Category Archives: Human Services

I’m back….

… what did I miss?  When I last posted anything it was to organize support for RICLAPP’s legislation before the General Assembly.  In spite of the public, and in at least 20 instances support by legislators, it was not to be this year.

As those of us who are Sox fans would say, “Wait ’til next year.”  This as applicable to RICLAPP as it is to this year’s Sox.

As for me, next year can’t come soon enough. We’re going back to the General Assembly and hopefully, with your support, we will prevail. So before the craziness of the legislative dance begins anew, let me again thank all of you for your support and friendship during our last efforts.

RICLAPP is a different kind of public interest legal organization. We do things differently to reach people who otherwise would lack access to legal services. Our model does not mean we’re better than any other model, nor does it mean that we are less deserving of support than others receive.

From its inception, RICLAPP has promoted a community based collaborative model to serve Rhode Island’s under-served residents.  Over the summer we’ve begun work on what I hope are exciting new collaborations with various community providers.  This fall, I hope to be able to announce some of our new partnerships.

We didn’t succeed last year, but we don’t quit.  The need is vast, the resources are scarce, and it’s through these continued collaborations, and new initiatives, that we can effectively and efficiently serve those who have the least among us. The more we work together, the more we can achieve; that’s always been one of RICLAPP’s core principles.

So I’m back on these pages, hopefully more frequently, to share what we find, what we do, expose practices that need exposing, and continue educating all Rhode Islanders of the challenges others face, and to help those unable to help themselves.

Actually, this should be fun!

Income inequality – Organizing for Rhode Island?

It was bound to happen – The Providence Journal finally dug out the scoop that’s been long known to many, if not most of us.  There is a widening gap between Rhode Island’s rich and poor, with the middle-class imploding and joining those at the bottom.

If you missed the article, you can access it at the link below:http://www.providencejournal.com/topics/special-reports/middle-class-squeeze/20140503-rhode-islands-middle-class-loses-ground-as-rich-get-richer-poor-get-poorer-graphics-video.ece

I don’t want to appear to be snarky, but anyone who works in the human services sector knows that not only is this the case, but that it’s been the case for nearly a decade. We know that studies conducted over the past 20 years on the national economy have alerted us – if only we heeded them – as to the economic Armageddon steadily unfolding and ready to consume all of us.

Since the mid-2000s, I and many others have raised this issue only to be consistently ignored. I am not saying “I told you so.” I merely want to point out that the condition of our nation’s and state’s economies should not come as a surprise, no more than that the Rhode Island economy is significantly worse off than the nation’s.

I am not going to take the time to posit several recommendations (please know that I have more than several), but only want to point out that RICLAPP’s numbers in 2014 are significantly up over the same time period in 2013, a direct result of the conditions detailed on the front page of the projo today.

As some of you know, I’m in the midst of our Organizing for RICLAPP effort and that keeps me busy.  But that will end and when it does, I’d like to take a shot at Organizing for Rhode Island, an effort where we can leave our egos, our preconceived interests, and our ideologies at the door and start offering approaches to fixing the state that we live in and love.

More about that soon.