans' war on community organizing. We also had a record number of comments on a single post (8). In addition to links from Gothamist and the New York Observer, we also got our first-ever link from the popular political blog dailykos.com.

Some random thoughts on this...

-Obviously this has tremendous resonance in the Bronx, particularly the northwest Bronx, where community organizing was literally a firewall stanching the tide of arson and abandonment that devastated the bottom half of the borough. Jill Jonnes' book, South Bronx Rising, documents the role organizing played (particularly the last few chapters about the Coalition) and is a must read for anyone interested in this history and its lessons for the present (i.e. foreclosure, predatory private equity, etc. )

-Sarah Palin said her husband, Todd, is a proud member of the steelworkers' union. Do the Palins and Rudy feel the same way about union organizers? (Watching McCain's speech right now and just saw Todd Palin stand up and applaud as McCain blasted entrenched unions.)

-I just found this article which attempts to cover both sides of the story -- but in this case the other side is Republican delegates who say they dabbled a little in community organizing. Would it have been that difficult to find a real live current community organizer in St. Paul or Minneapolis to chat with?

-Just got an e-mail from the Obama campaign with this link to a video about organizing from the Democratic National Convention.

-The bright side -- Most Americans don't know what community organizing is and don't have any direct experience with it. This is an opportunity to educate people.

-Here's a City Limits article I wrote in 2000 about Anne Devenney, the late Norwood community leader with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. Gives you a flavor of what organizing meant for Norwood and all the local nabes we write about. She was an ordinary housewife who late in life got organized and went toe-to-toe with mayors and police commissioners. She was one of the coolest people I ever had the privilege to interview.

Keep reading and writing, everyone. It has an impact, I assure you.

Update: McCain just implored his listeners toward the end of his speech to "defend the rights of the oppressed."

Later Update: Jake Tapper of ABC News noticed the same thing.

1 comment:

  1. Why would Rudy and Sarah make fun of the Revolutionary War Minute Men and the Underground Railroad. Both groups were led by community organizers. I am pretty sure in World War 2 had community organizers that ran air raid drills. Ha Ha Ha! Can you believe some losers actually organized to go to the South so everyone could vote!! Some of them were killed Ha Ha Ha. What a Hoot - Community Organizers!


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