Sarah Palin doesn’t like community organizers — at least not the liberal kind

So John McCain’s veep pick Sarah Palin apparently doesn’t like community organizers. Unfortunately, that alienates many coveted independent voters such as myself, men and women who works as community organizers. While she should be thanking community organizers — are evangelical Christians not community organizers? — Palin’s attack has only given Barack Obama more support.

My work as a community organizer has been hosting of the Milwaukee chapter of the social club Drinking Liberally. And with the help of another community organizer, I helped organize its sister group Eating Liberally. The two groups are designed to help bring people back into the political realm in positive ways. And they work. We’ve given dozens of people in Milwaukee the chance to have a voice in the political process, to meet their elected officials, and the people running for office. We’ve given them a way to vent their frustrations with the incumbent regimes, and a way to make new friends. While I am a community organizer, I’m not the only one who’s part of it or who works as an organizer.

In fact, I helped start two other people start the Milwaukee chapter of Drinking Liberally. The first bar that we had it at was the suggestion of a third person, who had lived all his life in the south side Milwaukee neighborhood that Drinking Liberally meets in. And we brought people out from not only this neighborhood, but neighborhoods all over Milwaukee, north, south, east and west. Because of my work as a community organizer, and the work of Stacie, Scott F., Scott S., and Jeff B. — all of whom were community organizers — we are helping people find their voices. We work to overcome apathy and disillusionment. And we help people have a good conversation, good beer, and good food.

Liberals and conservatives have come together there to talk to one another at our groups. That kind of dialog is critical for us to get anywhere as a society. And it wouldn’t happen with community organizers such as myself, Stacie, Jeff, the two Scotts, or the hundreds of people on our mailing list who come to the two Living Liberally events each month.

Eating Liberally at 6:00 PM on the first Wednesday of each month at a different location around the Milwaukee area. (Google “Eating Liberally Milwaukee” to find out where.)

Drinking Liberally meets at 7:00 PM on the third Wednesday of each month at Sugar Maple, a smoke-free bar at 441 E. Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee.

See you there!

Also: James Rowen has a comment about this matter of Palin’s poor choice.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

7 thoughts on “Sarah Palin doesn’t like community organizers — at least not the liberal kind”

  1. The attacks on Barack Obama’s time as a community organiser stem from his supporters pointing it out as experience for his presidential run. Republicans don’t feel that the responsibilities a community organiser deals with is the urgent, and occasionally (rarely) life-and-death responsibilty of executive work. And certainly not the type of responsibility he would face as the President. They mean nothing against community organisers, but they don’t feel that this is the experience that Obama should be using to defend himself.

  2. I would counter-argue that any experience with organizing people will aide you in your later undertakings, be they corporate, political, or otherwise. It’s all valid.

  3. It’s a shame they chose to belittle the efforts of community organizers, considering how hard many of those folks work in our communities. They often work without recognition, and it’s a shame their efforts were denigrated by the GOP.

  4. They were not trying to say that community organisers are bad, or have no responsibilities. But when the Obama campaign uses this as evidence that Obama is experienced, they are mistaken. This shows that Obama was active in his party and knew about political issues, but it is a far cry from the gauntlet you have to continuously run through as president. Or from the insult a gesture like interrupting a foreign dignitary may have.

  5. Quoting solar1, “They were not trying to say that community organisers are bad, or have no responsibilities.”

    Quoting Ms. Palin, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

    Could you run that by me again, solar1? How does Plain saying that organizers have no responsibilities mean she was not saying that?

  6. You’re right, that’s what she said. But I think she meant it the way Obama meant that bitter people cling to religion. The way she said it sounded worse than the way she meant it.

    Now you get to make political hay out of it. I wait for a group called “Community Organisers for Obama”.

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