Flyering Door-to-Door is a Constant Neighborhood Education

New Orleans     Opening a new location of our social enterprise Fair Grinds Coffeehouse on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans was a relief even if we’re still shaking out the kinks, installing the ice machine, this and that.  How we get the word out for our soft opening and early weeks has been a constant […]

Waffle House, Roadie, and, Hey, Organizer, Are You Going My Way?

New Orleans         I’m not an Uber-fan.  Cabdrivers have a rough road to travel and city regulations protect their safety and the passengers, so what Uber calls “disruption,” looks a lot like another corporate scam on workers and their communities.  On the other hand, I’m no fool.  And, when it looked impossible to catch a cab […]

Dumpster Diving and Internal Income

New Orleans   When I’m in India the hawkers, street sellers, and even the recyclers always, and I mean always, ask me what it is like for people who are in their profession in the United States.  When I answer the hawkers for example, and say that compared to India, we have almost none, they look at […]

A Victory for the Poor is Still Possible At Least in British Columbia

New Orleans        There are no good times to be poor, but these are especially hard times given persistent inequality and distorted public policies that throw a couple of nickels towards lower income families while opening the gateway to millions for those with big money.  All of which makes the ACORN victory in what might have seemed […]

King’s Boots and Lewis’ Backpack

Photo with the backpack from

New Orleans      Too often our tactics lose their edge when they devolve into more show than steel, more parade than march, more about the media than the target.  This is constantly an organizer’s dilemma in putting together actions that have to impact various audiences.   Without care and thorough, disciplined […]

Selma for Organizers

New Orleans     The movie, Selma, has attracted some attention and controversy.  There were no nominations for best director or best movie and in fact for the first time in decades all of the Academy Awards were as lily white as the management structures of the big movie studios. Others thought President Lyndon B. Johnson didn’t get a fair shake […]