Sept. 14, 2008 Letters to the Editor

Organizers largely unappreciated

One really has to wonder about the Republican party after its national convention. Speaker Rudy Giuliani brought up the topic of community organizers and the audience laughed. Then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a reference to community organizers and the audience snickered.

For a party that wants to be known as the party of “change” they have very little knowledge of how good grass roots change really happens in the United States.

Community organizers were influential in helping to abolish slavery. The civil rights movement came about because of the work of community organizers, and women’s right to vote was achieved through community organizers.

Today, in communities across America, community organizers are making a huge difference. They work with people who are losing their homes, people who cannot pay their utility bills, people who have no medical insurance, etc.

They are building new homes and providing an array of services for people who are not able to do things for themselves.

I guess the Republican base believe that all you have to do to get things done is hire a good public relations firm or pay some lobbyist. In Portales, we can see what community organizers have accomplished.

We have the Community Service Center, La Casa Family Health Center, Valle del Sol Housing, Habitat for Humanity, the Dream Center and a host of other programs that were all started by community organizers.

Most, if not all the time, they were non-paid people who felt there were real needs in our community for these services. Community organizers have always been the grass roots movement that has made the real changes in our American society. It is too bad the Republican party has such a low opinion of those who have made real changes in lives of millions of people.

Kaare Haddeland