Citizen Action comes to town with goal to fight Trump agenda

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Stanley Fritz calls himself an “aggressive optimist.”

That’s fitting, considering the group he’s the city campaign manager for — Citizen Action New York.

The grassroots organization has been active for more than 30 years, according to Fritz, and now has eight chapters and affiliates in major cities across the state. It champions community issues like public election campaign financing, racial justice, progressive taxes, quality education and affordable health care. 

Those are all matters that deeply affect Riverdale and other parts of the Bronx, Fritz said, which is why Citizen Action is coming Jan. 17 for what it’s calling a “Community Power Hour.”

Scheduled for 6:30 p.m., at the Riverdale Steak House, 5700 Riverdale Ave., the power hour is expected to give the organization a chance to share how the community can muster political clout on the ground level by organizing, pressuring elected officials, and pushing for legislation under a president they don’t agree with.

Citizen Action found its way to the Bronx about a year ago, Fritz said, but has stayed primarily in Hunts Point, Parkchester and Eastchester. Now it’s finally finding the west side of the borough.

“People are looking for ways to get involved, so really, this meeting is a way to gather up interested neighbors to help them learn more about the work we’ve been doing and show them how, through local politics, they can be very effective in resisting and fighting the Trump agenda,” Fritz said.

While many people want change, they’re not exactly sure how to accomplish it, Fritz said. That’s where Citizen Action steps in.

“A lot of people think it’s the New York city council, the mayor, and that’s it,” Fritz said. “They’re not in-tune with state politics, and they don’t realize their state senator, Assembly member, the governor, have a say and can influence things like the subways, housing, what kind of funding and assistance we’re getting for opioids, homelessness issues.”

Fritz sees groups such as NYCD16-Indivisible not as competition, but as opportunities to collaborate.

“These are just names,” he said. “What it really is, is people in the community who want to make a difference. We’d be happy to talk to them and work with them. This is a big tent.” 

And they’re interested. Becca Lish, of the local Indivisible group, said there are resources that can be shared, and that fighting among like-minded organizations is not the way to go. 

Those groups, Lish said, “don’t necessarily have territory. They grew up out of people waking up when Trump was elected. Some have been around for decades, some are new. Some are big, some are small. People are interested in working together on their own concerns and others’ in a very collaborative way.”

Certainly, the broader sense of disenfranchisement is not particular to Riverdale or any one part of the Bronx. Still, Fritz said, the borough is an epicenter for many of those problems.

“A lot of the conversations are happening here,” he said. “And to be quite honest, most of the major players for New York state politics are in the Bronx” — Sen. Jeffrey Klein and Assembly speaker Carl Heastie, for example.

While Citizen Action approaches its work differently depending on each neighborhood, the goal remains the same.

“People in Riverdale are not all rich and living in mansions,” Fritz said. “They see issues they care about, and whether it affects them directly or indirectly, if the Bronx is doing bad, Riverdale is doing bad, because we’re all interconnected — whether we like to believe it or not.”

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TruthTeller

First off, Citizens Action is not a grassroots group. It is yet another Soros-funded group whose sole purpose is to spread lies and disinformation and yes, we have woken up to this and we're not going to take it anymore. It's a good thing this group is ineffective because like all Soros0funded groups, it consists of useful idiots doing the work of the Wall Street banking elite.

All one has to do to find out that Jonathan Soros funds this group is do a fairly simple google search. I'd offer a link to save you time, but it would be against the rules of this comment section.

Just a quick note to so-called "progressives." You lost. The country is sick to death of you and you have zero credibility. You all lost that when you backed the Soros-funded bankers boy called Obama and he subsequently wrecked the country. Trump is the natural reaction to those terrible 8 years. Get over it. Get past the second stage of grief, which is the anger stage. Come to realize that the lies told to you about Trump are wholly ginned up by the losers in the lamestream legacy dying, dinosaur media. Trump is a socially liberal business Democrat who is an MBA billionaire real estate developer who was at the top of the heap in socially liberal NYC. And for most of his life he was hailed as a cultural icon. Stop tethering yourself to another lie perpetrated by the murderess Hilary.

And for god's sake stop taking Soros money! This is the age of the internet. We can see thru these fake groups and since Soros's name is poison, your groups, by extension become poison when taking his money. Or in this case his son Jonathan's money.

4 days ago
Soros?

Mr. Teller, I could not find a connection between Soros and Citizen Action via googling. Are you sure you aren't confusing them with Citizens United?

| 3 days ago
TruthTeller

Nope it's Citizen Action. I can't link to the quote, but it's the first thing you see when you google "Citizens Action and Soros"

In a nutshell, according to the author, Jonothan Soros's Superpac funds over 80 percent of the activity of two groups, the Working Family party and Citizen Action.

