When the IAF began to organize in the Las Vegas Valley, a June 11, 2012 blog post titled “Fighting the Devil in Sin City” caused a stir, primarily in Catholic circles. The anonymous author declared that, “The devil has made Las Vegas his playground. We the Church Militant must build a Catholic fortress to defend against this gate to hell.” The target was the Las Vegas Valley Interfaith Sponsoring Committee, a precursor to Nevadans for the Common Good. Alinsky’s Lucifer reference figured prominently in the blast. The post included a predictive assertion:
“While the IAF’s local affiliates (such as the Las Vegas Valley Interfaith Sponsorship Committee-see supporting documents below) purport to be concerned with Las Vegas’ social issues such as the trafficking of minors, local work for the common good is typically shelved before long and national political issues are soon given the priority and the funding.”
Four years and several months later nothing like this happened. In fact, in subsequent years the IAF organization in Nevada went on to spearhead a law-changing drive to curb predatory sex trafficking of women and children while advancing a broad local agenda for community improvement (see “What Happened in Vegas, Battling Nevada’s Underage Sex Trade in Commonweal, Sept 9, 2015 (https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/what-happened-vegas).
The example is instructive because attending to the fruits of the organizing - in this case a decisive blow against sex trafficking - contradicts the conspiratorial, even devilish, fears stirred up by the anonymous claimants. The same pattern repeats hither and yon: conspiratorial fears are aroused by individuals/groups wrongly interpreting and abstracting Alinsky’s writings until they are debunked by real world actions and outcomes produced by IAF organizations. This oft repeated experience helps explain the continuing growth of the IAF network despite the best efforts of the Alinsky bashers (www.democraticfaith.com further explores the range, reach and results - the fruits - of IAF organizing).
Saul Alinsky has long played a key role in narratives that flow from the turgid waters of far right wing demonology. Now he looms ever larger in a formulation that goes as follows:
Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, Rush Limbaugh hammer away in diverse media outlets - social, print, digital and more. Aggregated their audience is huge - tens of millions. Their efforts have produced a legion of local echoes including the one excerpted below from a recent piece written by H E Glenn to the readers of the Midland Daily News:
To the editor:
We in the United States of America are living in perilous times. If we do not anchor ourselves onto truth, we are on the brink of being swept into an immeasurable depth of chaos that will take decades from which to escape. I am World War II vintage and my heart grieves for the men and women who gave their lives for this great nation, which is being taken apart piece by piece by the Alinsky-trained president — and permitted to do so by the Republican establishment in Washington, D. C.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were and are students of Saul Alinsky. Hillary wrote a 92-page senior honors paper on the radical community organizer. She met with Alinsky several times when she was writing her thesis. After his death in 1972, she maintained a long relationship extending into the 1990s with Alinsky’s main community organizing group called the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF).
Alinsky authored a famous book titled “Rules for Radicals” that became the handbook for the radical left on how to take over America’s governing and educational institutions. (See any progress in these areas in the past eight years?)
Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer with this grim inscription:
“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first Radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer”
Hillary, as well as Obama, has been especially skilled at following this Alinsky rule for radicals: “True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism; the trick is to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions, political parties.”
Signed: H E Glenn
To be sure the angle of vision of Alinsky bashers shifts along with the primary locus of the perceived threat - the state of the nation, the state of the church, the state of educational institutions, the coming civil war, the communist conspiracy - but the broad plot line remains in tact.
Self styled defenders of the Roman Catholic Church have authored several of the most voluminous attacks. A Catholic laywoman - Stephanie Block - wrote and self published a four volume Jeremiad that took twenty years and four volumes to complete. The Church Militant fires up regularly against Alinsky, streaming on line. Now, just released is a new movie - “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Disguised Socialism of Saul Alinsky” - by the National Catholic Register and EWTN, a Catholic TV network (whose most famous public presence until her passing has been Sr Angelica).
The Alinsky bashers, trafficking in systemic falsehoods, commit sins of both commission and omission.
