Category: Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Booker T. Washington Born on April 5, 1859 (Circa) "On This Day Obituary Written Nov, 1915 in the New York Times
By Randle Loeb on Apr 5, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Many of us overcome fear and humiliation to rise and accomplish greatness. Many of us are born leaders and many of us seek leadership. There are those who are destined to change history regardless of their circumstances and who create the portal that we walk through to rise and be counted. Let us remember and honor them. Randle
Dr. B. T. Washington, Negro Leader, Dead
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES
TUSKEGEE, Ala., Nov. 14.--Booker T. Washington, foremost teacher and leader of the negro race, died early today at his home here, near the Tuskegee Institute, which he founded and of which he was President. Hardening of the arteries, following a nervous breakdown, caused his death four hours after Dr. Washington arrived from New York.
Although he had been in failing health for several months, the negro leader's condition became serious only last week while he was in the East. He then realized the end was near, but was determined to make the last long trip South. He said often: "I was born in the South, have lived all my life in the South, and expect to die and be buried in the South."
Accompanied by his wife, his secretary, and a physician, Dr. Washington left New York for Tuskegee at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon. He reached home last midnight, and died at 4:40 o'clock this morning. His last public appearance was at the national conference of Congregational churches in New York, where he delivered a lecture on Oct. 25. The funeral will be held at Tuskegee Institute on Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.
Dr. Washington's Career
No one knows the day, nor even with certainty the year, of the birth of Booker T. Washington; but the day of his death was announced by telegraph and cable to many parts of the world.
He began life as "just another little nigger" on a plantation of a family named Burrows in Hale's Ford, Va. The month and year of his birth were probably April, 1858, although Dr. Washington himself was not sure of this. In the biographical paragraph under his name in "Who's Who in America," it is said that he was born "about 1859." The only certain fact is that he was born into slavery when negro mothers made no record of nor long remembered the date of a child's birth.
Soon after the close of the civil war the little negro boy went with his stepmother to Malden, West Va., where he worked in salt furnaces for nine moths in the year and attended school for three months. After several years of such life the boy obtained work in the kitchen of Mrs. Viola Ruffner, a New England woman who had married a Southerner. Mrs. Ruffner soon recognized the boy's eagerness and ability to advance himself, so she taught him the elementary subjects. Booker Washington felt grateful to her to the end of his life, because she really gave him his start.
He heard of the Hampton Institute, for negroes, in 1871, when he was about thirteen years old, and he decided at once to attend it. So, with the little money he had been able to save from his wages of $6 a week, he set out for Richmond, Va., hoping to earn enough there to enable him to go on to Hampton, which is near Norfolk. This was in 1871. Dr. Washington founded the Tuskeegee Institute just ten years later. He was admitted to the institute and was graduated at the head of his class in 1875, after working his way through the school.
After graduation Dr. Washington returned to Malden and taught school until he had earned enough to enable him to go to the Wayland Seminary in Washington, D. C., where he studied until 1879, when he was called to Hampton as a teacher in the institute. After he had taught for two years, in 1881 the State of Alabama voted to found an industrial institute for negroes similar to that at Hampton, and, after searching for a negro qualified to head the proposed institution, Dr. Washington was selected. This was his entrance into the "black belt" of the South, a chance which he had long desired, and when he assumed charge of the institute at Tuskegee, Ala., his real life's work began.
The Start of Tuskegee
The State had appropriated $2,000 a year, and it was the task of the negro to organize the school. How well he did this is shown by a comparison of statistics. The institute opened on July 4, 1881, with one teacher and thirty pupils. At that time it had neither land nor buildings, nothing but the $2,000 a year granted by the Alabama Legislature.
When the institute celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary it owned 2,000 acres of land and eighty-three large and small buildings, which, with its equipment of live stock, stock in trade, and other personal property, were valued at $831,895. This did not include 22,000 acres of public land remaining unsold from the 25,000 acres granted by Congress, valued at $135,000, nor the endowment fund, which was $1,275,644. During the year there were more than 1,500 students enrolled in the school, more than 1,000 young men, and more than 500 young women. The students were trained in thirty-seven industries.
It was on the opening day of the Atlanta Exposition in 1895 that Dr. Washington became a national character. On that day he delivered an address that was heard by thousands and read by other thousands in far-away places with wonder that a man so wise and clear- seeing should arise from among his people to lead them upward. For it was because Dr. Washington stood out as a negro striving in a sensible and sincere way to help negroes that he commanded attention on that day in Atlanta.
His subject was "The New Negro," and white men saw in what he said a sane hope for the negro race and a real solution of the vexing "negro problem."
The character and difficulties of Dr. Washington's work are told in a magazine article written by him. When elected to organize the Tuskegee Institute, he traveled through the "black belt" in order to become acquainted with the people whom he was to teach.
