I’ve always felt it was very important for the RFC to maintain its focus. The core of our mission is summed up in just a few words: providing for the educational and emotional needs of the children of targeted progressive activists in the United States. For the most part the RFC does not get involved with or endorse the myriad of progressive campaigns and events taking place nationwide at any given time, except when something has a direct impact on our beneficiaries.
My daughter, Jenn (the RFC’s Grantmaking Coordinator), and I spent last weekend in Rochester and Buffalo attending RFC receptions as part of our 20/20/20 program. We call it 20/20/20 because we will celebrate the RFC’s 20th anniversary by holding at least 20 events around the country during the 20-months that started in September. We managed to beat the snows and catch the tail end of one of the best fall color seasons we’ve had in the last decade.
I suppose the RFC is doing as well as, if not better, than one would expect in the midst of the Great Recession (funny the way there is such a resistance to using the “d” word!). Our tremendously loyal and committed supporters have come through repeatedly with thousands upon thousands of modest donations, mostly ranging between $25 and $100. But I’m primarily attuned to our beneficiaries’ needs, and so end up seeing the glass as a quarter empty instead of three-quarters full.
Is it that lately activists are more under siege? Maybe I think so because I hear so many horror stories at the RFC. Yesterday I read about the Muslim students at UC Irvine in California being charged with criminal offenses because they heckled a speech on their campus given by the Israeli Ambassador.
The endless electoral campaign is finally over and Obama won. As far as I can tell, while the Senate is slightly more liberal, the overall political configuration is similar to what existed before the election. How does that impact the Rosenberg Fund for Children?
In July 2012, my father wrote a blog about the post-9/11 militarization of the police and the seemingly endless instances of them turning their arsenal on peaceful protestors. He concluded that this police assault, “amounts to the United States government’s declaration of war on a portion of its population” and went on to note the ways that racism and classism influence the individuals and communities most likely to suffer these attacks.