Sins of Commission: They fabricate claims about Alinsky
Sins of Omission: They ignore the lasting fruits of Saul Alinsky’s work - a network of broad based citizen organizations affiliated with his seminal creation, the Industrial Areas Foundation. The Alinsky inspired IAF network has succeeded in building over sixty five organizations in 27 states and five countries that are typically deep, multi faceted and locally grounded. This phenomenon (which remains relatively hidden despite despite a 75 year history) and its attendant large scale constructive community impacts lies at the vital center of any honest evaluation of Saul Alinsky’s legacy. For more visit: www.alinskynow.com.
Political patronage in the current era looks nothing like the patronage of old. Back then, in Daley’s Chicago or Tammany New York, jobs, precinct work and votes were bound into a tidy package. Working the street for the political boss connected residents to the political goals and aspirations of a tightly wired machine and, to an extent, vice versa. Whipping voter turnout connected precinct workers with jobs - for yourself, your family, maybe others with whom you were related. The elite jobs in this world included decent paying positions in government bureaucracies as determined by the Big Boss. Back then the overall goal of the machine was to take and hold power along with overseeing the distribution of benefits that power bestowed.
In bygone times, underbosses fed the bread and butter of patronage and the resulting quid pro quo of interests. In a first meeting with underboss (Ward Committeeman) Marshal Korshak in Daley’s Chicago his one and only question of the group I was a part of: What do you want? He’d already calculated for himself what, if anything, he stood to gain by delivering.
In our time patronage has evolved into what I am calling the “new patronage”. To be sure some of the current attachments tie bureaucratic aspirants or even Cabinet level aspirants to a political nexus but more significantly the new patronage ripples out into vast, high powered consultancies, linked foundations and non-profits, media ventures, businesses of all kinds gunning for a profitable score, tech wizards, even foreign governments and big players in foreign countries. In our time the Mayor Daley’s and Tammany Halls still reign in select outposts but where it survives it is layered over by and partially submerged in the new patronage.
Clinton Incorporated and Koch Incorporated typify the new patronage. The transactional currency of the new, like the old, is power along with the financial benefits that power both commands and bestows. The linkages, however, are far more wide ranging and consequential.
Sussing out the networks - performing a power analysis in IAF terms - is rewarding because otherwise what happens in politics is incomprehensible. An examination of Clinton Incorporated, Koch Incorporated offers insight into those and other competing patronage networks attached to other bosses. These frame the battles, large and small, that without major organized citizen intervention define the future of public life. At issue is not trumped up, episodic, mediagenic protests (Dick Harmon calls them “selfie” protests) that hide more than they reveal, but the hard skeleton of self interested political struggles.
The emergence of new patronage networks also helps render intelligible the bitter fruit of Donald Trump’s campaign for president fueled largely by a population of individuals and families institutionally sidelined by both political parties and largely abandoned by the community institutions that once formed and framed their associations, prospects and actions.
In the patronage world of old, barriers to entry were semi permeable. An enterprising individual could literally work his/her way up into the cogs of the operation. The education level of foot soldiers was irrelevant to advancement. Mostly working class, producers could move up in the organization if they delivered.
The new patronage is rigidly exclusive with money the primary leverage for access. (Hillary Clinton spent a precious campaign month encountering the rich and famous in the Hamptons rather than talking with voters where ordinary people gather. She walked away with a fistful of dollars and guests garnered a fistful of IOU’s.) The new patronage army is staffed by highly educated individuals with relevant skills. Their worldview is shaped by the twin drivers of wealth and refined skill sets. Feedback in the new patronage is determined not by what takes place in the streets, neighborhoods, schools, churches or lodges but through paid polling gurus and hired policy experts, themselves constitutive of the new patronage networks.
One consequence of the shift is that valuation of local knowledge with accompanying innovative, inclusive potential is severely circumscribed if not altogether locked out. The conspicuous lack of strategic innovation and public mission reflected in the campaigns of both parties is partly a result of the new patronage which eschews the insights, prospects, hopes and fears that emerge from the street, neighborhood and community based institution. In its place comes pre masticated agenda building grounded in the swirling new patronage networks that mash up a jumble of narrowly competitive, self referential policy objectives. Conspicuous among these objectives is relentless attention to securing and maintaining positional advantage in the new patronage infrastructures themselves.