"In the plantation districts," he wrote later, "I found large families, including visitors when any appeared, living and sleeping in a single room. I found them living on fat pork and corn bread, and yet not infrequently I discovered in these cabins sewing machines which no one knew how to use, which had cost as much as $60, or showy clocks which had cost as much as $10 or $12, but which never told the time. I remember a cabin where there was but one fork on the table for the use of five members of the family and myself, while in the opposite corner was an organ for which the family was paying $60 in monthly installments. The truth that forced itself upon me was that these people needed not only book learning, but knowledge of how to live; they needed to know how to cultivate the soil, to husband their resources, and make the most of their opportunities."
Men of Affairs Come to His Aid
Word of his aims, advertised to the world in the Atlanta speech, spread all over the country, and soon men and women of means began to want to assist Dr. Washington. Chief among these was Andrew Carnegie, who began by giving a $20,000 library to the institute, which he followed with a regular contribution of $10,000 a year. The climax of Mr. Carnegie's generosity toward the institute was reached in 1903, when he gave $600,000 to the endowment fund.
Among those who indorsed and supported Dr. Washington by act and speech were Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson; the officials of many States, and the heads of many institutions of learning. Though he never seemed to seek them, honors of all kinds were bestowed upon the negro. The degree of M. A. was conferred upon him by Harvard in 1896, and LL. D. by Dartmouth in 1901. In 1910, when Dr. Washington was in Europe, he was received by the King of Denmark, addressed the National Liberal Club in London, and visited Mr. Carnegie in Skibo Castle.
Among those who gave the most effectual assistance to Dr. Washington in his work was Robert Curtis Ogden, who died in Maine on Aug. 6, 1913. Mr. Ogden became interested in negro educational work through his association with General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, the founder of the Hampton Institute, and as the President of the Southern Educational Board he did much to overcome southern prejudice against the education of negroes and spread the knowledge of Hampton and Tuskegee among both the white and black people.
An incident of Dr. Washington's life that stirred up a controversy throughout the country was the occasion of his dining at the White House with President Roosevelt on Oct. 16, 1901. Dr. Washington went to the White House at the invitation of the President, and, when the news was spread abroad, thousands, both North and South, who were moved by race prejudice or by a belief that social equality between blacks and whites had been encouraged, became angry. Most of the criticism fell upon Colonel Roosevelt, but the incident served also to injure Dr. Washington's work in some parts of the South.
In addition to his work at Tuskegee and upon the lecture platform, Dr. Washington wrote a number of books and pamphlets upon the negro question. Chief among his works were: "Sowing and Reaping," 1900; "Up from Slavery," 1901; "Future of the America Negro," 1899; "Character Building," 1902; "The Story of My Life and Work," 1903; "Working with Hands," 1904; "Tuskegee and Its People," 1905; "Putting the Most Into Life," 1906; "Life of Frederick Douglass," 1907; "The Negro in Business," 1907; "The Story of the Negro," 1909; "My Larger Education," 1911, and "The Man Farthest Down," 1912.
Dr. Washington was married three times, and is survived by his third wife, two sons and a daughter
By Randle Loeb on Apr 5, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
The Allen Chapel AME Church Will Never be the Same in the District of Columbia.
Allen Chapel AME Church in Southeast Washington, D.C. was the center of attention for two hours yesterday as the Obama motorcade, bearing the president's family attended Easter services for two hours. In the hub bub of the service the minister had said, "That there are great things in store for the president because the hand of God is all over him." Let's hope that this is true.
Unemployment in the community is the highest in the country, nearly a third of every citizen is unemployed. Violence has continued to raise its head as gangs and drugs prevail. The president has visited the community before going to a charter school and a fast food restaurant. The president did what every normal person does on Easter and received communion, sang, chanted, read the verses,and listened to the gospel.
No one goes to the neighborhood who holds power except for the people. In a microcosm the community is the same as any in America, full of promise and poise, and troubles and doubts. What we need in America now is peace and jobs. We need to tighten and pull together as a community and this neighborhood needs to have a purpose. Schools like the one that the president visited and the one that is on Welton Street near the office of the Denver Urban Spectrum are significant steps on the way to changing America to a land of promise for everyone. We need to stop waging battle and stop the restless urge to destroy others here and abroad. Back home the Obamas have no room for waiting for the hand of God to be all over them.
The world cannot wait for peace and property because everywhere this Easter the hand of God is rumbling and stirring the fires of the depth of the lake of natural disaster. The tides are rising and we cannot bear the impact of the fall out from the ash that has begun to blot out the sun.
By Randle Loeb on Apr 4, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
By Randle Loeb on Apr 3, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
"We Still Don't Hear Them," (original language is "Him") In fact, there were many dissidents from usual and customary policies abroad who echoed the same refrain then and now. IS anyone listening?
By BOB HERBERT Op-ed Columnist for the New York Times
Published: April 2, 2010
"The great man was moving with what seemed like great reluctance. He knew as he climbed from the car in Upper Manhattan that he was stepping into the maelstrom, that there were powerful people who would not react kindly to what he had to say.
“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “because my conscience leaves me no other choice.”
This was on the evening of April 4, 1967, almost exactly 43 years ago. Dr. King told the more than 3,000 people who had crowded into Riverside Church that silence in the face of the horror that was taking place in Vietnam amounted to a “betrayal.”
