Archive | March, 2014

A Poet Finds Moral Beauty in the Lives of the Poor

Peter Marin’s poetry portrays the lives of homeless people as sources of great artistic beauty. Marin sees nobility disguised under shabby overcoats and finds beauty hidden inside cardboard shacks, in the people that America forgot.

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The National Council of Elders Plants the Seeds of Freedom

There is a flower in Africa that blooms every 80 years. Imagine yourself planting seeds that may not bloom in your lifetime. But continue to water it even if it does not bloom in your lifetime.

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The Street Spirit Interview with Peter Marin

This is what the government must do: Leave all the war stuff aside, leave the NSA stuff aside, and the billions spent on this by the government. The very first thing, beyond everything else, should be housing, damn it. It goes without question because it is so necessary for human survival.

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Transfiguring Beauty: The Poetry of Peter Marin

Peter Marin’s poetry illuminates and transfigures, enabling us to see the sacred beauty of people living on the streets all around us. In a land where homeless people are shunned and persecuted, it is a revolutionary act when a poet finds beauty in their lives, and restores their stolen dignity.

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Renewing the Struggle for Civil Rights

The planet is speaking and too few are listening. The poor are weeping and too few are concerned. The despised and rejected of men are incarcerated and deported. The Guantanamo gulag still exists. Drone warfare continues unabated. The economic devastation caused by the uber-rich is paid for by the struggling poor.

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Lawmakers Bludgeon the Food Stamp Program

The Farm Bill includes massive cuts to the food stamp program that will affect about 47 million people living in poverty. Food stamp recipients will receive 90 dollars less per month when the cuts take effect, and in California alone, some 700,000 people in poverty will see their benefits shrink.

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Homeless People in San Francisco Can Phone in for Shelter Beds

Homeless people may use the 311 telephone system to reserve a bed for up to 90 days, using a unique identifying number to determine their spot on a waitlist. This method aims to move homeless people away from lining up at resource centers before they open, sometimes by sleeping outside overnight.

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A Celebration of Hepatitis C Awareness Week in Oakland

Hepatitis C has been a “silent killer” for decades, affecting millions of people, including many unaware that they have this potentially life threatening disease. This year Hepatitis C Awareness Week is more important than ever, because there are new treatments that are saving lives. Hepatitis C is now curable.

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Building a New Movement for Full Employment

If the federal government can figure out how to rescue Wall Street, it has a moral obligation to figure out how to rescue Main Street. Two-thirds of the American people believe the government in Washington ought to see to it that everyone who wants to work can find a job.

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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.”