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September 4, 2008

Republicans Mock Community Organizing – Obama Campaign Responds

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , — Brian @ 9:05 am

Republicans last evening at their convention mocked community organizing in an effort to help their vice presidential nominee appear bigger. The following excerpt is from an email David Plouffe (Obama campaign manager) sent in response:

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack’s experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let’s clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it’s no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America’s promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven’t gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

Too bad so many single-issue voters (e.g., anti-abortion, prayer in schools, right to assault weapons, anti-gay, etc.) are bamboozled into supporting the GOP and its personal agenda of corporate wealth care. While the GOP will tend to favor conservative social agendas, they do so while recklessly inserting the country into war and dangerously push us away from solving our energy problems. Yet, for single-issue voters losing our country to keep prayer in public schools is worth it. Sad, indeed, that the only way Republicans can win is by pandering to Evangelicals.

5 Comments »

  1. I have one question for the Obama campaign. What exactly did Obama accomplish as a community organizer? Is somebody better off now than before Obama came on the scene? Are all those organized people employed and financially successful now? Just tell us what he did. Or just his top three accomplishments. Or even one.

    Comment by Katherine Harms — September 4, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  2. Please do not let this die. They dare mock real patriots who help this country at the very roots? They should be ashamed.

    Comment by Jack B — September 4, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

  3. “I have one question for the Obama campaign. What exactly did Obama accomplish as a community organizer? Is somebody better off now than before Obama came on the scene? Are all those organized people employed and financially successful now? Just tell us what he did. Or just his top three accomplishments. Or even one.”

    After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

    Research is your friend. :)

    Comment by Jack B — September 4, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

  4. Thanks for fielding Katherine’s question, Jack B.

    And, Katherine, I wonder if you are thinking about major policy issues between the candidates. Fact is no matter how much experience someone has we never really know how they will act as President until it happens. I personally like the idea of grass roots interest in our own government because I believe we have been tuned out for too long and outsourced our responsibilities to career politicians who had to ask corporate America to pay their campaign bills. I think that is the kind of experience we don’t need right now.

    Comment by Brian — September 5, 2008 @ 8:43 am

  5. Did anyone get jobs as a result of Obama’s job training program? Did anyone get into college as a result of his college prep program? As for “tenants rights,” here’s one fact about this city-owned project;

    It is one of the densest concentrations of potentially hazardous pollution sources in North America. Many of the landfills that surround them are unregulated, and some of those are still being used. Since most of these landfills as well as many industrial plants are located along the waterways surrounding the area, of the 18 miles of rivers and lakes surrounding Altgeld Gardens, 11 miles of them are unfit for human consumption and recreation, though many residents still fish in them citing that “something’s going to kill them anyway.”

    Comment by Gordon H. — September 7, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

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