“Organizing,” or the act of bringing people together to improve their conditions, is a delicate balance of ingredients. ”Anger” is a common well spring for action. Have you ever noticed how common it is to see this displayed at union rallys? Union leaders stand at the podium and bellow hoarsely into the bullhorn and wrap it up with a chant.
“Anger,” as Zach Dela Rocha put it, “is a gift.
LISTEN TO RATM “Freedom” HERE:
It is true that anger motivates people to make change. However, I have always found that anger is a heavy emotion to carry. It does motivate, but if anger is not turned toward hope then it will wear you out.
Emerging from hope, that energy can inspire us if we can embedded it in a set of “values.”
If their is one thing I attribute my longevity to as an organizer it is that I am motivated now by a set of principles and not solely by anger.
I had a great discussion about this switch one day with the well-respected Journalist, Randy Lobasso.
Mr. Lobasso wanted to meet up and discuss my recent switch from the Restaurant Opportunity Center and how I found myself at POWER.
I attributed most my desire to move to POWER because of the organizations focus on values as a frame for action.
POWER is under the leadership of Bishop Dwayne Royster, “We’re really trying to change politics,” he says. “People’s politics aren’t translating to City Council, much less Harrisburg, in the way people live. Putting [issues] in a moral framework actually brings people together in ways that hasn’t been done in Philly in a while. I think that’s reflected in the [minimum wage] vote.”
In any case, it is a great article and Mr. Lobasso spells out how important moral framing is in organizing and how different it is compared to the approach of most progressive groups.
It is a great article and it gives POWER a lot of deserved credit for the huge living wage victory in May. This effort could not have succeeded without the work of SEIU 32 BJ, the Working Families Party, Action United and UNITE HERE.
Sadly, I have to be careful of sharing this article with people who are new to POWER though. The Editor, thought it would be funny to give the article a splashy title- “Hey, liberal activists—try arguing basic morality instead of wonky bullshit.”
Due to the curse word, I can’t refer new folks to it as they are often offended by, “bullshit.” I work around this by only giving it out as a print out and by blacking out the offending word with a marker.
Mr. Lobasso did a great job title non-withstanding.