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10. When People Act on the Gospel Values

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

10

When People Act on the Gospel Values

Chicago, 1971

When Ernie Cortes came to the Industrial Areas Foundation Training Institute in 1971, Saul Alinsky was conspicuous by his absence. Edward Chambers was fully in charge, struggling to build a program to attract and train professional organizers. When Alinsky died of a heart attack in 1972, it was Chambers who had to scramble to raise money to keep the training institute alive. Alinsky’s speaking fees had supplemented foundation grants to underwrite the program, and now without Alinsky, it was going to be difficult for the IAF to survive financially.

“The first five years I had to sell my soul to raise money. Foundations wouldn’t fund us and I had to figure out a way to make it self-sufficient,” Chambers recalls.

Everything was in a state of flux within the IAF—the money, the ties with local organizations, the concept of organizing, and the development of training programs for organizers and volunteer leaders. Then Ernie Cortes came along and dropped into the brewing stew his interest in theological concerns.

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FORT MASON

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub

Fort

Mason

Upon leaving Menard head east along Texas Highway 29 to Fort Mason, located on a hill south of Mason.

Mason grew up around the fort and became the county seat in 1861. Mason County was created on January 22, and organized on August 2, 1858. It is said that the first settlers who drifted into the region in 1846 were from John 0. Meusebach’s settlement in Fredericksburg. Because the settlers were beyond the protection of government troops, Meusebach negotiated a treaty with the Comanches to allow his settlers to live in peace. Unfortunately the peace did not last, and the settlers were soon demanding protection.

Fortunately, the United States Army was already developing a plan to establish a chain of forts to provide protection across the Texas frontier. During the 1850s, as settlers began to move into central Texas, an ever-increasing need arose for armed protection against Indian attacks in the region. To this end, the United States army established the forts at approximately fifty-mile intervals to provide a network of defense for the civilian communities. Fort Mason was one of the posts which provided this service.

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9. Tactics Is the Art of Taking

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

9

Tactics Is the Art of Taking

Chicago, 1964

Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago has pulled out all the stops to turn out a huge Democratic vote for Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater in the November presidential election. He has lined up most of the city’s black organizations to cooperate in the Democratic get-out-the-vote effort. But only six weeks before the election, leaders of the black Woodlawn Organization regret acting so hastily—not because of anything Johnson or the national Democrats had done, but because their too-early presidential endorsement seems to endanger their own local political goals.

With the help of Saul Alinsky in 1960, The Woodlawn Organization (TWO) had been organized by a group of black residents and church leaders to keep the University of Chicago from expanding into their neighborhoods. After its successful effort against the university, the group decided to focus on other projects to upgrade their community, and TWO had become a force to be reckoned with in Chicago politics. This year, the city administration had committed to make certain capital improvements in TWO neighborhoods. But with the virtual lockup of the black vote for the Democrats, Mayor Daley and city officials were under very little pressure to deliver on their commitments to TWO—at least for now. What’s the hurry?

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6. Anger Gives You Energy

Mary Beth Rogers The University of Chicago Press ePub

6

Anger Gives You Energy

Los Angeles, 1986

“Pastor Sinnott, please leave the room and wait in the hall!”

Edward T. Chambers, teacher, issues the command, and the Reverend Thomas Sinnott, student, follows it.

Chambers, director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, is teaching a seminar on power at Mount St. Mary’s College in the hills overlooking Los Angeles. Tom Sinnott is a Lutheran minister from New Jersey, and he is one of about 100 people from across the nation who are attending the IAF’s training program for church leaders and community activists.1

During the next 10 minutes, Chambers orders other people to leave the room as well—a youth gang social worker from East Los Angeles, a school teacher from El Paso, a lawyer from East Brooklyn, a Methodist minister from St. Louis. All obey the order. After all, Chambers is the head guy, the leader, the man in charge of the program. But the program is about power, and about how most middle-class and poor people give consent to have it taken away from them.

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FORT BELKNAP

B. W. Aston and Donathan Taylor The University of Chicago Press ePub

Fort

Belknap

Southward from Jacksboro take Highway 4 to Graford, which takes its name from its position halfway between Graham and Weatherford.

The first settler of the community was George R. Bevers in 1854, who located at Flat Rock Crossing on Big Keechi Creek, three miles east. This became a well-known stopping place on the road between Weatherford and Fort Belknap. Today there is not much in Graford although it is the home of Big Tex porkskins. Other than for the scenic drive, you might want to bypass Graford and go straight to Graham from Jacksboro along Highway 380.

From Graford take either Highway 337, the man direct, route to Graham, or Highway 16 which stays on the Forts Trail along the west side of Possum Kingdom.

Graham was founded in 1872 by Gustavus and Edwin S. Graham, and it soon became a mercantile and milling center. The Cattle Raisers Association of Texas, which was the predecessor of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, was organized here in 1877.

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