Just finished a day in East Brooklyn with Matthew, one of Frank's colleagues and another organiser from the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) working with East Brooklyn Congregations. He had arranged for us to have a day of meetings with activists regarding various issues to do with their current housing and community situations.
It'll take more than a blog to explain it, but Jersey City Together are some outfit. Organised with professional organisers from the Industrial Areas Foundation they have come together from all faiths in Jersey City to combat the decline in jobs and affordable housing impacting the Black, Latino, Indian, Jewish and other communities who can't afford the luxury condos built downtown by Goldmann Sacchs and Co!
I was very fortunate to spend the morning in Queens with Adhikaar, a group established in 2005 who strive to improve the lives of the Nepali community and help get their voices heard within the social justice movement. Irene (an organiser for the National Domestic Workers Association) held a workshop on the history of domestic workers examining their their lack of rights and problems faced over the centuries. From post slavery to colonialism to early capitalism and the civil rights movement, a lot was to be learnt at that table.
Wow what a day.... Met with Frank and a few of his colleagues today to look at the housing situation in East New York and Jersey City. Frank himself does work for Jersey City Together, East Brooklyn Congregations and a host of other campaigns and is no stranger to PPR and the work that we do... In fact it's hard to believe it has been a whole 7 years from I last seen him....
I have arrived safe and sound in NYC.....Albeit yesterday but was just too excited (ask Sean like a kid at Christmas) and had to explore! Sean wasn't lying when he said I had nothing to worry about.. He had indeed figured out subways and directions and even a great "local" for us to eat at...what he forgot to tell me was that I didn't need to be taking cold showers... there was a magic button on the wall that turned the water warm...
So, I bumped into a few people campaigning for Donald Trump en route to a New York Activism Exhibition today.
It went like this.
Me: Can I take a photo?
Trump types: Of course. So are you a supporter?
Last night I was in the New York District Council of Carpenters building for a fantastic opening insight into activism in the city.
Made it! New York city. USA.
Finger prints? Check. Retina scan? Check. Totally lost seconds after leaving the airport? Check.