He spoke of both the carnage in the war zone and the toll the war was taking here in the United States. The speech comes to mind now for two reasons: A Tavis Smiley documentary currently airing on PBS revisits the controversy set off by Dr. King’s indictment of “the madness of Vietnam.” And recent news reports show ever-increasing evidence that we have ensnared ourselves in a mad and tragic venture in Afghanistan.
Dr. King spoke of how, in Vietnam, the United States increased its commitment of troops “in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support.”
It’s strange, indeed, to read those words more than four decades later as we are increasing our commitment of troops in Afghanistan to fight in support of Hamid Karzai, who remains in power after an election that the world knows was riddled with fraud and whose government is one of the most corrupt and inept on the planet.
If Mr. Karzai is at all grateful for this support, he has a very peculiar way of showing it. He has ignored pleas from President Obama and others to take meaningful steps to rein in the rampant corruption. His brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the kingpin in southern Afghanistan, is believed by top American officials to be engaged in all manner of nefarious activities, including money-laundering and involvement in the flourishing opium trade.
Hamid Karzai himself pulled off a calculated insult to the U.S. by inviting Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidential palace in Kabul, where Ahmadinejad promptly delivered a fiery anti-American speech. As Dexter Filkins and Mark Landler reported in The Times this week: “Even as Mr. Obama pours tens of thousands of additional American troops into the country to help defend Mr. Karzai’s government, Mr. Karzai now often voices the view that his interests and the United States’ no longer coincide.”
Is this what American service members are dying for in Afghanistan? Can you imagine giving up your life, or your child’s life, for that crowd?
In his speech, Dr. King spoke about the damage the Vietnam War was doing to America’s war on poverty, and the way it was undermining other important domestic initiatives. What he wanted from the U.S. was not warfare overseas but a renewed commitment to economic and social justice at home. As he put it: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
The speech set loose a hurricane of criticism. Even the N.A.A.C.P. complained that Dr. King should stick to what it perceived as his area of expertise, civil rights. The New York Times headlined its editorial on the speech, “Dr. King’s Error.”
Mr. Smiley, in his documentary, noted that “the already strained relationship between President Johnson and Dr. King became fractured beyond repair.” And donations to Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference “began to dry up.”
So it took great courage for Dr. King to speak out as he did.
His bold stand seems all the more striking in today’s atmosphere, in which moral courage among the very prominent — the kind of courage that carries real risk — seems mostly to have disappeared.
More than 4,000 Americans have died in Iraq and more than 1,000 in Afghanistan, where the Obama administration has chosen to escalate rather than to begin a careful withdrawal. Those two wars, as the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and his colleague Linda Bilmes have told us, will ultimately cost us more than $3 trillion.
And yet the voices in search of peace, in search of an end to the “madness,” in search of the nation-building so desperately needed here in the United States, are feeble indeed.
Dr. King would be assassinated exactly one year (almost to the hour) after his great speech at Riverside Church. It’s the same terrible fate that awaits some of the American forces, most of them very young, that we continue to send into the quagmire in Afghanistan.""
The amazing truth of war is that it is a totally destructive endeavor for the earth and all of the people that dwell here. War especially rips the fabric of life of children apart and destroys the resilience and hope of generations of people. War sheds one reward and that is desolation. What we have been doing throughout my life time and for generations is evil. Dr King did not even write these words that Bob Herbert refers to. It was Dr. Vincent Harding Jr, a speech writer and civil rights leader who created the path for Dr. King to enunciate what it obvious, that the poor are the victims of tremendous hostility and violence and that their lives are forfeited fro the sake of the aspirations of the entrenched military industrial complex. The truth was enunciated by general and president Dwight David Eisenhower nobly and without fiction. He captured the essence of what Dr. King and Harding established as a hymn of the republic for peace and new ways to obtain an end to hostility toward all of earth's citizens.
By Randle Loeb on Apr 1, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
A Gift for All Seasons: Being a Citizen: the Rights and responsibilities Thereof
We live in an era of materialism and conspicuous consumption where the values of Americans of all classes and ethnic groups are to consume everything in record numbers. We eat fast. We move fast. We have great expectations and demands that stress out the average person and shorten the quality of life, leaving us speechless and gasping for air.
In an era that prides itself so much on the bottom line, results oriented demands, statistics and outcomes it’s surprising that we are still unable to adequately count the citizens when the census or the point in time come around. And even with HMIS the Homeless management information system, we bicker over protocol and rapid data entry and whether these statistics are accurate.
Congress demands that we count and yet do we? I have never been counted in the census, not in forty years, since I was an adult and I was a census enumerator and a member of the citizen count committee for the city and county of Denver.
I am curious how people feel about the startling revelation that most of the indigent are never counted and not simply for this process that has occurred ever since 1890?
What do we think about people who have had enough of American expectations of materialism and simply want to be left alone like a hermit living in a cave? Many homeless people are uncomfortable being scrutinized and know when to avoid the places where the enumerators and yes, the out reach workers are lurking and simply avoid the process. I do not think that we are unique here in Denver.
