Why Teachers Must Become Community Organizers and Justice Fighters

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Mark Naison: Teacher Activists must put forth a vision of Radical Democracy which envisions an education which empowers students as critical thinkers and agents of historical change, not just as obedient test takers and which envisions schools playing a central role in neighborhoods united and mobilized to get a fair share of the nation’s resources.

Blacks and Obama

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Sharon Kyle: Even though blacks in America are suffering more than most during this economic crisis, they are least likely to complain that the Obama administration policies are not benefiting them.

The Attack on Community Organizing: Who’s Next?

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Randy Shaw: Instead of Obama’s election proving the type of launching point that conservative groups experienced after Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, community organizing opportunities are less available today than in past decades.

Slum Housing: LA’s Hidden Health Crisis and a Model Response

Diane Lefer: Slum housing has a negative impact on residents’ health–even when the building doesn’t collapse on top of you while you sleep which is what happened to some tenants of slumlord Frank McHugh. But today, more than 3,000 low-income families enjoy better health and almost as many now live in improved housing thanks to the Healthy Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors Collaborative, a groundbreaking partnership among community organizers, grassroots nonprofits, and tenants from South Los Angeles and downtown, all working in coordination with city and county agencies, legal professionals and health care providers.

That Damn Pope

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Charley James: For how long will the Pope and Tiger Woods and John Ensign and Mark Foley and scores of other hypocritical politicians, and damn near every celebrity, real and pretend, think they can keep saying “Whoops, sorry! Didn’t mean it.” to make all well with the world again?

Our Candidate-Centered System Needs to Go

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Under our system, as you have probably noticed, almost all political resources go to candidates and their advertising campaigns. Granted, a lot of money is required to run for office but a more sound approach would involve party building especially on a local level; party building not so much for elections but for issue campaigns.

ACORN’s Problems Create Void for Community Organizing

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As ACORN cutbacks weaken one of the progressive movement’s leading organizer training vehicles, everyone from labor unions, to interfaith networks, to progressive foundations, to the Obama Administration better start thinking about how to fill this organizer gap.

Health and Human Rights in South Los Angeles

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While the LA Times was writing about gang violence in South LA, more than 700 people gathered on June 5th for the first South Los Angeles Health and Human Rights Conference to consider the institutional violence visited on the people who live there. At the California Science Center, health care professionals, community organizers and advocates [...]

Community Organizer Obama Asks Activists: “Where’s Your Base”?

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Some activists excited about Barack Obama’s community organizing background forget what this fully means – namely, that he expects groups seeking progressive measures to mobilize their base. Community organizers do not expect politicians to challenge entrenched interests absent grassroots pressure, and President Obama is not about to spend political capital on issues like Afghanistan, the [...]

LA Progressive: April 12 to April 18

The Tea Baggers and the Bizarro Revolution. –John Delloro Human Rights Organizations Say Immigrants Caught in Detention Dragnet. –Michele Waslin Stimulus Mania: Is It The 21st Century Soup Line? –Anthony Asadullah Samad A Short Citizen’s Guide to Kooks, Demagogues, and Right-Wingers On Tax Day. –Robert Reich Reporting From the Tea Bagger Hate-Fest in Sacramento. –Joseph [...]

A New Wave of Community Organizers for the Obama Era

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I usually have about 20 students in the Community Organizing course I teach each year at Occidental College in Los Angeles. So far, 42 students have registered for next fall’s class. I haven’t all of a sudden become a more popular professor. There’s clearly something happening on American campuses and in the broader culture that’s [...]

It’s Not About Ugly Betty: The DTV Transition and Why It Matters

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On May 3, 1963 the North was stunned as it saw broadcast images of Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety, Bull Connor, turning fire hoses, dogs, cattle prods, and billy clubs on peaceful black protesters that had organized a campaign targeting the local business community. The response was immediate and profound. The public outcry forced President [...]

How I Learned to Love Sarah Failin’ and John McSame

Yesterday, I heard way too many women rave about Sarah Failin’ as the new Face of Feminism. Upset, I slept poorly, but awoke today refreshed. I had an epiphany. I think this woman is on to something. And, no, I don’t mean “meth,” just because some folks have said Wasilla is the “methamphetamine capital” of [...]

Republicans Are Mean

I sat through Rudy Giuliani and the debut of Sarah Palin – and I’ve come to only one conclusion. Republicans are mean. No whining here. I’m no Phil Gramm. Just an objective statement of fact based on first-person observation. Nasty. Snarky. Mocking. Sarcastic. Punch you in the nose first and then laugh at you because [...]

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