When you know the truth about these so-called "grassroots" groups, and you couple that with a knowledge of how the so-called "progressive left" has been taking bankers money since at least the 60's (Ford Foundation funded Ocean Hill Brownsville), it's pretty easy to connect these dots.

3 days ago
Michael Hinman

Mr. Teller:

Maybe such an organization is underwritten by Soros. But in reality, how many of these groups — no matter what side of the political aisle they come from — don't have some wealthy benefactor somewhere? I mean, for every liberal group backed by Soros, don't you think you can find a conservative or libertarian cause backed by the Kochs or Sheldon Adelson?

3 days ago
TruthTeller

That's a fair point, and to be sure the right has a lot of astroturf groups as well. But none as active and militant as the ones on the left. BLM, ANTIFA and a whole other bunch of subversive groups are getting Soros money.

Another point is these groups portray themselves as "grassroots" and then get reporters such as Kastro and editors such as yourself to call them "grassroots" when in reality they are being funded by the very same people that are causing so many of the problems in society in the first place. I believe it is your responsiblilty to report the facts and you left out a biggie. If I were a reporter at your paper, my first question to them would have been about their funding. Probably this is a reason why I am not in the newspaper business anymore.

Webster Griffin Tarpley has a lot of problems, and I have long since given up on him as a relevant political commentator, but his expose of how the Foundation left is funded by the Wall Street elite is bar none the best I've read.

Quite frankly, this is an article about "Citizens Action" so I am commenting on them. If a Koch Bros funded group invades Riverdale with a shock troop of foot soldiers I will gladly expose them too. But in this case, it's yet another Soros funded group and Soros is not a good or benevolent person if you read his historical profile and seen the things he's involved himself in over the years. I would give a very wide berth to any group taking their money.

3 days ago
TruthTeller

I just did a short google search on Indivisible and a link to an amazing NYT's (a stopped clock is right twice a day) article clearly states that that group is funded by tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, as well as "foundations or coalitions tied to Democracy Alliance donors, including the San Francisco mortgage billionaire Herbert Sandler, the New York real estate heiress Patricia Bauman and the oil heiress Leah Hunt-Hendrix."

It also states that George Soros was considering writing them a very large check. I wonder if he did so? Probably pretty easy to find out if you ask the right questions Michael.

3 days ago
Michael Hinman

Hello, everyone ...

As I seem to do almost every week, let me please remind you that personal attacks will NOT be allowed.

If you want to "call someone out," there is a mechanism that you will have a better chance of succeeding with (although there are no guarantees), and that's by signing your name to a letter to the editor. You certainly cannot do that here, and you cannot do it anonymously.

We are here to talk about topics. If you want to talk about people directly who are not public figures, then they should have a fair chance to address you — it can NOT be done anonymously.

Thank you for your cooperation!

3 days ago
TruthTeller

That's ok Michael. I'm very appreciative for the opportunity I had to expose in the comment section this so-called "grassroots" organization......that's actually funded by billionaire real-estate and dirty oil money. It must be tough living with the cognitive dissonance created by taking Hunt oil money and Soros money while still proclaiming to be fighting for the people and the environment.

But I have no doubt that if these "grassroots activists" actually do attempt to answer for this, they will make some excuse or another. But it didn't work with the idiotic right-wing Astroturf groups funded by Adelson and Koch, and it won't work for possibly more insane "grassroots" groups like Citizen Action and Insdivisible.

It's a shame the people who are duped by these groups haven't yet realized that in the age of the internet, exposure is simply one-click away. We on the progressive libertarian side are so hip to you that there's nothing you can do to fool us anymore. And we are spreading the message......and it's resonating.........which is why we're winning.

2 days ago
Michael Hinman

Mr. Teller:

I'm sorry, but what message did you send? That even grassroots organizations on both sides can attract people with money to support it? I don't know how that is somehow a bad thing ...

Whether it's the Kochs, Adelson, Soros, or whomever — why is that a bad thing? Obviously, none of them are keeping a secret, so I don't think they are embarrassed by it.

If these were front groups (and who knows, maybe some of them are), that might be an issue. But as long as we allow private citizens, companies and organizations to fund political campaigns, then I personally do not see any problem with spending money as a "free speech issue" for providing funds to help groups operate.

So I guess I'm just confused by your "victory."

2 days ago
TruthTeller

Well there are a couple reasons which I will just list with my apologies for putting it in list form.

1) Grassroots should mean grassroots. This goes for both sides. I am super offended when I see Adelson groups being portrayed as grassroots when in fact they're not, which brings me to my second point.