The new media might seem at odds with the new patronage by virtue of its potential inclusiveness (a blog in every household, friends in every feed, YouTube at every gathering). In fact, the reverse is true. The new patronage armies rapidly reckon with the purchase and distribution of content along lines ginned up by colleagues serving other functions in the network. Illusional or even delusional claims become the self referential orders of the day.
The propensity for the new patronage to patronize the outs is unlimited. The ins know the game, everyone else is a sucker. Like working the polls on your own time in the old days. The kiss and tell stories common to the new patronage - uncommon in the old - simply underscore the transactional nature of relationships in question. Dick Morris was a Clinton operative until his prospects dimmed in contrast with the more promising network to which he aligned his interests. Now he calls the November 2016 presidential election: Armageddon. The media is rife with kissers and tellers because they make a good if short lived story.
Commonalities in new patronage networks do not extend to who and what sources them. The Koch Bros Inc reside at the top of a business based empire with hundreds of billions at their disposal. What they are doing likely matters more in the long run than presidential electoral polytechnics. Clinton Inc has meticulously built up a sprawling network of contacts turned into acolytes, experts and funders over the course of three decades in public “service”. That the Clinton’s have become rich in recent years (though not in comparison to the Kochs) their patronage network derives primarily from the complex interweaving of public and private jobs over which they exercise control. The co-mingling of public and private ventures - policy deals, access, hires, endorsements and the like - isn’t a by product of Clinton Inc rather it is the core of the new patronage itself.
The long term implications of the new patronage are only beginning to work themselves out. Three are already clear: Both major political parties are battered hulks staggering under internal and external assault; bright young aspirants to public life find an easier leg up through new patronage networks than traditional party means; “movements” for change nest easily within the new patronage embrace as their media pyrotechnics gain momentary attention.
What’s required to counter the new patronage is a sharpened contrast between what’s real and substantive public business vs. narrowly self serving new patronage reinforcements that accelerate the disfunction. Discerning the difference between real, constructive, hard fought publicly articulated deals as against spasmodic, narrowly self interested posturing played to this or that inflamed audience is vitally important. This becomes the responsibility of all serious institutional protagonists advocating the common good in the public life of the nation .
Positive examples are scattered throughout the United States and, for that matter, the world. You have to look no farther than the gridlock breaking body blow delivered to Congress in the fight for Louisiana flood recovery dollars. Or the breakthrough mega deal struck by organized citizens in Baltimore with a major developer that leveraged $100 + million of community benefits. These case studies, with Together Louisiana/IAF in one and BUILD/IAF in the other, are associated with the oldest and largest “community organizing” network - The Industrial Areas Foundation. It’s no coincidence that IAF organizations have resisted the temptation to recline in the embrace of far flung new patronage networks often defining themselves over against them. Nor is it coincidence that the new patronage networks in response generally detest (though grudgingly admire) the organizational heirs to Saul Alinsky’s renegade brand of non-partisan political action.
Building on insights drawn from places like Baltimore and Baton Rouge the way forward appears to open up not in alliance with the voracious appetites of the new patronage networks but in deep exploration of the local ventures constructed on the rock solid ground of hard nosed leadership training, power analysis, relational methodologies, and locally owned institution building.
No matter who staggers first across the finish line, the Election 2016 is unlikely to end well because reigning elites linked to both parties self-servingly misdiagnose what ails the body politic and persist in advancing wrong correctives.
Both parties are captive to monied interests, media cheerleaders, and technological wizardry. Both are beneficiaries of doing nothing much. Whether flooding the zone with ads or draining individual bank accounts with ersatz movement enthusiasms, they prosper regardless of outcomes.
The reality is that both parties are broken, shells of their former selves, re-formed in the image of a new patronage that only major monied relationships can buy. As a set of self-appointed mediating institutions, they are tin soldiers for the common good and institutional breeding grounds for ongoing gridlock.
None of this would matter if it all comes down simply to games people play for power and money. But it doesn’t. The consequences are life threatening.
Both parties have concluded that it is better to simulate or manipulate a “movement” than it is to struggle with the real time challenges of making communities better places to live, the world safer, and individual lives happier and healthier. Most voters believe the nation’s leaders and networked elites have ignored their interests. More and deeper disappointment looms.
