Michael Gecan on nY Times coverage of Project Quest; Praises programmatic coverage, Slams Glaring omission of COPS/Metro/IAF and key players
I just read a long piece by Nelson Schwartz about Project Quest -- our job training program in the southwest and Midwest.
It's very positive toward the program overall. But there's a huge hole in this story -- papered over by a vague line or two about 'community groups' in an impoverished area of San Antonio that started the effort 27 years ago.
That 'community group' had a name -- Communities Organized For Public Service (COPS), one of our earliest affiliates. The key person who spearheaded the organizing, designing, implementation, and expansion of Project Quest also has a name -- Sr. Pearl Cesar.
It's no wonder people have a vague or mistaken notion regarding how social change happens. In today's paper there there are thousands of words about Julian Castro -- whose mother and neighbors were living in communities organized by COPS; and Mr. Castro is mentioned too many times to count. So the impression is that magic moments and partisan stars are the real deal. Forget the deep and profound work done by the Pearl Cesars and Andy Sarabias (who recently passed away, one of COPS' earliest presidents) and the institutional culture created by disciplined non-partisan leaders who don't wait for magic moments or hitch their wagons to the the next charismatic pol.
It's as if your reporter wrote about the early days of the automobile industry and failed to mention Henry Ford.