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Ann Fisher commentary: This work is nothing to sneer at

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-08-08 08:46 AM
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Ann Fisher commentary: This work is nothing to sneer at

In her acceptance speech last week, the GOP nominee for vice president took aim at the Democratic nominee for president, trashing Barack Obama's work as a community organizer.

But the ammo landed like so much shrapnel in the hearts and minds of community organizers across the country. Community Organizers of America launched a Web site and demanded an apology. The National Association of Social Workers issued an angry news release, with the Ohio chapter and others following suit.

Here's what angered them: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities," Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday to the Republican convention and an estimated 37 million television viewers.

Clearly, she hasn't heard that community organizers are the fabric behind the fluff of politics, the woof to political warp. And they vote.

They run the food pantries, form the block watches, organize health fairs, clean up graffiti, promote public art and help poor children get dental care. They clean up after hurricanes and beautify our parks. They recruit and develop leaders, motivate and work for the greater good -- all for little or no pay. They connect us, and we sometimes barely notice.

Two earlier speeches Wednesday in St. Paul, Minn., showed that Palin isn't alone in her thoughts. At a breakfast with Ohio's delegation, former New York Gov. George Pataki said: "What in God's name is a community organizer? I don't even know if that's a job." The Buckeye audience laughed and applauded, according to The New York Observer.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Obama "worked as a community organizer. What? (He laughed.) I said, 'OK, OK, maybe this is the first problem on the resume.' "

In a New York Daily News report, Marvin Olasky, the provost at King's College in Manhattan, defended Palin's viewpoint: "If folks in the community-organizing movement are astonished that a conservative criticizes that, then they don't understand America."

Here's the America that I understand: Lisa Grazier is a stay-at-home mom who home-schools her children, coordinates the Camp Chase Block Watch, serves as president of the Friends of Westgate, is on the board of Friends of the Hilltop and is a member of the Westgate Neighbors Association.

"Pretty much every day, I tell myself it's about the community, about what God has put into my heart to do," Grazier said.

Trisha Dehnbostel is a wife, mother and social worker for the Godman Guild. She has transformed a stretch of Columbus rubble into a community garden, where teenagers learn how to grow up and make the world a better place.

"It's a way of life," she said, "and to have that be diminished and say it's not important, that just makes me sad."

A campaign spokesman said Palin was responding to critics of her executive experience as mayor of an Alaskan town of fewer than 7,000. "Community organizers certainly serve a valued function in civic affairs," he added in the e-mail.

Who's he trying to convince?

http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/200...
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ginnyinWI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-08-08 08:50 AM
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1. great article
This thing ought to be covered, and covered, and covered until everyone realizes how arrogant and out of touch the GOP is.
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