Archive | February, 2014

Igniting the Fight for the Homeless Bill of Rights

“We are not fighting for special rights but for the same rights that everyone else has. People who don’t have homes do not want to be arrested for sleeping, resting, sitting, because they have no private place to sleep, rest or sit!” — Jessica Bartholow, Western Center on Law and Poverty.

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Mary’s Luminous Spirit Shines On Brightly

Mary Rudge remains a luminous presence. She always championed the less-privileged, the beaten-down, and she was a vibrant peace activist who spoke against war at countless peace rallies. What a model of talent, grace and courage through adversity. We revere this poet’s ability to envision projects that enrich the human spirit.

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The Radiant Poetry of Mary Rudge

When she asks spare change/ but you pass by/ her only response is “God bless you”/ and a broken-toothed smile./ She shows you how hearts really break,/ can you feel your own?/ She lets you see a whole country with/ a government full of broken promises.

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Controversy Over Plans for Jail Expansion in San Francisco

Opponents of this jail expansion, including advocates for jail reform and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), dispute the need for a new jail. They oppose the idea of spending millions on a new jail instead of on mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment and affordable housing.

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A Joyous Prescription for Living

Pat Boushell had the capacity to become completely immersed in the power of words, poems, songs, political and social possibilities and, of course, religion, which brought him a deep sense of connection, comfort and family. Pat treasured life’s gifts and saw the magic in a moment that can transform a soul.

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The Myth of Abundance Promoted by the Wealthy

It is a Republican-promulgated myth to say that anyone, if they try hard enough, can work their way up from poverty to become successful and prosperous. Yet, most people suffering from poverty do not have much chance at becoming a movie star, a best-selling author, or a business tycoon.

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The Connection Between Cruelty to Animals and the Inhumanity of War

“A dog starved at his Master’s Gate, Predicts the ruin of the State.” George Bernard Shaw and William Blake, two of the greatest writers in the English language, both spoke out in defense of the rights of poor and oppressed workers, the victims of warfare, and mistreated animals.

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THE SHELTER

He needed to put his affairs in order before disappearing. Earth was on the verge of being uninhabitable, and there would soon be an enormous die-off of most living creatures.. The underground country was a secret, and those destined to relocate there had to sneak out for fear of tipping off the masses.

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February Poetry of the Streets

The war on poverty’s just begun:/ yet two steps forward, four steps back./ The losers? City corners stun./ The war on poverty’s just begun?/ Yet safety nets are holey or none —/ anyone care to really keep track?/ The poverty war is just begun —/ two steps forward, four steps back.

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Resurrection of the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev. Barber told the activists gathered in the nation’s capital that by demonstrating in solidarity with poor people, they had become a link in the long history of people who fought for justice.

Hate Crime Laws Needed to Protect the Homeless

As homelessness becomes more visible, people living on the streets are targeted for bullying, assaults, harassment and even murders.

Life Is A Precious Gift: Mother Teresa’s House in Washington

We will never know how many huge pots of soup Jacob lifted with the sisters into trucks, to take to the homeless in the park. We will never know how many diseased bodies he fed, held and bathed, and the number of tears he dried in the early morning hours.

Mother Teresa’s Gift of Love in San Francisco

She took home with her the men who had only a few days left to live and were suffering the most, and tenderly cared for them around the clock. I am certain some of the people I was meeting were angels, whose job was to make certain no soul died alone and unloved.

My Back Pages: A Song for Miss Kay

She softly sings the soul anthem “Stand By Me.” It is a song for Miss Kay, a song for all of us. Her life, with its music and joy, followed by a downward slide into homelessness and death, tells us something deeper than words about the human condition.

My Back Pages: Kerry’s Kids, An Undying Dream

Oakland pediatrician Dr. Karen Kruger said, “Kerry’s death was so sudden and seemingly purposeless and shocking that I think there was a need for people that loved her to carry on her memory in a way that she would look down on from her cloud and be happy about.”