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Grassroots activist, feminist, sociologist, poop talk pro, future foster mom, travel whore, thrift store junky, music and food consumer.

Friday, July 26, 2013

MOVING FROM AWARENESS TO ACTION

The most common knowledge is usually inaccurate information passing as knowledge. For instance, everyone knows that if you get burned, you should put butter on it. WRONG. Butter actually holds heat and will increase your pain 10 fold. Everyone knows that if you eat something too spicy, you should drink water. WRONG. Milk or sour cream fare much better on returning your orality to normal. Everyone knows that there is a debt crisis at the federal and state levels. WRONG. There is a revenue crisis because wealthy people and corporations are not paying taxes, and in some cases getting tax refunds in the millions.

As in all things that rely on what people think they know, the response to an action or inaction will follow suit with what one believes to be true. For instance, if I think butter is supposed to soothe the burn then I will put butter on my burn. I will soon realize that it is not helping, and that my burn is only getting worse. Will I, A. Seek out better information and try an alternative solution or B. Continue to melt butter on my burn? In this analogy, the butter exemplifies the austerity measures currently being employed throughout the world according to the common knowledge enforced by the IMF, World Bank, and US Treasury. Austerity measures have been pushed in numerous countries over the last 30 years and has not succeeded in any one of them, but nevermind that. "This time, this time it will work!" is still the philosophy, despite the ratio of attempts to successful implementations being "too many:zero."


Despite these policies not proving effective, there are still political and corporate leaders asserting that social welfare programs established during the Great Depression to protect people from the perils of Capitalism should be cut: Foodstamps! Medicare! Medicaid! Social Security! Who needs to pay taxes? Let's just privatize all these things and charge people what the market declares they should pay. Never mind that speaking about "the market" implies that its a "thing" completely detached from people. The "market" develops out of people passing policies that show obvious favoritism for certain products being bought and sold. Ever wonder why there's not more efforts going into renewable energy? I'm sure it has nothing to do with people who have gained their fortunes from fossil fuels donating to political campaigns and giving other kickbacks.

Since 'politician' has become a certified way to get wealthy then it follows that the phrases "its just politics" or "politics as usual" have come to mean that a particular politician's vote will likely side with the highest bidder. Let's not worry about the people who voted for them to represent their interests. Our bipartisan system is notorious for presenting issues in dichotomous - either/or - forms. Allow me to present a dichotomy: we either continue doing things the neoliberalist way or we get serious about some alternatives. The good in all this bad is that the people in this country tend to be in favor of not only keeping social programs, but expanding them, and are even willing to pay more taxes such that there is monetary coverage. This leaves me wondering why OUR politicians that we elect are not a reflection of the people they represent! The answer(s) probably has a lot to do with 'politician' being seen as a career choice instead of a goodwill carried out by a responsible and empathetic citizen.

When submerged in information such as this, one's outlook can become quite negative. Its common to think about the difficulty addressing this discrepancy when those with power have so much of it? Well, you see the thing about power is that one cannot have power unless it is given to them. Money doesn't make people powerful. Our treatment of people with money makes them powerful. --- I'm going to spare you of my rant about how people treat money and just forward you to Polanyi. You can also go back and read my previous post if you need to read about how the current practice of Capitalism, guided by Neoliberalism, distributes wealth to a few and leaves the majority of people in poverty. --- Its past time for us to take our power back and empower ourselves!!! I read posts on my Facebook and Twitter feeds all day about how pissed everyone is, but posting on social media can't be where your frustration stops. Sure, posting about injustices on social media (this blog counts too) raises awareness but unless you're providing avenues for people to get involved in the change they want to see, you're falling short. Pay close attention to this next part --> If you've been looking for organizations that take on immigration reform, labor issues, saving and expanding social security, medicare, and medicaid, working toward racial, gender, economic, and political equality, and making corporations and the wealthy PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE then check out the organizations listed below and GET INVOLVED in the change you want to see!***

National 
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Alliance for a Just Society
Center for Community Change (CCC)
Community Access National Network (CANN)
Jobs with Justice (JWJ) 
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National People's Action (NPA)
PICO National Network 
Planned Parenthood
Progress Now
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
State Voices
USAction
Women's Equality Center (WEC)

California
People Organized for Westside Renewal

Colorado

Rights for All People / Derechos Para Todos
Colorado Progressive Coalition 

Connecticut

Teach Our Children
  
Florida
Organize Now

Georgia
ProGeorgia

Indiana
Northwest Indiana Federation of Interfaith Organization 

Illinois

Illinois People's Action 
Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality 
Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation
Illinois Indiana Regional Organizing Network 
Jane Addams Senior Caucus 

Iowa

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement 

Kansas

Sunflower Community Action 

Louisiana

The Micah Project

Maine
Maine People's Alliance 

Massachusetts

Alliance to Develop Power 

Michigan

Alliance for Immigrant Rights and Reform 

Minnesota

TakeAction Minnesota

Missouri

Communities Creating Opportunities
Grass Roots Organizing
Metropolitan Congregations United 
Missouri Faith Voices
Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity2 
Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition
The Organization for Black Struggle

Nevada
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada 

New York

Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition 
People United for Sustainable Housing 
Syracuse United Neighbors
Community Voices Heard
Good Old Lower East Side 
VOCAL-NY

Ohio

Working In Neighborhoods/Communities United for Action 
Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative 
Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope 
The AMOS Project

Tennessee

Healthy and Free Tennessee 
SisterReach

Virginia
Virginia Organizing

***This list is not exhaustive and will be updated periodically***
***Don't ask me why they're different colors***

1 comment:

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