Wow, Gov. Sarah Palin has committed the political acrobatics that often end in a backlash, by twisting, bending, OPENING MOUTH and INSERTING FOOT!
In her attack against Barack Obama which was cloaked as a Republican VP acceptance speech she has unwittingly attacked Community Workers! Or maybe that was her plan??
Gov. Palin said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities.”
Now I can not speak for all Community Organizers or Community Workers, but I can certainly speak for myself! I have been a Community Worker and Organizer for years and must say that I felt personally attacked by that statement. Gov. Palin’s statement says to me that because I am not a Governor my community work doesn’t count. Her statement says to me that she believes that what I choose to do to HELP OTHERS who are in need means nothing! In essence what her statement says to me is that I am not as IMPORTANT as she is! Wow! This is what she thinks of ME, a tax paying,
For 9 years I worked in the Head Start Organization, which purposes to assist children from low-income families gain a jump start on education and boost their social skills preparing them for entry into elementary school. Head Start didn’t just target the children it targets the entire family by assisting the families by giving workshops on socio-economic issues, by assisting parents to establish goals and take steps toward achieving those goals. Head start has assisted MILLIONS of families since it's inception in 1965. The best feeling I got as working in Head Start was running into a former student or former parent and having them tell me how much Head Start meant to them; Or how much of a difference being in my class made as they entered into grade school; Or having teachers call me to thank us for preparing their students for school!
I was also a Site Manager for a child care center on a High School site, which purposed to assist young mothers to continue their education if they were continuing with High School even though they had a baby (a service that your daughter may need soon…).
Yes this makes me a Community Worker and I am PROUD!
I also worked as a Volunteer, an Executive Assistant, and ultimately as Interim Executive Director of a small non-profit organization. Family Restoration Project was started by a church that saw a need in the community. While working with this organization, I have feed the hungry through an Emergency Food Pantry; I have organized youth summits; I have assisted a group of teens to compose, publish and distribute "Youth On The Move" a teen newsletter, which was written by the teens for teens; I have organized field trips for teens which included visiting colleges to prepare them for college entry! While working with this organization I assisted in bringing low cost individual & family counseling; free mental health workshops and free women’s workshops to a community where those in need could not afford high priced mental health care! I organized Youth Fit, which was a free 10 week teen exercise class whose purpose was to assist youth ages 13-20 as they dealt with issues of nutrition, low self esteem, poor body images and even obesity.
Yes this makes me a Community Organizer and I am PROUD!
In the past I have also given shelter to the homeless; feed the hungry; donated time and money to various community and world causes; volunteered my time and energy in various church outreach programs; been a brownie & girl scout troop leader; and been involved in many COMMUNITY activities!
Yes Sarah, this makes me a Community Worker and a Community Organizer and I am PROUD TO BE SO!
So in closing Sarah, I urge you to think before you start bad mouthing and disrespecting Community Workers and Community Organizers. Think of the Head Starts; The Churches; The Homeless; The Hungry, The Boys & Girls Clubs; The YMCA. Think of Emma Lazarus, who wrote,
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,...."
Who is working with these tired, poor, huddled masses??? Why Community Organizers OF COURSE!!!
Sarah think BEFORE you speak....
By the way Sarah, I know one who was a great Community Organizer who also DIED for me, Do You Know Him?