June 8, 2005: Headlines: Directors - Shriver: Santa Monica Mirror: The Power of One: Bobby Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver: Sargent Shriver: Archived Stories: June 8, 2005: Headlines: Directors - Shriver: Santa Monica Mirror: The Power of One: Bobby Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-245-37.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.245.37) on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 4:07 pm: Edit Post

The Power of One: Bobby Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002

The Power of One: Bobby Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002

The Power of One: Bobby Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002

The Crying Game vs. The Power of One

It’s impossible to know who was using whom in a recent L.A. Times story.

Either unnamed City Hall employees were using the Times to simultaneously snipe at City Council member Bobby Shriver and paint themselves as martyrs or the Times was using City employees to exploit Shriver’s family one more time.

In either case, it backfired – as the unnamed City Hall employees sounded more petulant than credible and the Times wound up with one more non-story.

According to the story, by Times staff writer Martha Groves, “City employees … say he [Shriver] is merely the latest to tackle an issue that has long bedeviled the community … They privately express some resentment that a Kennedy with connections has come along suggesting that they haven’t accomplished much when they feel they have made progress … Shriver’s action and comments have caused some consternation….

“Councilman Richard Bloom who voted against Shriver’s proposal said the notion of a regional approach is hardly new. He thinks it’s a mistake for Santa Monica alone to appoint a honcho to seek a regional solution…

“Bloom is a member of the executive board of committee of Bring LA Home, a task force that plans in early June to roll out a plan to end the region’s homelessness within a decade…”

As a kind of afterthought, Groves also noted that “Shriver’s supporters say it’s worth trying his approach ... and they appreciate that he has sparked a new level of discussion.

“‘Bobby has brought the issue to another level by keeping it on the agenda all the time and bringing the resources in,’ said Toni Reinis, executive director of New Directions, a program that aids homeless veterans on the VA campus in Westwood.” (See related story about Reimis on page 4).

In saying that Shriver is “merely the latest,” are the anonymous employees saying that the problem is insoluble and therefore Shriver will fail, like all the people who preceded him, so he might as well not try?

A “Kennedy with connections?” By now, it’s a journalistic cliché, and it’s a slap, not a compliment, suggesting that because his mother is a Kennedy, he has advantages he hasn’t earned.

In fact, he’s a Shriver with credentials. And his credentials are both sterling and relevant. His mother founded the Special Olympics. In addition to literally dozens of other accomplishments, his father founded the Peace Corps, Vista, Head Start, Community Action, the Job Corps and Neighborhood Health Services, in an era when the federal government actually believed it should end poverty.

A lawyer, Shriver has worked as a journalist, produced an album that has raised $60 million for Special Olympics and co-founded Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa (DATA) with U2’s Bono in 2002. The multinational non-government organization aims to lift Africa and its people out of the fringes of The Third World, end centuries of exploitation by richer nations, and, most urgently, stem the AIDS epidemic that is currently killing 6,500 Africans every day.

If the “unnamed City employees” weren’t feeling quite so sorry for themselves wouldn’t they welcome someone with those credentials?

And how can we expect any progress in the struggle to end homelessness from people who seem to be more concerned about their reputations than about the people they are supposed to be helping?

Contrary to the employees’ complaints, Shriver has publicly praised the staff for the progress it has made, and his proposal is designed not to denigrate what they have done, but to give them a hand up by focusing more time, energy and thought on finding solutions.

In fact, Shriver’s proposal that the City hire a short-term, high level, high octane official to bring fresh fervor, energy and ideas to bear on the extraordinarily complex problems of homelessness on a regional basis has enormous promise.

Bureaucracies are not designed to create new policy, but to apply existing policy. If, as has been said, the committee that sets out to design a horse inevitably comes up with a camel, a bureaucracy would probably come up with rules for would-be designers of horses.

The most cursory glance at history shows that virtually all the world’s advances have been made by individuals … one by one by one. In the right time, place, and circumstances, one person can do more than 10,000 or 100,000 people. Indeed, one person can change the world.

Every significant work of art, scientific advance, social change and great invention has been made by one unterrified unorganized, unfettered individual.

