Sunday, November 7, 2010


I was reading the Reform CCHD Website today and came across the report they issued regarding the newest appeal for our money and the relationship between the CCHD, the USCCB and The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a leftist social justice group. This led me to do some research on the other groups mentioned in the report and guess what? All of them have ties back to Chicago and our old friend Saul Alinsky.

Will the bishops never learn?

Starve this beast. Give your money to your parish or your favorite charity. And make sure that you put a nice note in the envelope explaining to the good Bishops just why you won't support their pet cause and all their leftist friends.

Enough is enough!

"As a national initiative of the Bishops‟ Conference, CCHD is an essential and complementary part of the Catholic social mission proclaimed by Jesus Christ and taught by His Church. CCHD does not replace, nor can it be replaced by, other expressions of the Church‟s essential social mission. CCHD is one of the most widely supported collections and initiatives of our Bishops‟ Conference, raising more than ten million dollars every year. CCHD helps our Church in the United States practice what we preach about human life and dignity, social and economic justice, solidarity and the common good in local communities across our country. Here are just a few examples of CCHD‟s remarkable work:

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is an organization of Latino, and Haitian migrant farm workers in Florida. Working with the local diocese, the Florida Catholic Conference and many other groups, CIW has won groundbreaking agreements with major fast food chains to increase wages and improve better working conditions for their members who pick tomatoes.

St. Agatha Family Empowerment (SAFE) is a group of neighbors who worked in the North Lawndale area of Illinois with the support of St. Agatha Catholic Church to give youth positive alternative to drugs, gangs, and violence and offer access to employment and job training, educational assistance, mentoring and leadership development.

The Federation of Congregations United to Serve (FOCUS) in the Orlando area has worked through local parishes, congregations and other groups to address issues of immigration, crime, education and housing. After one of their members died in a fire because there was no water in nearby fire hydrants, FOCUS undertook a successful campaign to have all fire hydrants, especially in poor areas, inspected and repaired so that no other lives are lost because fire hydrants failed.

Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in San Antonio, Texas has worked for almost 30 years with Catholic parishes, other congregations, schools, and unions to involve their members in the public decisions that affect their lives. It has won over $1 billion in public projects to improve drainage, streets and housing and to provide better education, healthcare, and job training in low income neighborhoods."
Review of CCHD - USCCB

Communities Organized for Public Service

"Ernesto Cortéz Jr. and other activists in San Antonio, Texas, founded Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS) in 1974. Cortés was trained in community activism by Saul Alinsky's Chicago-based Industrial Areas Foundation, which advocated a pragmatic approach to organizing. Given its Alinsky-inspired approach, COPS harkened back to an older style of organizing, similar to the Community Service Organization, rather than the more militant groups that emerged during the Chicano/a Movement."
The Federation of Congregations United to Serve

From the FOCUS website I found that they are part of the PICO network. What is PICO?

"PICO National Network was founded in 1972 by John Baumann, a Jesuit priest, as the Pacific Institute for Community Organization (PICO), headquartered in Oakland, California. In the late 1960s Baumann had worked with community organizing projects in Chicago, where he became familiar with Saul Alinsky’s ideas. During the 1970s PICO worked with five neighborhood-based organizations, recruiting individuals and families. As neighborhoods experienced the economic and social upheavals of that decade, the neighborhood-based model of organizing became less viable as communities fractured. Following a staff retreat in 1984, PICO shifted to a congregation-based model based in part on the experience of COPS, a federation in San Antonio, Texas developed by Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.[3] As it expanded beyond the West Coast, in 2004 PICO characterized its acronym as standing for People Improving Communities through Organizing. In 2005 it renamed itself PICO National Network, emphasizing the autonomy of its affiliated organizations, and its role developing national strategy, training, and consultation."
St. Agatha Family Empowerment (SAFE)

St. Agatha Family Empowerment is affiliated with the Chicago Area Project, a group founded by Clifford Snow, the criminologist that trained Saul Alinsky and for whom Alinsky was working when he formed the Industrial Areas Foundation:

"Saul Alinsky was born in Chicago on 30 January 1909, the child of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. Saul Alinsky's parents divorced when he was 13 years old, and he went to live with his father who had moved to Los Angeles. At an early age he was interested in the dynamics of power and the interaction between those who are denied resources and those who deny. 'I never thought of walking on the grass,' he recalls, 'until I saw a sign saying 'Keep off the grass.' Then I would stomp all over it.'

He earned a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Chicago in 1930. However, it was spending a summer helping dissident miners in their revolt against John L. Lewis's United Mine Workers that influenced his future direction. Upon graduation he won a fellowship from the university's sociology department which enabled him to study criminology. He went to work for Clifford Shaw at the Institute for Juvenile Research and soon found himself working at the State Penitentiary (at which he stayed for three years). At this time he married Helene Simon, with whom he had a son and a daughter. He had met Helene while studying at the University and they married in 1932. As Horwitt (1989: 17) has commented, the Depression and the growing turbulence of the 1930s politicized both of them. Helene, a social worker, was a strong organizer and gained a considerable reputation in the labour movement.

In 1936 Saul Alinsky left his work at the Penitentiary to return to the Institute in Chicago. He appeared set for a career as a criminologist, however a growing concern to counter the threat of Fascism, and the development of more militant labour organizing (especially that linked to the development of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) grew in their appeal. Alinsky was particularly struck by the way in which John L. Lewis led the CIO (Horwitt 1989: 17). Clifford Shaw and Saul Alinsky were both convinced that it was the 'social milieu' that caused delinquency rather than some particular quality of individuals. It was the study of this – and in particular gang life – that took Alinsky to South Chicago and then to the Back-of-the-Yards (the slum area that Upton Sinclair had earlier written so movingly about in The Jungle). There Saul Alinsky found a number of people who wanted change. Joe Meegan, who had grown up in the area worked his way through De Paul University, and had become a teacher became a key ally and together they set up the Back-of-the-Yards Neighborhood Council. While historically an Irish-Catholic community, they were able to identify common interests that brought together previously hostile ethnic groups of Serbs and Croatians, Czechs and Slovaks, Poles and Lithuanians in the community and brought them into the organization. Alinsky also worked closely with local Catholic priests to build the council. The way they built the coalition meant that the council had great success in stabilizing the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood and in advocating for that community.

In 1939 Saul Alinsky established the Industrial Areas Foundation to bring his method of reform to other declining urban neighborhoods. He left the Institute to work for the Foundation. His approach depended on uniting ordinary citizens around immediate grievances in their neighborhoods and in protesting vigorously and outside of the ‘established’ ways of expressing dissent (see below). He concentrated on recruiting and training indigenous ‘organizers’ to take a lead in the communities. His first book Reveille for Radicals outlines the principles and practice of community organizing and just one month after its publication in 1946 it made the New York Times best-seller list (Horwitt 1989: 176)."
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

From Reform CCHD NOW:

"The Reform CCHD Now Coalition has discovered that one of the documents outlining "The Review and Renewal of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)" features a grantee that participated in the US Social Forum 2010, and has other problematic memberships and partnerships.

The Reform CCHD Now coalition has reported that 21 CCHD grantees from the 2009 grants list participated in the US Social Forum 2010 (USSF). Included in that report is the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. USSF is a forum specifically designed to unify progressive activist groups toward "setting a national agenda". And what does that agenda entail?

Reproductive Justice 101: Creative Vision, Innovative Strategies, and Powerful Networks
Maintaining abortion as a reproductive right for low-income women
Reproductive Justice in the Age of Obama

Marxism: Marxism for the 21st Century:
Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Solutions
Why Capitalism is Organized Crime & Socialism is the Alternative
Meet the YCL (Young Communist League)

Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer workshops:
Integrating LGBT Equality into Social, Racial & Socio-Economic Justice Movements
Radical Queer Festivals
Queer Injustice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in United States

The Reform CCHD Now coalition has also discovered that CCHD grantee CIW is partnered with several pro-abortion, pro-homosexual organizations.
CIW is a member of US Human Rights Network."

(Go to Reform CCHD website linked above to follow links back to sources)

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