Team Obama is in maximum spin mode building up their new man at HUD - the outgoing Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro. Mr. Castro is now being touted as the architect of the San Antonio miracle in multiple media stories. The claim is that in a little over six years as mayor he was the driving force behind a remarkable urban success story. Trouble is he wasn't.
San Antonio has been refashioned by Communities Organized for Public Service - COPS - in partnership with the Metro Alliance. Julian Castro as Mayor of San Antonio was a bit player who came late to the game. Even Castro's mega hyped idea - Cafe College - is an outgrowth of a COPS sourced, decades long investment in college bound students - The Education Partnership.
When the real battle for San Antonio's heart, soul and future was fought, COPS - broad based and powerful - was there making it happen. COPS pulled the trigger for change by launching the fight for single representative city council districts in the mid 1970's . In the face of unified establishment opposition COPS carried the day in 1977. A newly democratic city was born.
Relentlessly, decade after decade, COPS fought for the cut out, the shut out, the disenfranchised, the underdog. The landscape of the city was physically, socially, economically and spiritually transformed. The story continues to unfold as COPS/Metro breaks new ground in workforce development, infrastructure, living wage, college access, school reform, health care, immigrant integration, children/youth engagement and more.
Send COPS Not Castro to Reorganize HUD!
Frank C. Pierson, Jr.
Frank Pierson retired after forty years of work with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) as a professional organizer. He began his career in 1971 in Chicago, moved to Queens, New York City and migrated west to work in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. He resides with his wife, Mary Ellen Kazda, in Oracle, Arizona. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org