(Brian Bass is the Director of Organizing for Massachusetts Parents United. He’s “the coach” for our parents leaders, providing them the skills they need to be more effective when organizing in their own communities. I’ve known Brian for years — we’ve worked on a ton of campaigns across the Commonwealth together. But even though he’s one of the most talented organizers I’ve ever worked with, that’s not why I asked him to join MPU. This post that originally appeared on Facebook he wrote on Facebook is why.)
I’ve been driving 5 hrs today. It’s a lot of time to think. I spent the morning in Springfield with some amazing Latina moms, thinking about ways to help families from Puerto Rico get jobs. They came here after the hurricane and they need our help. I’ll try. ‘Cause that’s what families do. Others will step up. ‘Cause they know how better than I do.
I spent the afternoon on a conference call talking about a law that would mandate school breakfast be served later in the morning because half of the kids who qualify for free breakfast don’t get it. They’re hungry. They probably don’t have anything healthy at home. Maybe that have nothing. Food insecurity is killing families but we don’t talk about it enough. Seems like a no brainer? Nope, people fighting against the idea. But we’re gonna fight back because that’s what families do.
I spent tonight in Lowell with our Cambodian families training them on what advocacy is and why it matters. These people don’t have access to power, they fight the language barrier and they need the tools to pressure their legislators into action. Because if they don’t, who will fight for them? But we’re gonna do it together. Like a damn family is supposed to do.
And I’ve been thinking about Florida all day. Those families. I don’t have the words right now. We’ve normalized mass shootings because public policy in America is a joke, essentially rigged by the affluent against the people. That’s the nicest oversimplification I can come up with right now. Here’s what’s gonna make you uncomfortable – it’s mostly but not entirely while male privilege that screws things up for everyone. There’s probably a more articulate way to say that. But I’m not feeling that way tonight.
Don’t misconstrue this as some attention grab like I’m the white guy savior looking for attention. I’m not. I’m just some dude trying to be an ally. Standing in the back trying to elevate families. ‘Cause we were that poor family that needed a voice. I didn’t have it as bad as others, but I had my shares of mountains to climb. I don’t pretend to understand your pain. I just want to stand with you and help if I can.
Tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and do it all over again. Find a way to gain an inch of progress to help families fighting against whatever system or enemy in front of them. But I’ll need a couple iced coffees.