By David Burge
Professional Community Organizer
When I listened to the snarky and demeaning and condescending remarks of former beauty pageant loser Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, I could scarcely believe what I was hearing:
"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."
Ooo-oooh, Caribou Barbie makes a funny, hardee-har-har. Well yuk it up now, little miss former junior college baby machine, because your sarcastic attempt to belittle America's community of hardworking professional community organizers is about to backfire -- big time. Because, for your information, I am America's community organizer community.
By now most of you know I am a candidate for President of the United States. What you may not know is that for the past 4 months, I have also been a proud member of Campaign For a Better Humanity, a non-profit community outreach program I created with a joint grant from Johnson County Community Services and the Iowa State Work Release Program.
What do community organizers do? As you know, Americans today are struggling with problems. These problems include rising unemployment, energy cost, alienation, animosity, corporations, and increased death. Like no other time in our history, Americans are staring into an abyss of a hellhole of helplessness. And this is where community organizers like me come in and provide needed solutions. Specifically, America's community organizers:
- reach out and work with communities in various ways.
- liaison with, and for, community agencies for service within affected areas.
- fight to make a difference.
- raise awareness.
- deal with community issues.
- raise awareness in the community of how we are making differences about undealt-with issues .
- when necessary, refer inquiries to outreach coordinators.
- Help coordination agency administrators identify and address outreach opportunities.
- model timetables and conceptualize benchmarks.
- issue guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals.
- Gather voter registrations, win valuable prizes.
And that's just the beginning. Let me give you some specific examples of how community organizer organizations like CFBH are making a difference right here in Majestic Oakewoods, a subdivision off exit 242. As you know, in the year since I moved here my community has experienced a rash of crime, despair, and abandoned homes. To address these community problems, I reached out to local groups of disaffected dropout youths who were struggling with unemployment. During a rap-session kegger at my home, I spoke with them about ways they could get involved with the community and help protect the environment. Together we organized an innovative free community bicycle / metal recycling program. I am proud to say that it has been so successful that our private sector partner, Kyle's Salvage, has encouraged us to create an expanded free community car program.
I am also proud to report that my outreach efforts have also helped get local disadvantaged youths involved in the community through politics. We met with local elected officials and showed them how successful programs piloted by ACORN in Chicago and Milwaukee could be adapted to keep local youths off the streets. The result is CFBH's wildly popular Beer and Smokes for Votes program.
But it's not just young people who benefit through community organizing efforts. For example I also make frequent visits to Whispering Acres, the senior assisted living center across from Hy-Vee. Like many elderly people across America, the residents there often struggle with forgetfulness and confusion. As a community organizer, I listen to their concerns and boring, meandering stories about the Depression. Then, when they eventually fall asleep, I help by checking their mail and storage areas and medicine cabinets to see what needs organizing. If they suddenly wake back up, I enjoy helping them fill out various legal and financial forms, and voter registrations. I'm proud to say that through efforts like these, many of these seniors have come to think of me as family. And dude, I mean totally convinced.
So yes, Sarah Palin, you igloo-dwelling ignoramus, I am a Community Organizer - and damned proud of it. And I will be proud to bring my community organizing skills to the White House while you snowmobile in shame back to your stupid Alaska podunk moose meth lab. Speaking for America's dedicated community organizers and the hundreds of millions of Americans whose very lives depend on us -- we will not sit here while you badmouth the United States of America.
Oh, and Sarah? Call me.