I was reading an article about the matter in New York City where they claim that they know in Common Ground every single person who is homeless. I think that they mean to say that they know every single person who they’ve counted shift by shift, who is visible. However most of the homeless are not readily available and do not want to be counted, as I was telling the former executive director of the United States Interagency Council, ten years ago, when the HMIS mantra was first proposed.
What matters to most indigent people is being safe, someone listening to them, a place that their stuff will not be bothered, a way to get out of the elements, a place that their clan can protect them when it is harsh and they feel overwhelmed by life’s adversity. We kid ourselves about how effective we’re even though HUD named the Denver’s Road Home as the Model City Program for relieving the stress of being insecure there is a lot of neglect that goes far beyond the losses of property and self worth.
The People’s Leadership Council offers a real solution to this dilemma in that we are creating a space that homeless people can feel at ease and talk, listen and be citizens. Our aspirations are modest, to listen and thereby to change the perception that you do not count. I know a person on the street with a sign sketched that says, “I am human.” We must have a clear and unequivocal expectation that everyone counts and not simply for the point in time or for the momentary funding proposal that needs Annual Homeless Assessment Reports to substantiate Progress.
This Friday we are meeting throughout the metro region and I am speaking about the gift of the homeless to the communities throughout the region. I twill be at the Jefferson County Fair Grounds from 9 to 1 and I hope that you will make it a priority on this furlough day to come and join us.
On April 7 at El Centro at 2260 California St at 12:30 the People’ Leadership Council is meeting to discuss the upcoming panel we are doing on diversity at the University of Denver at 10 a.m. in room 310 at Sturm Hall. It is entitled, ironically,
“Building Community Inside – Out Through Listening,” won’t you register and come and spread the word that we want to be counted?
By Randle Loeb on Mar 31, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
On April 23, 1993 Cesar Estrada Chavez, 66, Union Organizer For Migrant Worker's Rights Died
This article was written originally by Robert Lindsey in the New York Times and is modified and augmented by Randle Loeb to reflect the changes that have been created by the spirit of a champion of the rights established in the Constitution to all who dwell on these shores.
Cesar Estrada Chavez was born On an Arizona farm on March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Ariz., the second of five children of Juana and Librado Chavez. His father's parents migrated from Mexico in 1880.
His early years were spent on the family's 160-acre farm. But in the seventh year of the Depression, when he was 10, the family fell behind on mortgage payments and were evicted.
Along with thousands of other families in the Southwest, they sought refuge in California. They picked carrots, cotton, grapes in arid valleys, following the sun in search of the next harvest and the next camp owned by the growers.
Mr. Chavez never graduated from high school. He attended 65 elementary schools "for a day, a week or a few months."
Mr. Chavez, who lived in Keene, Calif., was in Arizona on union business. He died in his sleep.
Blending the nonviolent resistance of Gandhi with the organizational skills of Saul Alinsky, Mr. Chavez captured worldwide attention in the 1960's. Leading a battle to unionize the fields and orchards of California, boycotting grapes was a rallying point for the American citizen.
Mr. Chavez was described by Robert F. Kennedy as "one of the heroic figures of our time," near the time of Robert Kennedy's assassination. Cesar Chavez did more to improve the lives of migrant farm workers than anyone in his generation.
Fighting growers and shippers who for generations had defeated efforts to unionize field workers, and later fighting rival unionists, Mr. Chavez for the first time brought stability and security to migrant workers because he represented hope and a glimmer of economic justice for Latino families.
In 1975 he California Legislature passed the nation's first collective bargaining act outside Hawaii for farm workers, who were excluded from Federal labor law protection. "For the first time," Mr. Chavez said "the farm worker got some power." "For many years I was a farm worker, a migratory worker, it's just a matter of trying to even the score."
Cesar Chavez failed to realize his dream of forging a nationwide organization because White dominated labor unions and bosses organized to defeat his efforts among the Chicano people. American farm workers continue to toil for low wages, without job security, vulnerable to exploitation and at the whim of the corporate business establishment. California failed to translate the early triumphs of La Causa into a viable labor organization with economic and social justice for all citizens.
The union that Mr. Chavez founded, the United Farm Workers of America was unable to organize more than twenty percent of California's 200,000 farm workers. Tactics that Cesar Chavez effectively initiated in the 1960's and early 70's -- strikes and boycotts, fasting and the long march were undermined by the powerful cartel of agricultural industries. The United Farm Workers Union was regarded as a novelty among the liberal, middle class of the nation and then forgotten by many early supporters.
Cesar Estrada Chavez's accomplishments included forming the union of farm workers in California averaging less than $1.50 an hour. They had no fringe benefits, no seniority rights and no standing to challenge abuses by employers or exploitative labor contractors and thus, establishing forever the history of the Latinos and Chicanos as leaders of their destiny as equal citizens.
Unionization brought sharp pay increases. For the first time, migrant workers were eligible for medical insurance, employer-paid pensions, unemployment insurance, and they had the means to challenge employer abuses. The union's impact extended far beyond its membership. The threat of unionization by Mr. Chavez raised agricultural wages throughout California.
