Cindy Chavez at Mexican Hunger Panel
From: "Andrew Phelps" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [s-acc] community conversation experience
Date: Wed 10/16/13 08:34 AM
The "White House" community conversations is based on the prevailing wrong understanding of community organizing, the one that was put in place by Pres. Kennedy in 1963.
After the initial meeting in Sacramento I had a conversation with Andrew and he informed me that there were going to be additional community meetings, one of which was believed to be in Campbell.
I got the information from Andrew to go on to the website to find out more information and to find out exactly what I needed to do to participate.
After reading the various updates from across the US I was able to locate a form which I could fill out in interest to participate in my local region. I want to say that Mr Campbell was the contact although I'm not a hundred percent sure at this point ..
The link isHERE and the name was Mark Linder.
Nevertheless I poured out my heart and expressed my concerns on the form and requested with emphasis for a response to confirm possible participation/volunteering, or at minimum to be contacted by a representative,or some one, or anyone .. I did disclose myself as being an individual with first hand experiences and gave substantial credentials as to why I might be includable and possibly valuable to their planning team (including being a resident of Campbell California).
Since the initiative is top-down that appeal is not particularly effective.
I thought I provided an intelligent inquiry .. I actually felt pretty good about it before hitting the send button ..
So off it went not a trace to be found and not a word to be heard of my inquiry again. The End!!!
The "grassroots" approach is to reach to the community. The traditional methods are  protest and  "going to the top" (make connection in Mental Health) and - although they may have some impact - neither of those meets the standard.
I'd recommend reaching to authentic community organizations (like CJA and DeBug). Not to the "donuts" approach of Campbell fame, but maybe the Holiday Peace Fair in which you participated last year.
The other way to do that is to attend to social accountability in the frame of one's personal experience. Connect with your lived experience of "what is happening with the neighbors"