Michael Gecan is retiring as Co-Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation this month. All accolades coming his way will be richly deserved. His career has been a model of how to build and sustain broad based power organizations. Mike has been an organization builder, innovator, risk taker, and thought leader for over four decades.
While best known for his work with East Brooklyn Congregations (and the sparkling success of Nehemiah Housing in NYC), his mentoring of talented leaders and organizers, his strategic brilliance applied to multiple political fights over decades, his talent for expression through the written word, his (cold) anger, humor and patience put him in the top rung of change agents in the USA and abroad.
See DF's page devoted to Michael Gecan's Books.
BOOK OF THE WEEK:
After the steel is scrapped out and a bar or two put on display in the local historical society visitors will marvel at the gargantuan impotence of it all. Right now in Ambos Nogales locals mock the epic failure of the wall/fence/slats/concertina wire to control the kind of immigration now happening.
Lock 'em up! "No More Deaths" humanitarians found guilty of placing water drops to save lives of migrant desert crossers
Paul Ingram, TucsonSentinel.com
Four No More Deaths volunteers, charged with federal misdemeanors after they left water and food for migrants crossing Southern Arizona's protected Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, have been found guilty, U.S. District Court Judge Bernardo Velasco ruled late Friday.
In a court decision released late Friday, Velasco said that the four women — Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse, and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick — violated federal laws, because "they did not get an access permit, they did not remain on designated roads, and they left water, food, and crates in the Refuge," he wrote.
"All of this, in addition to violating the law, erodes the national decision to maintain the Refuge in its pristine nature," Velasco said. They each face up to six months in prison and a fine of $500, and will be sentenced sometime after February 18, he said.
The case has major implications for the future of humanitarian aid for people crossing through Arizona's deserts, especially in the remote stretch of landscape known as the Growler Valley, which sets inside 800,000 acres of protected wilderness in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. No More Deaths is among the local humanitarian groups that provides aid — including water stations in rugged areas far from populated areas — for border crossers who might otherwise be numbered among the dead in the desert. More.