Beginning with the Industrial Workers of the World at the turn of the century, unions tried for decades to organize immigrant unskilled workers, first Chinese, then Japanese and later Filipinos and Mexican-Americans, on whom California growers depended. Field hands were vulnerable to the competition of other poor migrants seeking work, and were fighting not only powerful growers, but also the police and government officials.
In 1939 Mr. Chavez's family settled in San Jose. His father became active in a successful effort to organize workers at a dried-fruit packing plant, giving Mr. Chavez his first glimpse of workers taking collective action.
After World War II, in which he served two years in the Navy, Mr. Chavez resumed his life as a migrant. He married Helen Fabela in Delano, which he later made famous far beyond its dusty corner of the San Joaquin Valley.
Besides his wife he's survived by eight children, 27 grandchildren, a great-grandchild, three brothers and two sisters.
Mr. Alinsky sent an aide to recruit potential leaders, and among the first people he met was Mr. Chavez, then working in a San Jose apricot orchard.
Mr. Chavez joined Mr. Alinsky's Community Service Organization, registering Mexican-Americans to vote and helping them deal with government agencies. Later Cesar Chavez criticized the organization as dominated by non-Hispanic liberals, and in 1958 he quit, went to Delano and formed the National Farm Workers Association.
By 1965 Mr. Chavez organized 1,700 families and persuaded two growers to raise wages moderately. His fledging union was poised for a major strike. But 800 workers in a virtually moribund A.F.L.-C.I.O. group, the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, struck grape growers in Delano, and some of the members of his group demanded to join the strike.
That was the beginning of five years of La Huelga in which Cesar Chavez became familiar to people in much of the world as he battled the economic power of the farmers and corporations in the San Joaquin Valley.
With its charismatic leader, song-filled meetings and the fundamental appeal of its struggle, depicted as a downtrodden minority battling an exploitative oligopoly, Mr. Chavez's organization reminded many old-timers of the industrial battles that they had waged generations earlier.
Cesar Chavez showed humility that, with his shyness, small stature, and piercing dark eyes gave him the image of David taking on the Goliaths of agriculture.
Mr. Chavez's style was deeply religious. His life was dedicated to bettering the lives of the exploited farm workers. He was a vegetarian, and his weekly salary of $5 was a vow of poverty. Articles about him often spoke of his "saintly" and even "messianic" qualities.
Priests and nuns, college students and unionists from around the country marched with Mr. Chavez. Supporters sent money for La Causa. Most of the farm workers who enlisted had meager resources and were asked to pay only the dues they could afford, often only a few cents a month.
Borrowing from Gandhi, Mr. Chavez sometimes went on fasts or invited arrest to call attention to his battle with the growers.
With music and singing and hundreds of fluttering flags bearing the union's symbol of a black eagle on a field of red, union rallies were filled with fervor. Mr. Chavez arrived late at the rallies, appearing to a roar of approval after a musical group had played and other speakers had addressed the crowds.
In 1968 he began his most visible campaign, urging Americans not to buy table grapes produced in the San Joaquin Valley until growers agreed to union contracts. The boycott proved a huge success. A public opinion poll found that 17 million Americans had stopped buying grapes because of the boycott. My family were among the members of the coalition.
On July 30, 1970, after losing millions of dollars, growers agreed to sign. It was probably the high point in the union's history.
More successful boycotts and organizing successes followed, but soon many of the largest growers, in an effort to stave off Mr. Chavez's union, invited the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to organize their workers. Mr. Chavez complained that the teamsters were signing "sweetheart contracts," and before long his hard-won gains in Delano were betrayed by coercive practices of industry.
Growers charged that the United Farm Workers was poorly run and undependable, signed with the teamsters. But two things kept his dream alive: First, the teamsters' leaders, smarting from charges of corruption, made a truce.
Second, Edmund G. Brown Jr., a Democrat who had marched with the farm workers before his election as Governor in 1974, won adoption of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Act, a landmark bill establishing collective bargaining for farm workers and granting the union concessions. Among these concessions was a "good standing clause," which in effect permitted union leaders to deny work in the fields to any worker who challenged their decisions.
The teamsters virtually abandoned the fight against Mr. Chavez in 1977. In the years that followed, the United Farm Workers signed occasional contracts with growers but never attained the dominance that Mr. Chavez envisioned. A decade after the Delano strike, fewer than ten percent of the grapes in that community were harvested by union's members.
Cesar Chavez befriended Charles Dederich, the founder of Synanon, a drug rehabilitation organization.
After Mr. Brown's departure from the governorship in 1983, Mr. Chavez battled with the Republican administration of George Deukmejian, whose campaign was backed by the growers. In 1983, Mr. Chavez, expressing determination to recapture the union's momentum, revived the use of the boycott, directed at nonunion table grapes and Salinas Valley lettuce.
When Cesar Estrada Chavez died in 1993 he was clear in his message to all citizens of this country: you are the ones with power and your will must be heard. We are granted a great legacy in the grace and dignity of this spiritual leader of the people.
By Randle Loeb on Mar 30, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
HUD rates Denver a national model for helping homeless
By Colleen O'Connor
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/26/2010 01:00:00 AM MDT
Denver is a national model for helping the homeless get better access to mainstream services like Medicaid and food stamps, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"Denver is among those places around the country that do a pretty darn good job," said HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan.
