My father believed that the pursuit of truth is one of the greatest adventures life has to offer. I do too. After graduating from Washington University in 1979, I spent the next two years working as a community organizer in St. Louis. In 1981, I moved to New York City with only one professional goal: to immerse myself in community work with the hope that I would have observations important enough to warrant their transformation into useful new projects. I still have the same goal today. Over the past 30 years, I have developed numerous client sponsored public policy and community projects covering a broad range of issues. I have been fortunate to have a network of professionals from community groups, schools, government, advocacy and academia to work with. I take great satisfaction in knowing that my research, program development and advocacy skills have moved the wheels of government and improved the lives of people.
The overall goal of my practice remains the same: how to transform ideas into programs that work. The programs begin as carefully researched concept papers. The concept papers usually have bipartisan appeal; they are well received no matter who is Mayor, Governor or President. The challenge is to figure out what is possible and what isn’t given the existing resources available within the structures of public and private institutional relationships. While some of my projects can be found at the convergence of social policy and muckraking, all of them have been designed so that practitioners in schools, community development and human services organizations can plug them into their day to day work. All activity must stand up to a measurable test of usefulness and effect. In my newsletter, I put my own projects to this test. The newsletter has three parts: problem, solution and results. It’s not enough to just identify a problem and a solution. Proven results, defined as positive changes in people’s lives, are more important.
A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members. – Mahatma Ghandi
Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! … What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! – Anne Frank
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. – Albert Einstein
Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings. – Heinrich Heine