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A community organizer

September 23, 2008

Re "GOP joke, but an all-American job," Column One, Sept. 18

Without a doubt, former Jesuit priest Bill O'Brien is a wonderful example of the work and dedication that characterizes many community organizers.

But with a stroke of a pen, you made Barack Obama another Bill O'Brien -- when in reality Obama's work was primarily that of promoting local political programs and the registration of new voters. His other accomplishments were negligible.

Don Ruh


There would be no United States of America if not for community organizers. The Revolution against Britain, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and all that created our country were the result of the efforts of community organizers.

I'm surprised that the GOP finds these great things that community organizers accomplished -- and continue to accomplish -- such a joke.

Peter Davison

Santa Monica

I know a lot of wonderful people who are very active in and accomplish great things with and for their communities. I never have met one, however, who refers to him or herself as a community organizer. They introduce themselves as president or executive director or secretary or volunteer of "XYZ Co., a nonprofit that does [fill in blank]."

They have formed or work for an enterprise that has a stated mission and works to fulfill it. These community organizers actually make things happen out of their efforts. But a community organizer with no record of demonstrable success is an organizer in name only. The phrase by itself is just a resume filler that would make any experienced potential employer sneer.

Jeffrey C. Briggs


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