Columbus I thought I remembered the Neighborhood House from 30 years ago, but that was a couple of story, white building…must have been something else because now the operation presided over by Allen Huff for the last dozen years was huge with an auditorium, gymnasium, multiple buildings, and god knows what else, including a community organizing program he was supporting out of love and commitment alone. This was my kinda guy. He came in to visit on his vacation AND birthday – there’s a future in a partnership with him!
Talking to a dozen people who wanted to organize in Columbus was fascinating. This was all about the future and getting past the nostalgia of the past. I shopped some of my current ideas about how a new organization might be shaped. There was great feedback and wild interest. I’ll have to think about all of this even more.
One of the most amazing things I heard confronted the very heart of citizen wealth. People who had worked on tax returns for lower income and working families where finding student loan issues with literally 3 out of 4 families, including diversions of the tax refund checks to collectors and to Sallie Mae to pay a piece of old student loans. The families were all ages from the twenties to the sixties! This is a big issue. There’s a campaign calling about student loans in Columbus, and that’s not the least of it!
Ohio State may be in session today in Columbus, but I was being taken to school at the Neighborhood House, and learning at lot!