Little has been made of President Obama’s inability to deliver on a central campaign message of 2008 - Not Red or Blue America but the United States of America. “One America” as a promise failed. If a healthier, more robust civic life is the standard by which the Obama presidency is judged, his administration has fallen short.
Jason Horowitz reported in the NY Times that the Obama effect inspired few to seek public office. On April 13, 2014 he wrote: “For all the talk about the movement that elected Mr. Obama, the more notable movement of Obama supporters has been away from politics. It appears that few of the young people who voted for him, and even fewer Obama campaign and administration operatives, have decided to run for office. Far more have joined the high-paid consultant ranks.”
Far from advancing local community engagement in civic affairs, the President pivoted away from “citizen organizing” while abandoning, or being forced to abandon, his One America thematic. As a consequence, what ails the body politic remains unaddressed as the President’s second term comes to a close.
As of now I see no evidence that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump has either the will or skill to successfully confront the continued erosion of democratic habits and practices.
In November, the temptation of the pundit class will be to exhale with relief that the nation did not humiliate itself by electing a person who is nothing more than a punk in his public and private spheres. Likely left unexplored will be the disturbing truth that the Trump phenomenon is NOT an aberration but yet another expression of the erosion of responsible mediating institutions – religious, civic, labor, business – and the emergence of untethered, but endlessly wealthy, movements of monied interests that see the presidency as a way to insulate themselves from any accountability to the larger population or any responsibility for the well-being of the nation as a whole.
If rebuilding the institutional fabric of a healthy public life is central to the national interest, what the next President of the United States does is important but more important and ultimately more hopeful is the work of ordinary citizens in reweaving the fabric of the communities in which they live.
The smart gun angle included in President Obama’s package of gun violence actions emerged from the gritty realities of the mostly below the radar work of the Industrial Areas Foundation’s Do Not Stand Idly By campaign grounded in hundreds of community based institutions over a period of two years. Metro IAF organizations and leaders gained attention in part because they remained outside the usual DC issue mastication while engaging accessible power players - like Senator Chuck Schumer, mayors, police chiefs, religious leaders - and risking confrontation with the President and his top people. IAF gained attention because they fought hard over time for a fresh approach to a gridlocked system.
There’s a lesson here that I think that is important for anyone interested in change beyond selfies, posturing, White House invitations and voter turnout angles. It’s both encouraging and daunting.
The fact is you can’t get there from here without organizing for enduring power. Time, talent, energy, some money and a ton of sustaining local ownership are all requirements.
There are attractive seeming shortcuts. Political seductions. Big donor money, a gargantuan database, slick promos, a hyped progressive candidate here and there, diverse consultancies, strategists, celebrities, a blizzard of selfie actions. But none of the above - not on guns, not on immigration, not on equality, not on criminal justice reform, not on climate change - produces the real action which requires generational commitments and accountability.
President Obama will leave the national political stage in a year. With him the formulaic “movement efflorescence” of response to the gun violence plague may sink into obscurity as fast as attention wanes, growing numbness sets, donor dollars evaporate and the NRA with allies goes about systematically breaking political legs.
So what’s left is what’s always been left. The hard, tough work of organizing that sticks in long enough, builds power big enough, visualizes change clearly enough to take on seasoned adversaries and win - not everything but something that pushes the needle in the right direction.
President Barack Obama got some things right yesterday. HIs grief was real, his anger rooted in grief articulate, his moves incremental, doable and defensible. He was smart to include a smart gun plank pressed by Metro IAF because IAF is in it for the long haul. And as the President himself noted the long haul is the name of the game.
Scott Walker certainly is not alone among presidential candidates as he belly flops into the money puddle. But the local impacts of his venal actions stand out. He is after all actually in charge of something while he tries to gin up support among Republican primary voters in Iowa, namely, the neighboring State of Wisconsin. Lots of people live there.
Trashing unions, cutting 275 million from education in the state budget, flipping to the hardcore anti illegal immigrant posture so in vogue in Republican candidate circles all impact real lives on the ground.
