In the two months since Hurricane Katrina hit, the Metropolitan Organization, a group of professional organizers affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, a grass-roots network founded by the Chicago radical Saul D. Alinsky, has been busy sowing nonpartisan political activism and mobilizing survivors to champion their own interests in resettlement and rebuilding decisions.
Early on, with at least a quarter-million people finding refuge in the Houston area alone, it helped organize evacuees in the Astrodome, winning a playground for children and secure areas for the elderly. It persuaded the Federal Communications Commission to maintain evacuees' cellphone service even if they fell behind in their bills...
[Photo Credit: Josh Merwin, The New York Times]
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