Rathke: The Numbers Underneath the Art of Organizing

Quebec City    Listening to the national and office reports from the organizers ACORN Canada last evening at their Year End/ Year Begin meeting, I was making notes and trying to follow the breakthroughs on new campaigns…

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Rathke: How quickly can we get past impeachment?

New Orleans       Weather was miserable in New York as we schlepped from lower Manhattan to Newark Airport.  We prepared for the worst, but arrived early with hours to spare only to be victimized by almost…

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Rathke: The transplant system is needlessly allowing patients to die

New Orleans       There are no good ways to die, but emphysema is a tough way to go. I watched my grandfather die that way as a child.  He was weak and housebound in his last…

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Rathke: Five thousand blogs and what do you get

New Orleans       When you do something every day, rain or shine, here or abroad, every once in a while, you need to take stock, and evaluate whether a disciplined practice is a trivial habit, an…

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Rathke: New housing law in NY has impact on tenant evictions

New Orleans       The Wall Street Journal and its reporters must get a special thrill when they can score an exclusive on the New York Times on New York’s own turf.  I bet they didn’t even…

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Rathke: In praise of door to door canvassing

New Orleans      In modern politics obsessions run hot and heavy as election day looms ahead.  One cycle it might be microtargeting with sophisticated databases categorizing voters and messages.  Another cycle it’s small donors and social…

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Sen. John Neely Kennedy

Rathke: We’re so sorry about Louisiana’s Senator John Neely Kennedy

New Orleans      Those of us who live in Louisiana or care about the role of the state and its people in public affairs are just as sorry as we can be every time our junior…

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Rathke: End of the year notes on the road

New Orleans      Since 1975, I’ve been on the road, one way or another, pedal to the metal or wheels up, anywhere between one-third and more than a half of the year.  I always make a…

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Posted in Analysis Community organizing Elections Politics Race for the White House 2020

Years of grassroots organizing forged Biden’s Georgia win

Atlanta, often called the “cradle of the civil rights movement,” was the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and made up much of the congressional district represented by the late John Lewis. The story behind how…

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Rathke: Lanny Roy was a peoples’ warrior

New Orleans      Lake Charles is a medium-sized city of nearly 80,000 people, the fifth largest in Louisiana, close to the Texas border.  It’s the home of oil refineries and chemical plants.  Texans driving over the…

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Rathke: Voter Purges Coming in Wisconsin and Georgia

New Orleans       A Georgia judge allowed a 300,000 voter purge to happen hours ago in that state.  A lawsuit filed by Fair Vote Action seeking to prevent the purge will happen later this week on…

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Rathke: Figuring out which companies are naughty or nice

Quebec City    Even as the Brexit landslide seemed to be building in the formerly United Kingdom, the European Union leadership was piecing together an ambitious plan to achieve climate goals by 2050.  Their plan was to…

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Rathke: Consolidating the fight against housing displacement in Canada

Quebec City    After a day of training and reports, the ACORN Canada organizing staff really got serious when the Year End / Year Begin meeting began no holds barred wrestling with campaigns.  The discussion was particularly…

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Posted in Columns Community Journalism Community organizing Wade Rathke

Community Radio on the frontlines

by Wade Rathke October 11, 2020 Pearl River   The Grassroots Radio Coalition is a loose confederation of various progressive community radio stations around the country. We got involved with them when, to our surprise, they had…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing People Wade Rathke

Memories and milestones

by Wade Rathke October 4, 2020 Pearl River   Tenants all over the world are facing a huge crisis as the dual scourges of the pandemic and economic depression confront them daily. In some industrialized countries, eviction…

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Posted in Citizen Power Columns Community organizing The People Speak Wade Rathke

Old and New Social Movements

by Wade Rathke Sunday, September 13 Pearl River   Every month in the 50th anniversary year of ACORN, I’ve been talking on the radio to veteran organizers and others with unique perspectives on the organization, its history,…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Wade Rathke

The Disappearing Organizing Art: Tagging

by Wade Rathke Pearl River   Those were the days! As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebration of ACORN this year, different veterans have joined me on Wade’s World to share their memories and reminisce…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Wade Rathke

Protest moves people, money, and votes

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   Remember not so long ago when one self-proclaimed wizard after another, usually in power in some corporation, foundation, or governmental post, declared that “protest is passé.” Those of us so…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Labor Wade Rathke

Thinking outside the box for worker power

by Wade Rathke Pearl River   In organizing unions, captive audience meetings are the scourge of organizing drives. The employers have the right to make the meetings mandatory in order to deliver their anti-union screeds, but…

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Posted in Columns Community organizing Wade Rathke

Living and dying on the numbers

by Wade Rathke Pearl River   A lesson close to the heart for every organizer is the importance of numbers. An organization can live and die on the numbers. Rising numbers are a sign of health,…

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Posted in Analysis Columns Community organizing economic justice Social Justice Wade Rathke

Protests disrupt, no duh!

“Power concedes nothing without struggle and once the vigilance of struggle subsides, will seek to re-impose the comforts it once enjoyed.”  The kumbaya of revision and co-optation later can’t alter the reality of disruption inherent in the…

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Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Community organizing Wade Rathke

Small contributions make a huge difference

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   Whether it’s a moment or a movement, some things are different this time than they have been in the past. One encouraging and crucial difference is the fact that the…

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Screen shot A protester is seen with a placard reading, "I can't breathe" on the fourth straight day of racial justice demonstrations in New York on May 30, 2020. (Photo: Ron Adar)
Posted in Citizen Power Common Dreams Community organizing News The People Speak

New York State classifies use of chokeholds as felony, two weeks into racial justice protests

“Stay in the Streets. It’s Working” “Let’s keep pushing, marching, organizing, and winning for our communities.” by Julia Conley, staff writer Monday, June 8 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday urged Americans to stay the course in…

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A police officer charges forward as people protest the killing of George Floyd in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 2020. (Photo: Samuel Corum)
Posted in Common Dreams Community organizing News Policing Politics

Pushed by national uprising, Democratic lawmakers unveil legislation to overhaul policing

The new measure includes provisions to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants and limits transfers of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement. by Andrea Germanos, staff writer Monday, June 8 After two weeks of nationwide protests over…

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