But the kicker - still more revelatory than the rest - is caving to the demands of the billionaire hedge fund hustler looking to use Wisconsin taxpayer money to build a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium. In one fell swoop Walker canibalizes his own “conservative” street cred while playing the corporate welfare game to the nth degree.
Wesley Edens - hedge fund billionaire and Milwaukee slumlord to boot - helped pump the puddle full of money in which Walker flounders.
Meanwhile valiant efforts by Common Ground and allies to invest in facilities and programs for children, youth and families go begging.
When you boil it all down Walker happily hammers already weakened unions as a big claim to fame and collapses in the face of demands for big dollar public subsidies from a plutocrat.
Is this a good training experience for a man who wants to be president? Maybe, if he cleans the slime off his face, brushes his teeth, applies deodorant and coughs down a couple of corn dogs.
Sweet on the outside, empty power/political calories on the inside...
It’s not hard to recognize the type if you know where to look. Candy Coated Organizing (CCO) is characterized by dash for cash parachute drops into crisis hotspots with an oh so trendy media flash that purports help is on the way.
Who’s taken a sudden interest in Baltimore these days? No local knowledge or experience? No problem. Nothing of substance to offer? So what.
Photo ops and declarative concern are bankable and spokespersons buildable. That’s Strategy A.
Strategy B is to figure out - not hard at all - the next hot thing in foundation land and claim a leading role in doing whatever is up trending there. No one’s going to know the difference anyway so why not?
Strategy C is to claim victory in a fight initiated and won by somebody else. If it’s on your website for a while and you ginned up a bit of earned media your role is secure.
Strategy D is to pretend you have something big and national when what you have is piddling and diddling on the ground. Foundation land loves this vision of grand geographic spread with strong centralized leadership astride a vast grassroots following.
And the money keeps rolling in from all directions.
What Climate Change, Gun Violence and Racial Polarization Have in Common
You can’t miss the message if you track Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and the many lesser beings occupying right wing media space and their candidate surrogates. Climate change is a fraud invented by the left. Gun violence has nothing to do with background checks and manufacturer responsibility. Race is yesterday’s issue trumped up for political gain.
But in the real world, even in tiny Oracle, Arizona, population 3,500 where I live, climate change, guns and racial polarization all have explosive local impacts right now. An extended drought has killed hundreds of old oaks as the desert marches up the backside of the Santa Catalina foothills, A troubled woman blows away her neighbor in a drunken fit of gun violence. A neighborhood watch is led by a man who describes Michelle Obama as a “Ghetto whore” and calls for the hanging of the President on his Facebook page.
Farther afield, gun violence is rampant year round, forests are burning in fire season, oceanside communities are drowning and racial divisions are flaring.
So how come the trifecta of denial runs so fast and hard around the political race track?
My answer. Because political advantage, mountains of money and socio-cultural pathology are all at work in the complex DNA of the denial rackets.
As an orchestrated attack mantra, the trifecta works for the perpetrators by enriching commercial mouthpieces, securing base votes and entering the collective psyche of some American voters at a pre-conscious level.
Prospects for a reality based intervention hang in the balance.
Is planet earth nearing rock bottom as environments that support human habitation are threatened? Is gun violence and gun worship so pervasive that wounded communities are ready to alter the conditions that drive the bloodshed? Are racial divisions and dispositions so apparent in law enforcement, schools and blighted neighborhoods that potentially fatal threats to the nation’s social fabric energize redress?
The ground level fuel load is there. The preparation, analysis and institutional engagement that must be LOCALLY GROUNDED to make a scalable difference IS NOT. At least not yet.
In each case the trifecta of denial is met by disorganized, incapacitated, de-skilled communities. In each case the big players - big in money, notoriety, strategic control - diminish or dismiss the arduous, gut check work that is primarily local in nature. In each case the false prophets of denial have cash and media connects to spare. The kind of local activity that is the most promising pathway to breakthrough confrontation/intervention is shattered by narrowly interested players playing outsized roles.
Treated independently, opponents of the trifecta lose power political potency as constituencies are bifurcated and strategic confusion holds sway. Understood as diverse outcroppings of market fundamentalism they begin to cohere.
