This year, as in all Presidential election years, political activism is considered synonymous with things like voter registration, walking precincts and organizing events for candidates running for office. But there’s plenty of grassroots political activism that has little to do with elections and often has a greater impact on people’s lives than what happens in the electoral sphere. Randy Shaw is the Director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic in San Francisco which has 20,000 Residents and is one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the west. Shaw has just written a book summarizing his activist work in San Francisco, and analyzing the successes and failures of grassroots organizing efforts in other areas of the country as well. It’s called The Activists Handbook: A Primer for the 1990’s and Beyond. Pacifica National Affairs Correspondent Larry Bensky spoke with Randy Shaw, author of the Activists’ Handbook last week in his San Francisco Office.
CHILD CARE. This Saturday, thousands of people will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to participate in an event called, “Stand for Children.” The rally is organized by the Children’s Defense Fund and is cosponsored by 1500 other organizations. It’s being billed as a “national day of renewal, celebration and commitment to our nation’s children, where young people, seniors and Americans from all walks of life will make a commitment to do better for our children, young people and our families.” The even organizers are stressing that this event is no-partisan and no politicians are scheduled to speak. But, the fate of America’s children is largely in the hands of politicians whose every decision affects the quality of life and future of all children. One issue that has not received enough attention from our political leaders is child care —- crucial in the lives of most working families -—- without it our economy would probably come to a halt. But affordable, accessible, and quality child care is difficult to find.