Six other cities were included in the 287-page study: Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Norfolk, Va.; Portland, Maine; and Pittsburgh-Allegheny County, Pa.
"We wanted to study these places that do it very well, even if they experience some obstacles, and all of them are," Sullivan said. "By identifying where it's being done right, we hope we can export (the solutions) elsewhere, so others can replicate them."
The study examined how the communities responded to HUD's 2000 policy shift to emphasize providing housing over services.
But the data collection for the study was finished before the financial crash of 2008, and some of the programs lauded in the HUD study no longer exist, such as the Stout Street Mobile Medical Clinic.
This February, to help stem the loss of $3.4 million in state funding, the van that provided care on the streets and at shelters was shut down.
"That's my only caution," said Jamie van Leeuwen, director of Denver's Road Home, about the gap between when the study was conducted and released. "We're even being cautious about the 2009 point-in-time survey because so much happened between 2007 and 2009 in terms of the economy."
The point-in-time survey counts the number of homeless on one day each year.
What has not changed, however, is the collaborative approach to the problem.
"The city has taken on significant responsibilities surrounding the elimination of homelessness while also bringing in more private service providers, including those that are faith-based, and raising a substantial amount of private funding," the report said.
A partnership with the Mile High United Way, which allowed Denver's Road Home to achieve its fundraising goal of $46.1 million in the first four years of the plan, is also emphasized in the study.
Denver also has "prevalent" programs to make sure that homeless people receive benefits, according to the study. Among the best examples was the Benefit Acquisition and Retention Team run by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.
It's "one of the most successful teams" for getting homeless people access to programs such as Aid to the Needy Disabled, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, the report said.
"Using a total of 4.5 full-time case managers to process claims, the BART (Benefit Acquisition) team members are experts at putting together disability applications," it said.
In general, the study found that the umbrella structure of Denver's Road Home makes it "a strong mechanism for expanding, changing and smoothing access to mainstream benefits, with its ability to raise funds in the private sector, bring the provider community together, and advocate for policy changes."
Colleen O'Connor: 303-954-1083 or firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Shaun Donovan, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
HUD No. 10-055 FOR RELEASE
Brian Sullivan Thursday
(202) 708-0685 March 25, 2010
HUD RELEASES GROUNDBREAKING STUDY ON COSTS OF FIRST-TIME HOMELESSNESS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Two additional studies look at life after transitional housing and access to mainstream benefits
WASHINGTON - When an individual or a family becomes homeless for the first time, the cost of providing them housing and services can vary widely, from $581 a month for an individual's stay in an emergency shelter in Des Moines, Iowa to as much as $3,530 for a family's monthly stay in emergency shelter in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today released three studies on the cost of 'first-time' homelessness; life after transitional housing for homeless families; and strategies for improving access to mainstream benefits programs.
HUD's cost study is the most comprehensive research on the price tag associated with first-time homelessness and creates a foundation to compare the costs of various homeless interventions. Taken together, HUD's three studies released today will inform policy discussions on what are the most effective strategies for assisting homeless persons and families in the future.
"These studies expand our knowledge of the true costs of homelessness and raises other questions that go far beyond dollars and cents," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Now we need to have a serious discussion over what strategies are not only most cost effective, but how we can help individuals and families from falling into homelessness in the first place."
HUD's study, Costs Associated with First-Time Homelessness for Families and Individuals, examines how much it costs to house and serve nearly 9,000 individuals and families in six areas of the country. The report studies the cost of first-time homelessness among individuals in Des Moines, Iowa; Houston, Texas; and Jacksonville, Florida. In addition, the Department looked at the cost of first-time family homelessness in Washington, DC; Houston, Texas; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and a large area of upstate South Carolina.
HUD is currently investing $1.5 billion in funding through the Recovery Act's Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP), to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized.
This report reveals that most of those individuals and families studied experience homelessness only once or twice and use emergency shelter for a limited period of time at fairly low cost. However, HUD also found that some of these households experience longer periods of homelessness and use more expensive programs. While overnight emergency shelter for individuals have the lowest costs, these shelters offer the fewest services in the least private settings and are often open only during evening hours. By contrast, transitional housing is the most expensive model for individuals, frequently offering more privacy and a comprehensive range of on-site services.
HUD's cost study found:
Average costs for individuals are much lower than for families, with overnight stays at an emergency shelter for individuals having the lowest daily costs;
For individuals, transitional housing proves more expensive than permanent supportive housing largely because services for transitional housing were usually offered directly by on-site staff than by mainstream service providers;
For families, emergency shelters are usually equally or more expensive than transitional and permanent supportive housing because family shelters often offer 24-hour access and private units;
In the three sample areas studied, first-time homeless individuals were predominantly male averaging between 39-41 years old; and
Female individuals had fewer stays, but used homeless programs 74 percent longer than their male counterparts.
