A Message from the Walter Davis, Executive Director of the National Organizers Alliance
First, I want to thank all of you who responded to our fall campaign in member renewals and contributions to our mentorship program. For more information, on mentorship – write to info @noacentral.org.
As the year began, my role as Executive Director of the National Organizers Alliance ended. I will continue as chair of the board of directors and take on other tasks as needed. It has been an amazing four and a half years. I won’t miss the commuting to Washington but I will long hold dear the friends made there and the experiences I have shared.
I am proud to be associated with the skilled work of community organizers. Imagine what this country would be like without community and labor organizers. The stakes get higher every day. Their work is changing the shape of public debates and civil consciousness. The struggles engaged are as varied as the communities we serve: extension of unemployed benefits, protection of collective bargaining, the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, fighting foreclosures, action against corrupt corporate practices, for an end to the death penalty, support for the DREAM act and countless other campaigns.
Around the world, millions are demanding accountability and justice and standing up to entrenched elites and the abuse of state power. The work of organizers has never been more important.
There is a clear choice before us – growing inequality and concentration of wealth among a very few or a fair economy that serves all of us. A progressive movement is demonstrating that there are more of us than those who want to maintain privilege and inequality. We have our differences but we are the 99%. We are finding common ground. We can see that a better world is possible. In fact, a better world is being born.
On December 31, NOA ended the National Organizers Alliance Retirement Pension Plan. We previously discussed the limit we reached in our capacity to serve a large multi-employer pension plans. The Plan had beneficial impacts to so many and served as a model for basic benefits for many non-profits, particularly community organizing groups. Most important to us were the benefits to hundreds of organizers in emergency funds and retirement assets. The Plan was an ambitious program and ending it was not a decision made lightly but it was the responsible thing to do. Plan member groups and individuals continue to move their funds into new Lincoln Financial accounts or to other plans. NOA Pension Director Leah McKenzie deserves enormous credit for her supervision of the transition. Also, we deeply appreciate the attention given to the Plan by Lincoln Financial Account Manager Razia Nur and Delmarva Financial Group advisor Al Cassinelli. They all provided great service to Plan participants beyond their formal obligations.
I am pleased to once again serve on a board of directors of a wonderful group of people: Michael Brown, Idida Perez, Roger Newell, Cathy Howell, Dothula Baron and Attica Scott. Congratulations to Scott on being named to Metro Louisville (KY) Council. Good luck in the months leading up to a spring election. Thanks to office assistant Andrews Williams for his service. To David Choy and KingCow, my personal thanks for advice and technical support.
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