21 kolchin also briefly observed that one of the

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Unformatted text preview: le to work. The right's message was framed around racial stereotypes of lazy, cheating "welfare queens" whose poverty was "cultural." But the new welfare policy was about moving billions of dollars in individual cash payments and direct services from welfare recipients to other, more powerful, social actors. Many of us were too busy to tune into the welfare policy drama in Washington, only to find it washed up right on our doorsteps. Our members are suffering from workfare policies, new regulations, and cutoffs. Families who were barely getting by under the old rules are being pushed over the edge by the new policies. Policy doesn't get more relevant than this. And so we got involved in policy-as defense. Yet we have to do more than block their punches. We have to start the fight with initiatives of our own. Those who do are finding offense a bit more fun than defense alone. Living wage ordinances, youth development initiatives, even gun control and alcohol and tobacco policies are finding their way onto the public agenda, thanks to focused community organizing that leverages...
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