Average Monthly Cost by Homeless Program Type
Permanent Supportive Housing
HUD also released two additional homeless studies today:
Life after Transitional Housing for Homeless Families
This study follows 195 families in 36 transitional housing programs in five communities for three, six and 12 months after leaving the program. Given the significant investment HUD makes in transitional housing programs, and in light of the program's costs mentioned above, it is important to understand the effectiveness of these programs. The five study communities were Cleveland/Cuyahoga County, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Houston and Harris and Benton Counties, Texas; San Diego City and County, California; and Seattle/King County, Washington. Among the study's findings:
Participants in smaller transitional housing programs were more likely to have their own place to live after moveout and more likely to live with the same household members at the beginning and end of the follow-up year. Participants in larger programs experience higher levels of educational attainment at moveout.
In some respects, longer stays in transitional housing produced important benefits including higher levels of educational attainment and employment and a greater likelihood of continued employment during the follow-up year. Families spending more months in transitional housing were significantly more likely to have a place of their own for an entire year after leaving the program.
While transitional housing programs produced increasingly positive outcomes for families with longer stays, HUD found the number of barriers facing families did not impact outcomes. Given the significant costs associated with service-intensive transitional housing programs, HUD's report brings into question whether this housing model is the most appropriate intervention for those families who do not have significant barriers to housing.
Strategies for Improving Homeless People's Access to Mainstream Benefits and Services
HUD studied seven communities (Albany/Albany Co., NY; Albuquerque, NM; Metropolitan Denver; Miami-Dade Co., FL; Norfolk, VA; Portland, ME; and Pittsburgh/Allegheny Co., PA) to document how communities mobilized to improve homeless people's access to mainstream benefits and services in light of HUD's goal of dedicating a larger portion of HUD homeless assistance funding to housing.
Communities that experienced the greatest success had a strong central organization intent upon improving access of homeless individuals and families to mainstream service. Typically, communities were successful at reducing structural barriers to benefits, such as physical access, complexity and length of application processes, and rules for documenting eligibility. In addition, the study finds evidence that people exiting HUD-funded programs were likely to be connected to mainstream benefits at rates that exceeded national rates for 2007. These communities had the most success enrolling persons and families for food stamps and General Assistance. However, communities struggled with overcoming barriers that were beyond their control, such as eligibility requirements of programs, such as TANF and Medicaid, and capacity barriers, such as an insufficient number of slots available in mainstream treatment programs for substance abuse or mental health services.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.
By Randle Loeb on Mar 30, 2010 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
- NEW YORK/REGION -
Times Square's Homeless Holdout, Not Budging
By JULIE BOSMAN
Nonprofit workers say the man known as Heavy is the last
person living on the streets of Times Square.
Commentary by Randle Loeb, The People's Leadership Council
"Tim Marx executive director and Roseanne Haggerty founder of Common Ground think that they have this man who they name, Heavy,” figured out. They are thinking of having an out reach worker follow him around all day, because their MISSION is to have the last homeless person in Mid-town Manhattan come inside and indeed, Roseanne suggests that he has come inside. Then she says that his being out there is a fascinating experience for the last person who is chronically homeless on the street there in “her” turf. Tim Marx on the other hand is saying that the woman who he calls, “Mama,” is irresponsible in some way because people like her have provided comfort, blankets, clothes, food, coffee, and most importantly community for this person for decades.
Let’s analyze what we know, which is minimal about this man’s life. He is present and has a purpose outside. All of us need to belong and be respected, as my son Lael puts it, “feel me.”
I think one can safely say that this man is felt and understood. He feels that he belongs. Who can say when it is time to come in and rest, take off your shoes and feel at ease closing your own door? For many people who are homeless the community that they experience in their world of soup kitchens, street connections and safety is enough and they are not ready and in many cases interested in coming inside. This is not a measure of their lack of anything other than for the time being this is not their choice. I see many people every day that will find themselves inside and say, “I cannot stand being here.” “Where my friends, my connections, and my place are is with my family.”
What business is it for the commerce and industry to decide how and when a person is complying with the public good? What is troubling are the glib responses to a complex social issue of trust and belonging that cuts through the compassion of social services and the public’s need for people to be protected. In Geel in Holland, a town embraces its transient and suffering with housing in each person’s home and in the businesses by providing a safe place and a sanctuary for all who come to share their community. When a caretaker provider dies another family member steps in and holds the person as a sacred trust. There are no strings attached to this commitment and no lack of respect and dignity for their vulnerable neighbors. Everyone finds a way to care for the person just as with the man in New York’s Time Square.
We need to think about this the next time we see a person like the one described in Julie’s article below and tap into our reservoir of caring for our neighbor as ourselves. Tim and Roseanne you would not be in business if the commonweal embraced everyone. In my mind the community is where my family is and where I am accepted. It is also where we feel we have a place and a purpose. Who among us is as loved and cherished as the people who we engage daily who remind us that we all are the same."
“One Last Homeless Holdout in Times Square” New York Times March 29, 2010 By Julie Bosman
As long as there have been homeless people sleeping in Times Square, there have been social workers and city officials trying to persuade them to leave.
Enlarge This Image
Michael Appleton for The New York Times
The homeless man Heavy slept in a cardboard box on Sunday as a worker from the Times Square Alliance swept 48th Street.
