By Keith A. Jones
After working for 44 years in the newspaper business, I found myself retired and wondering what to do with my spare time. And I have a lot of spare time, believe me.
I tried looking for a part-time job, I took golf lessons—nothing seemed right. Then one day, I got a call from Samuel Molina to join Organizing for Action Fresno.
I met Molina last year when he called me out of the blue to ask for my help making phone calls to support President Barack Obama’s reelection. I’m not a fan of phone bank work, but I plugged away for a couple of hours. Then a few weeks ago, Molina called again.
I was never allowed while working for a newspaper to join any political or community organizations so that I could maintain my objectivity. As a former reporter, I have spent many boring hours sitting at city council, planning commission and school board meetings and writing about their goings-on. I’ve dealt with Democrats, Republicans, radicals, tax protesters and Libertarians. I have a healthy skepticism of them all.
Organizing for Action is different. It is non-partisan and welcomes all Americans who support the President’s agenda: comprehensive immigration reform, gun violence prevention, climate change, equal rights and the Affordable Health Care Act.
Organizing for Action also works with other civic organizations that are similarly committed as was the case on Sept. 9 when Organizing for Action joined other organizations for a news conference at Los Amigos Restaurant in Fresno to mark the return of Congress from its summer holiday.
The news conference was to call on Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) to put immigration reform at the top of the House agenda this session. Organizing for Action was part of a coalition of businesspeople and community groups calling for action to break the stalemate that is keeping the immigrant workforce in limbo and costing the Valley more than 2,000 jobs and the injection of $170 million into our economy.
The news conference was covered by the Business Journal and other media outlets.
Looking for new recruits is another job for Organizing for Action members. On Sept. 3, Molina and I spent the morning at the Volunteer Fair at Fresno City College. We talked to dozens of students and collected more than 40 names and e-mail addresses of prospective volunteers. But Organizing for America is still looking for more members.
If you are interested in joining Organizing for Action Fresno, check out Facebook @freshenthevote or call Molina at 559-473-6096.