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Grass Roots

October 27, 2010 | Tim Rutten
Fundamental change usually proceeds from the bottom up, which is why it often blindsides most politicians and much of the media. For example, the "tea party"-style rage that is this election cycle's defining characteristic grows out of a broad, if inchoate, sense that the American economy no longer apportions prosperity or opportunity in anything close to an equitable fashion. As David Cay Johnston reported Monday, last year the 74 highest-paid Americans each earned an average of $519 million annually ?
October 7, 2010 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Kate Koyama moved to Los Angeles from Hardin, Mont., to work in film production, but then a year ago a new dream started to take shape: selling Native American fry bread tacos. She already had her own family recipe, passed down from her Aunt Bernice Cook, for the puffy disks of golden fried dough topped with meaty chili, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and corn (Koyama's own addition). "I barely remember a time when I didn't know how to make them," Koyama says. Thus was born Auntie's Fry Bread Tacos.
September 22, 2010 | By John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times
The state council of the Service Employees International Union, the largest labor union in California, has endorsed Proposition 19, the initiative on the November ballot that seeks to legalize marijuana. The endorsement, announced Tuesday, could boost the campaign, which has not been able to raise enough money for television advertisements and is relying on grass-roots outreach. The SEIU, which says it has more than 700,000 members in California, is a significant political force in state politics, although it is not clear how much money or muscle it will put toward passage of the measure.
September 18, 2010 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
It was the first sign of empowerment in the small working-class, mostly immigrant community. The group of militant citizens seemingly materialized from the streets and modest neighborhoods after it was revealed that administrators and council members in Bell were drawing enormous salaries. Its members appeared to have a united front and a rousing mantra: time to take back our city. But as the stakes have increased, the Bell Assn. to Stop the Abuse is being second-guessed by residents who believe the grass-roots coalition has slowly been taken over by aspiring politicians and professional insiders.
July 25, 2010 | Doyle McManus
The "tea party" movement is rapidly becoming just another faction of the national Republican Party. Originally a grass-roots expression of anger at both parties, tea party groups eyed Democrats and Republicans with suspicion. And the parties were skeptical of the tea party too. But in recent months, the GOP's natural election-year appetite for voters, campaign volunteers and donors has caused the Republicans to take a more welcoming approach, and the tea partyers have responded.
May 23, 2010 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Moishe Rosen, a flamboyant and controversial convert to Christianity who founded the missionary group Jews for Jesus, died Wednesday in San Francisco. He was 78. The cause was prostate cancer, the group announced. Rosen launched Jews for Jesus in San Francisco in 1973 and over the next decade turned it into a flourishing movement that drew thousands of converts from among the youthful seekers of the counterculture era. Its success stirred the wrath of Jewish leaders, who denounced Rosen as a cultist and fought back through groups such as Jews for Judaism.
April 26, 2010 | Borzou Daragahi
They had no blessing from the government. No politician in a big black SUV bankrolled them. None of the television stations controlled by political parties publicized their efforts. And no cleric preached their cause at the pulpit. Yet on Sunday morning, thousands of Lebanese, drawn by a largely informal campaign on Facebook and other Internet sites, marched through the heart of Beirut to demand that religion be excised from politics, a rare assertion of secularism in a region increasingly defined by religious identity.
April 12, 2010 | By Ruben Vives
State and local officials joined hundreds of people outside the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood on Sunday morning to kick off a national grass-roots campaign demanding equal Social Security benefits for same-sex couples. The rally and march -- dubbed Rock for Equality -- was put together by the center and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in conjunction with the Aids Community Action Foundation, said Jim Key, a spokesman for the center. At the rally, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood)
April 8, 2010 | By Kathleen Hennessey
Several major players in the conservative "tea party" movement announced on Thursday a new federation to help spread its message advocating smaller and more decentralized government. But don't call them organized. The National Tea Party Federation will issue news releases, respond to critics and help get the word out about tea party rallies and initiatives, organizers said. But they were careful to note it would not change the loose, grass-roots structure of the movement.
March 27, 2010
Talk about whiplash. A week ago, tens of thousands of activists were traveling to the National Mall in Washington to insist that President Obama keep his campaign promise and champion comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Fifty thousand people had registered for the march. Organizers anticipated that as many as 100,000 would show up. In the end, they said, double that number arrived. It was part protest, part party. The marchers may have been drawn by their frustration with the president's inaction, but the mood often verged on euphoric.
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