Galileo, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Sigmund Freud, Frank Lloyd Wright, Dr. Jonas Salk and Martin Luther King, Jr. … from the beginning of time, the power of one has been paramount. More often than is reasonable, such people have been despised, reviled, mocked and occasionally punished, because change frightens people. But the changes they make prevail, even if they don’t.

Bureaucracies operate on the more the merrier thesis, but are too cumbersome to operate very well, are seldom merry, and are, by their nature, the principal defenders of the status quo. They are the world’s way of institutionalizing change, slowing it to a crawl and controlling it, to the extent that it can be controlled.

City Hall “policy-makers,” as they now call themselves, have ordered an extended and often contradictory array of ordinances and programs over the years – ranging from primitive penalties to a “continuum of care.” Staff members have struggled to translate the orders into productive action, and over time, thanks, in large part, to staff’s devotion, many people have been helped off the streets. But, for the most part, the policy-makers’ orders are simply variations on the same old failed programs.

What Shriver has proposed, and his Council colleagues have approved, is a radical departure. It posits that one smart, creative, determined person who focuses all his or her time and talent on the problems can literally deconstruct them.

History is on his side. What we need here is a revolution, and individuals are infinitely better at revolutions than bureaucracies.

Naturally, Shriver’s proposal has kicked up a storm in City Hall. The aforementioned “unnamed employees” are pouting. Bloom’s nose is clearly out of joint. Mayor Pam O’Connor voted against the proposal, and Council member Ken Genser, who was absent the night the proposal was approved, has made his disapproval clear and seems bent on sandbagging the proposal. To say that City Manager Susan McCarthy, whose job it is to find the new homelessness czar and whose office he or she will work out of, is unenthusiastic is to understate the degree of her hostility to the notion – perhaps because she fears he or she will threaten the status quo.

Revolution is the natural enemy of the status quo, but the status quo is insufficient and homelessness is the antithesis of community. If we cherish this community, then we must stop repeating ourselves and make a revolution that will end this community tragedy.

As that old revolutionary Abraham Lincoln said, “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country. “

Ed. Note: Shriver’s complete proposal can be found in the April 27, 2005 issue of the Mirror





When this story was posted in June 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program Date: June 7 2005 No: 640 June 6: PC suspends Uzbekistan program
Peace Corps has announced that it is suspending the Uzbekistan program after the visas of 52 Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were not renewed. The suspension comes after a State Department warning that terrorist groups may be planning attacks in Uzbekistan and after the killings in Andizhan earlier in May. Background: PCOL published a report on April 23 that Peace Corps volunteers who arrived in January were having visa difficulties and reported on safety and visa issues in Uzbekistan as they developed.

June 5, 2005:  Special Events Date: June 6 2005 No: 622 June 5, 2005: Special Events
Vote in the NPCA Election for new board before June 15
"American Taboo" author Phil Weiss in Maryland on June 18
"Rainforests and Refugees" showing in Portland, Maine until June 25
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

May 28, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: May 29 2005 No: 607 May 28, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
The Coyne Column: Love and War in Afghanistan 28 May
Sam Farr supports Coffee Growers in Colombia 28 May
Elaine Chao wins Woman of Valor award 27 May
Nebraska has strong ties with Afghanistan 27 May
Arthur Orr to seek Alabama State Senate seat 26 May
Murder of John Auffrey remembered in Liberia 26 May
Bill Moyers says journalists should be filters for readers 26 May
Linda Seyler spent two years in Thailand digging latrines 25 May
Chris Shays blasts Bush on stem cell research 25 May
George Wolfe to head Loudoun Academy of Science 25 May
David Rudenstine heads Cardozo School of Law 24 May
Mark Schneider says declaration is "pretty thin gruel" 24 May
Robert Blackwill supports seat for India on Security Council 24 May
Chris Matthews weighs Thomas Jefferson nomination 24 May
Jim Knopf is expert on xeriscape gardening 23 May
Mae Jemison receives honorary degree at Wilson 23 May
Kenneth Proudfoot says dreams come true 22 May

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Santa Monica Mirror

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Directors - Shriver

PCOL20556
72

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: