Leadership tool: CHEJ’s Community Organizer Guide

CHEJ Organizer's Manual Screenshot
Fight to Win Leadership Handbook

by Center for Health, Environment & Justice

This is CHEJ’s first basic community organization manual. Although it is written for first time organizers, established leaders may find they learn a new trick or two. Topics covered include how to start a group, keep a group going, research opponents, organize your community, carry out an effective action, raise funds, and win!

Book: Nonprofit Kit For Dummies

Nonprofit Kit For Dummies
Nonprofit Kit For Dummies Categories: Nonprofit, NGO, charity, business Author: Stan Hutton and Frances Phillips

Nonprofit Kit For Dummies

Learn to set up and manage a nonprofit organization (aka NGO). Available in Kindle version too. The paperback comes with a CD. For the Kindle version, a link is supplied after purchase to download forms and other extras.

Today, I appreciate master journalists

Bob Braun in scarf

This morning, I have journalism on my mind. When I think of journalism, I think of excellence in delivering information so well that our understanding of an issue is instantly made much deeper; or when a skilled journalist shows us how relevant the topic is to our society and lives that our interest in it transforms from casual to compelling. I would like to share two examples of journalism brilliance.

Bob Braun in scarfFirst, congratulations to Bob Braun, whose career and personal accomplishments are featured in Rutgers’ Winter 2013-14 alumni publication. He comments – read more

Book: Healing Anxiety Naturally

Healing Anxiety Naturally
Categories: Wellness, Happiness, Natural Medicine
Author: Harold H. Bloomfield, MD
Healing Anxiety Naturally

I can’t say enough good things about this book. The copy given to me by a friend is an older version called Healing Anxiety With Herbs (Harold H. Boomfield, M.D.). As I read through it, I kept saying to myself: but that’s a strategy for happiness (or wellness) – it has nothing to do with herbs … great strategy though. So, I like the new title much more. It aptly reflects the core truth of this book: if you live naturally, optimistically, pay attention to your own needs and biorhythms, eat right and get enough sleep and exercise you will soon be not only healthy, but happy. read more

Issues, news and fact checking for NJ’s 2013 election season

THIS ELECTION VOTE YOURSELF A RAISE! Vote YES on the ballot referendum to raise the NJ minimum wage to $8.25/hr

Also in the 2013 election cycle, all of New Jersey’s state level positions are up for election including Assembly, State Senate seats and the governorship. Federal and state elected officials have the ability to make changes to improve, approve or eradicate the issues listed below. Your vote and your voice make them accountable so be sure to vote. (Download issues flyer).

Vision test - VOTE

  • Protect the constitutional right of every US citizen to have one vote and get it counted
  • Fund and enact The Amistad Act which calls for racially accurate history to be taught in NJ schools
  • Food justice: eradicate urban food deserts and barriers to home & community gardening; ban of genetically modified foods (GMOs); make college food healthier and more affordable
  • Reverse Citizens United ruling that gives corporations the status of personhood
  • Take big money out of general elections (see rootstrikers.org)
  • Save the open internet and protect it from takeover and control by corporate interests (see savetheinternet.com)
  • Ban prison based gerrymandering which causes prison inmates’ families to lose government resources in their home states and counties
  • Stop privatization of schools, prisons, nursing homes and food services
  • Moratorium on foreclosures to protect 1 in 4 Black &Latino families who are in danger of losing their homes
  • Hold banks accountable for wrongful foreclosures, charging Blacks and Latinos higher mortgage interest rates, refusing to renegotiate underwater mortgages; and failing to provide maintenance on foreclosed homes – which contributes to the creation of urban blight zones
  • Lower US prison population. We incarcerate almost 1% of American citizens, about 2.5 million individuals, whom are mostly Latinos and African Americans
  • Protect civil rights including: ban racial profiling, stop unfounded searches and halt incarceration of non- criminal undocumented immigrants
  • Achieve diversity of court justices on every level of the judicial system
  • Transition to a green economy and protect clean air, water and the environment. Prevent climate change.
  • Provide help to families with homes in foreclosure, the unemployed and the hungry
  • Protect women’s health, lives, career opportunities; and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
  • Hold major corporation and government agencies accountable for diversity in hiring and the awarding of small business contracts
  • Make minimum wage equal a living wage and protect American jobs. Vote yes to the NJ 2013 ballot referen- dum to raise min wage to $8.25/hr!
  • Expand the scope of the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which offers important protec- tions including: financial institutions may not enact excessive credit rate hikes or provide misleading informa- tion about credit terms and fees
  • Support for women and minority students wishing to enter STEM fields
  • Protect Obamacare and fund affordable community health centers
  • Continue the Deferred Action program & pass the DREAM Act for undocumented immigrant youth; enact comprehensive immigration reform
  • Increase support for Historically Black Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions and protect public education
  • End government subsidies to big banks and dirty fuel companies. Invest more in public education and health.
  • Maintain affordable interest rates on student loans (impacts 140,000 NJ students) and lower college tuition.
  • Increase the amount of Pell grant dollars available for low-income studentsTrack Congressional bills


Be vigilant in the twilight against oppression & loss of privacy

EPIC privacy word cloud 2013

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

EPIC privacy word cloud 2013On 23 August 2013, UK’s Mail Online reported

Newly published top-secret documents show that the United States government has reimbursed tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft millions of dollars each year for their participation in the National Security Agency’s clandestine Prism surveillance program that was made public earlier this year by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden. read more

Can you keep a secret?

When someone tells you a secret and says, “Don’t tell anybody.” … this does not mean they want you to tell their secret to only one or two others. It actually means they don’t want you to tell even one other person. Because if you do tell, it won’t be a secret any more.

Google’s word look-up

Have you tried Google’s awesome word look-up feature? I love it, and use it often.

In a Google search window, type a word followed by meaning, or significance and hit search (or the enter key) to get back a complete dictionary definition. Try it and let me know how you like it.

For example, type: intransigent significance or intransigent meaning and get this back:
Google definition of intransigent

Stop Your School from Being CLOSED by Paying Close Attention!

ALI 4/6 class flyer

ALI 4/6 class flyerWhen the district hands down the list of schools to be closed each year, most of the reactions from parents, staff and students come after the fact. As a result, many of the planned school closings occur and the people most impacted feel voiceless. Join us for a session that will teach you how to ask questions, examine data, and make sure the school has all it needs, which will both improve student outcomes and take your school off the “closing block”. Protests and Speaking are not enough to keep schools from being closed. Early preparation will work!   read more

How old people get help from the police

Garden shed at night

Garden shed at nightGreat story shared by my Uncle Robert Pitts.

George Phillips, an elderly man from Tampa, Florida, was going up to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things. He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?”

George replied “No, but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.” read more

Get notifications of Facebook friends & pages you like

Click on get notifications

Facebook doesn’t automatically show you notifications when a post is made by a friend or on a Page you like. You have to take action to see them. It’s a simple procedure, though:

  • Visit the Page you want to receive notifications from
  • Hover over the like button, and click on it. You must like a Page or person to get their notifications. Hover over like button
  • Continue hovering. A drop-down menu will pop up. Click on “Get Notifications”. Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 11.00.16 AM
  • When the checkmark appears next to “Get Notifications”, you’ll receive that person’s – or Page’s – notifications. Checkmark appears
  • This also works when you mouseover the name of a person or Page in a comment

    Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 10.29.33 AM read more