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Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers.
– Paul Wellstone
If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.
Above and beyond the question of how to grow the economy there is a legitimate concern about how to grow the quality of our lives.
Politics is about the improvement of people’s lives. It’s about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people.
As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
We all do better when we all do better.
Never separate the life you live from the words you speak.
What the poor, the weak, and the inarticulate desperately require is power, organization, and a sense of identity and purpose, not rarefied advice of political scientists.
The only way to change is to vote. People are responsible.
The future will belong to those who have passion and are willing to work hard to make our country better.
I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment.
I was talking about no nukes, the farm crisis. People said that wasn’t stuff that a state auditor was supposed to be talking about. Maybe they were right.
It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.
Our aims in political activism are not, and should not be, to create a perfect utopia.
Education and democracy have the same goal: the fullest possible development of human capabilities.
The American polity is infected with a serious imbalance of power between elites and masses, a power which is the principal threat to our democracy.
Politics is not about power.
I emphasize self-esteem, self-confidence, and dignity, not as an ideal, but as a real test of community organization. Without leadership development, community organizations do not have staying power.
The idea of democracy has been stripped of it moral imperatives and come to denote hollowness and hypocrisy.
There are three critical ingredients to democratic renewal and progressive change in America: good public policy, grassroots organizing and electoral politics.
I think the future also will not belong to those who are cynical or those who stand on the sidelines.
What makes community organizing especially attractive is the faith it places in the ability of the poor to make decisions for themselves.
Politics isn’t about big money or power games; it’s about the improvement of people’s lives.
A politics that is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people’s lives, a politics that does not speak to and include people, is an intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail.
Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision.
When too many Americans don’t vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.