December 8, 2013: I was planning on posting about my recent visit to Salem, Oregon, to speak at a public forum convened in response to the loss of family shelter units during this cold winter season. Watching the concern of the citizens of this capital city of Oregon gave me hope for the future. Imagine if – city by city, town by town, community by community – we all began to stand together in solidarity to say, “That’s enough! We will not stand idly by while other members of our community are smashed slowly but systematically into the ground, left without help, without hope that their lives can get better!”
And I will write about my experience in Salem and how their efforts have energized me to keep going later on. But first, I must share an impromptu but deeply thought-provoking speech about the divide between rich and poor in America given at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, Australia, by David Simon, creator of “The Wire.” His presentation has diverted my feelings of hope in the future back to feelings of frustration and despair. And while it would be nice to simply enjoy the stories in the news media during this Holiday season about people reaching out to share with those in need – these caring but seasonal efforts are simply not enough! They may help one feel good for awhile, but the needs of the poor in our country continue when the Holiday season ends – and those needs often worsen as the days go by.
Please take the time to read this edited extract of his argument that capitalism in this country has lost sight of its social compact. And please share it with your village and community.
Tanya Tull, President/CEO – Partnering for Change