In the past, the homeless were offered a free ride to one of the city’s warehouselike shelters. These days, workers for nonprofit groups help people move into apartments, keeping track as the number of the chronically homeless in Times Square goes down.
According to their records, by 2005, there were only 55. Last summer, it was down to 7.
Now there is one.
His name is Heavy, and he has lived on the streets of Times Square for decades. Day after day, he has politely declined offers of housing, explaining that he is a protector of the neighborhood and cannot possibly leave, the workers who visit him every day said.
Yet they are determined to get through to Heavy, the last homeless holdout in Times Square.
“I just have this dream that all of a sudden something will snap, and he’ll say, ‘I’d love to have housing,’ ” said Amie Pospisil, an associate director at Common Ground Community, a nonprofit organization that conducts street outreach. “I don’t rule out that it could happen.”
Little is known about Heavy, even his full name. Heavy is a nickname, part of his last name, a fact he surrendered after more than a year of daily visits from workers. He declined to be interviewed.
According to neighbors and social workers, Heavy is a gentle presence, a quiet man who does not harass passers-by or panhandle aggressively. They say he may be mentally ill, as many of the chronically homeless are. An employee in a deli on Eighth Avenue said that he usually gave Heavy a few pieces of bread at lunchtime. Neighbors give him hot coffee, loose change, and warm clothing in winter.
“He is a sweetheart,” said an 82-year-old woman who gave her name as Nanny and stopped to talk near her home on 48th Street, where she has lived for 44 years. “He sees me coming and says, ‘Hi, Mommy,’ and I say, ‘Hi, honey.’ And I give him his quarter, and I go on with my business.”
The most recent annual estimate of the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets of New York showed an increase, but Times Square has been an exception.
The exact count of homeless people in and around the area on any given day can be subject to wanderings, the time of year, even the weather. But for years, outreach workers have done rigorous, round-the-clock counts of the people who are sleeping there every night, and they are confident they know who is there and who is not.
Heavy is the last member of what they called the Times Square Seven, the only homeless people remaining last summer out of the dozens they had been placing in housing for years. Of the seven, three men were regularly sleeping on the steps of churches.
All of them had been homeless for a long time — on average, 17 years.
One by one, from last September to January, the men were persuaded to accept housing. Except Heavy.
“I think it’s fair to say that we gave all seven people the same attention and effort,” Ms. Pospisil said. “Heavy is still there.”
The outreach teams had long since memorized his location and his habits. For a long stretch, he had been camped out on Seventh Avenue, until a city sanitation crew disposed of his belongings. Then he found a new spot nearby, under the fire escape of a theater. Now he is usually seen around the corner of 48th Street and Seventh Avenue, a block or two from the heart of Times Square.
By day, Heavy is typically seen wearing a red knit cap, sipping coffee and smoking a cigarette, sitting on a makeshift chair near his black and red suitcase. At night, outreach workers often find him nestled in a thin cardboard box, near the scaffolding of a building under construction.
Heavy was far from alone on the streets of Times Square in the 1990s, when he began sleeping there frequently in the midst of a roiling mess of drug dealing, prostitution and crime.
“Times Square has always been this signpost for whatever’s going on in New York City, for good or ill, and when there was a very heavy homeless population, it all contributed to a larger perception that New York City had lost control of the public realm,” said Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance. “I think there was a time at the very beginning of the homelessness issue when it was like, let’s squeeze the balloon and get them out of the way.”
But tactics changed. Nonprofit groups began sharing information about the homeless people who were anchored in Times Square, gathering names, ages, medical conditions and the personal issues that might be keeping them homeless.
The street outreach teams from Common Ground and the Goddard Riverside Community Center, both nonprofit groups that hold contracts with the city, began maintaining close ties with the Times Square Alliance and the Police Department. More units of supportive housing and specialized shelter beds were opened up to the chronically homeless, as an alternative to the intimidating and sometimes unruly general shelter system.
And the more commercial, safer and more tourist-friendly Times Square slowly became less comfortable for the street homeless.
“Whether by accident or not, certainly over the last 10 or 15 years, the cleaning up of Times Square and the street traffic in Times Square may have been an issue,” said Stephan Russo, the executive director of Goddard Riverside. “It can be a little daunting for them.”
The area still attracts panhandlers, and a few emotionally disturbed people who occasionally draw the attention of security employees of the Times Square Alliance. This month, they intervened when a man began tearing flowers out of a planter.
The social workers at Common Ground said they had no intention of pressing Heavy to leave the streets. But Tim Marx, the executive director, said neighbors might not be helping in the long term by giving Heavy food and clothing.
Directors at Common Ground are considering posting one of their outreach workers to stay with Heavy all day, study his habits and movements, and talk to neighbors about what is best for him.
Rosanne Haggerty, the president of Common Ground, said she had known Heavy since at least 1990, early in the days when she was working to end homelessness in Times Square. In those days, there were more than 70 people sleeping in the area on a typical night.
“He’s kind of iconic,” Ms. Haggerty said. “He would leave for periods and then return, and some days we would actually succeed in getting him inside. But he has this fascination with the life in Times Square.”