Last Sunday my daughter, Jenn, and I drove through the Berkshires to Albany, NY, on a sparkling sunny afternoon, to attend the opening reception of the RFC’s 20/20/20 program. As I’ve written here before, starting this September and ending in April 2011, the Rosenberg Fund for Children will stage 20 events over a 20 month period to celebrate its 20th anniversary. It was just coincidence that the first event took place on September 20th.
The reception was a reunion of sorts. It was held at Mark Mishler and Renee Hariton’s house. They’d hosted another RFC party for me in 1995. Many of the 40 to 50 people in attendance knew each other from a range of progressive projects and campaigns, including the defense committee for two local political prisoners. But some did not and many who attended learned about the RFC’s work for the first time. It was a very supportive crowd. We hoped to raise $1,000 after expenses, but instead we cleared almost $2300.
But it wasn’t all good news. One member of the host committee, Jeff Jones, told how he had recently become the target of reactionary attack-dogs. Jeff is the director of the New York State chapter of the environmental group Apollo Alliance. Van Jones (no relation), a former director of the national Apollo Alliance, was recently forced to resign from the Obama administration because of a right-wing smear campaign led by Glenn Beck.
Now Glenn Beck, Fox News and big oil interests, who are opposed to Jeff’s work to create green jobs in a clean energy economy, have set their sights on Jeff. In the 1960’s and 70’s Jeff was a national leader of SDS and later a member of the Weather Underground. He is being attacked as another “terrorist” who is associated with the Obama administration. To learn more I invite people to check out Jeff’s website -- www.jeffjones-strategies.com, and you can contact Jeff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For many years Jeff has had a consulting practice in Albany where he works primarily with environmental and labor groups, building a working alliance in the fight against climate change. Now the right, in an attempt to counter his efforts, is trying to destroy his livelihood.
While the RFC project focuses on helping children, I believe the RFC community should stand behind all progressive activists who are under attack.