2) I think that by saying "That even grassroots organizations on both sides can attract people with money to support it?" that you are really missing the mark. These groups are funded into existance and led by the elite. They didn't exist and then attract donors. That's the whole point. Those who control the pursestrings ultimately control the narrative. It would do no good for a member of Indivisible to explain to me how virtuous they are about the environment or social justice when they are being funded by oil magnates. Does one really believe that a Leah Hunt-Hendrix cares about environmental justice in the Bronx? I don't, and mainly because of the research I've done into the phenomenon of Wall Street funding left wing groups. The ultimate goal of these oligarchs is divide and conquer, so they create, control and fund these groups to go in and sow discord, which keeps us fighting eachother while the crimes of the elite go on unemcumbered. You should do some research into how the Ford Foundation, led by the rich war monger McGeorge Bundy, funded the experiment in local control of schools in Ocean Hill Brownsville. The story is deep, but in a nutshell, the result we saw was the intended one......blacks and whites fighting eachother, racial hatred ignited and ultimately the quality of education for poor minorities went way down. All of this works perfectly for the elite because they love watching us fight eachother.

3) Possibly like you, I am of the personal belief that ALL money should be taken out of politics. No more corporate financing, no more lavish private corporate jets, no more fake charitable "foundations" being set up. None of it. This has led us to where we are today, which is a rat's nest of crooks on the Dem and Repub sides working only for the advancement of their corporate donors. That's what I loved so much about Trump. He took money for sure, but not nearly as much as Clinton, who might as well have been wearing the same coat with corporate logos on it as NASCAR drivers do.

Your heart is in the right place Michael. I really do believe that. And I bet if we sat down you'd be surprised how much we agree on. i just don't think you've been exposed to too much information about the underbelly of the Foundation scene, or how the oligarchs use divide and conquer tactics to keep us divided. I even believe that the SJW's in Riverdale's heart is in the right place too. I think we all want to see a more equal and just society. I just don't feel that taking oil money and trying to subvert a President is the way to do it. The left hated it when it happened to Obama, and they should not be doing the same to Trump.

2 days ago
TruthTeller

Here is a quote I found in the public domain (so hopefully this won't be deleted for copyright infringement) that Edith Kermit Roosevelt, herself an oligarch but one not particularly interested in culture-wrecking, said about the phenomenon of what is happening here. I beleive she said it in the late 60's. She says it better than I ever could because she was a member of the very class she was speaking about. Anyhow, here is the quote.....

"A new political alliance is being forged in this country between

the super-rich and the super-poor — especially the alienated and activist members of minority groups.

The Ford Foundation, under the aggressive leadership of McGeorge Bundy, is providing

the major thrust for this power bloc ... This is a dangerous game but it doesn’t seem to

worry those members of the ‘Eastern Establishment’ who are involved. They’re sure that no

matter what happens they’ll still be on top.

The Ford Foundation’s support of provocateurs and revolutionaries throughout the nation is

raising numerous eyebrows. Many believe Bundy, former coordinator of intelligence

for President Kennedy, is fostering a new political alliance.

Its effect, at the moment, appears to be the destruction of the American constitutional

system. The Foundation seems to be bypassing the legally constituted federal bureaucracy,

Congress and state and local governments in order to build a movement of revolutionary

proletarians."

2 days ago
democrap 4 Life

As a democrat   I am all for allowing invaders to enter this country and get handout funds such as section 8 housing,food stamps ,  free medical and learn their language

All I ask is they vote for my party members  even if they have to vote more then once

The disabled vets should not get any  befits  as they knew the risks when they joined the armed services  

I totally agree with Diane Feinstein  when she said "veterans are unstable and should not be allowed to have a firearm"

I agree  and every peace offer federal,state or city that has been in the military should have their weapon taken away  

We need stricter gun control laws like Chicago has  as this is my type of "population control"

Uganda  has a new out break of diseases and  we should as democratic bring as many of these  people here for free medical treatment  even if we have to increase taxes on the rich  as it is the right thing to do 

Just because the Donald  has put North Korean leaders in their place unlike his  predecessors  who tried to bribe   these regimes as   Neville Chamberlain  did to appease Hitler  and Jimmy Carter did with Iran and Truman did with North Korea   eventually it should work 

As Americans  we are spoiled and need to become like other 3rd world countries   as this is how  the  mindset works  when one wants to destroy  what previous generations did to improve our standard of living 

2 days ago
TruthTeller

Lol! Gotta love good ole' Democrap For Life, lending his unique voice to the discussion!!

Yesterday at 7:47 AM
TruthTeller

I notice not one of the usual suspects have commented here. I am not surprised though. If I was an environmental activist and fighter for racial justice that was actually being funded by Hunt oil money and Real Estate developer money I'd probably be silent too.

BUSTED!!

Yesterday at 4:13 PM