As of now, the extreme right, with its integrated narrative of denial, drives public political reaction while fracturing the opposition. Successfully concealed is the power and money that manufacture denial.
Meanwhile, big money media campaigns targeting isolated parts of the trifecta of denial aid and abet what the extreme right actively perpetrates. Some are full of contradictions like Michael Bloomberg who finances an anti-gun media campaign on the one hand while backing oil, gas and other extractive corporate interests with far greater financial horsepower on the other. Others, like the Koch Brothers are all in for gangbusters fossil fuel extraction business.
Human timber - often crooked, insecure, fearful - with false images of potency and technological control, serves as the scaffolding of the trifecta of denial. Signs of a deeper cultural identity crisis - personal, institutional and social - abound. If the problem is a culture of denial rooted in market fundamentalism, then gaining traction in the larger struggle for an integrated counter narrative is key. This, coupled with the localizing of constructive response to climate change, gun violence and racial polarization in ways that are strategic, institutional, educational is a central challenge of our time.
Neither political party in the USA is up to it. So who is?
Copyright © 2015 | Alinsky Now, All rights reserved.
IAF will integrate economic initiatives that address inequality and wage paralysis while challenging market fundamentalism. This will include renewed overtures to and alliances with labor organizations, educational institutions, and social service agencies that share common interests. Market fundamentalists will squeal.
IAF organizations will localize climate change in actionable ways modeled after “Do Not Stand Idly By” - Metro IAF’s campaign against gun violence. Local initiatives will be driven by extreme weather events in multiple locales along with the growing awareness of economic benefits of alternative energy sources.
“Do Not Stand Idly By” will gain visibility, power and impact as communities continue to struggle with gun violence and search for a viable response.
IAF relational habits and practices will prove out as institution builders in diverse congregations, unions and associations whose concern for their own strength will grow along with expectations that IAF can help.
Ground up relational work will break open inventive responses to immigration integration, public housing accountability, Medicaid expansion, elder care, education and children/youth.
IAF communications technology will incrementally improve as a vehicle for enhancing face to face organizing methods.
Cooperative experiments among member institutions will grow in diverse fields including energy, health care and job training. Initiatives pioneered by Common Ground, VOICE and COPS/Metro will fuel this expansion.
IAF will further embrace an international perspective placing high value on work in the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Canada. IAF universals will be tested in new contexts and frameworks inside growing organizations delivering big wins and demonstrable impacts. IAF Northwest will break open fresh organizational opportunities that cross national boundaries.
IAF organizational practices will repeatedly demonstrate the capacity to overcome racial/ethnic and religious divisions where polarization undermines the common good.
Reprinted from The Pierson Letter, No 2. The views expressed here are not endorsed by the Industrial Areas Foundation or any IAF affiliated organization.
IAF organizations investigate power relationships in order to fight for recognition and strategic advantage.
Laying the foundation for a broad based, citizens organization by examining power relationships dating back to the labor struggles of the early 20th century is counter intuitive. But that’s exactly the work begun on Dec 2, 2014 at First Plymouth Congregational Church, Denver, CO with over 80 leaders from congregations, schools, unions, and non profits present. Thomas Andrews, author of the brilliant history Killing for Coal, served as guest speaker helping identify the power political consequences of a state economy anchored in extractive industries, especially coal, and co-related commercial ventures, especially railroads, power generation and steel production.
This same disposition to unearth how power relationships impact everyday life figures prominently in all IAF organizing drives. Careful power analysis is a craft learned over time, refined through action and relied upon to accurately target the levers of power. The exemplars cited in IAF Strengths Part 3 are grounded in the performance of rigorous power analyses.
In the Colorado instance, power patterns of business as usual, largely inherited from the industrial past, tend to overwhelm current change strategies. Colorado IAF seeks to build sufficient emergent new power to disorganize existing relationships on the way to reorganizing for transformative action in areas of vital concern to individuals, families and the institutions that serve them.
In the spring of 1914, members of the Colorado National Guard machine-gunned and set fire to tents in Ludlow, Colorado, where striking miners were living with their families. Five miners, two miners’ wives, and twelve children died, most of them by suffocation while hiding in a cellar under...
Read review in the New Yorker here.
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 email@example.com