The following are excerpts from Wikipedia:
Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or environmental change, or stasis. Various forms of activism range from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning,economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes. Research is beginning to explore how activist groups in the United States and Canada are usingsocial media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.
….Activists are also public watchdogs and whistle blowers, attempting to understand all the actions of every form of government that acts in the name of the people: all government must be accountable to oversight and transparency. Activism is an engaged citizenry….
….For more than fourteen years, groups involved in various forms of activism have been using the Internet to advance organizational goals. It has been argued that the Internet helps to increase the speed, reach and effectiveness of activist-related communication as well as mobilization efforts, and as a result has had a positive impact on activism in general.……..
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activism
—— Comments by Hank follow:
I think the start of an activist movement in Port Orange can be traced back to Ted Noftall. It is not a strain of social or environmental activism but rather a strain committed to having Port Orange government conduct its operations in a responsible and transparent fashion. I am going to ask Ted when he started in Port Orange as an activist.
One in the somewhat informal activist group has indicated she does not want to be labeled as an activist. I do not find the label to be pejorative especially when the objective of that engages citizenry in holding government accountable for its actions. Because of research and FOI requests done by these individuals we have learned about failures in Port Orange City Government which would never have been fully disclosed as these citizens have demanded.
I would say that there are about a half dozen in the group who actively do research, ask questions, and give opinions at city council meetings. They make use of FOI requests.
There are an unknown number of citizens who hold favorable opinions about the work of the activists and they contribute to the movement perhaps behind the scenes. I look favorable, in general, on the group’s purpose, and I support the group when I think appropriate on my web site, www.popdradiolog.com I think Pat Nelan supports the group with his web site, http://184.108.40.206/ For the best Port Orange Political News visit http://220.127.116.11/ and be sure to read all the comments.
I think Port Orange City Councilman Bob Ford is a good friend and ally for citizens who are engaged and want to keep tabs on the city government politics and operations. There have been in the last two years about 7 administrators in Port Orange City Government who have resigned, many attributing these resignations due to information uncovered by the activists.
It is my speculation that when some city workers learned that there was a group of active citizens looking for reform in Port Orange Politics and city administration, some of those city workers fed information to Ted Noftall on specifics pertaining to shortcomings in city operations.
City councilman Bob Ford has stated a number of times that he as a councilman has received information from city workers that all is not well in city operations. Before Ted Noftall appeared on the scene and Bob Ford came to council, these city workers had no real trust in confidentiality to voice their observations and complaints. Are some of them disgruntled city workers? Perhaps. But I think the clues they have offered have resulted in some serious issues that citizens and city administration need to deal with.
A common reaction to dissenters by governmental authorities all over the world is that the administrations do not confront the specifics offered by engaged citizens head on, but attack the tactics of the messengers who present failures to investigate. This is what happened when the vice mayor of Port Orange sought the removal of Ted Noftall from the Citizen Budget Advisory Board. The complaint, unrelated to matters of financial accountability, was that Ted had referred to a city worker recovering from knee surgery as “Peg Leg” and thus must be removed rather than address the failures he was presenting.
Also around the same time, a number of citizens (10?) many closely aligned with the local Chamber of Commerce appeared before the city council asking that the engaged citizens (activists) stop their weekly complaining at city council meetings so that the city could move on. In my opinion, when loyalists to the Mayor and the old guard found something with which to attack the messenger Ted Noftall, they did so and attacked Ted’s allies. City Councilman Ford was also included in the verbal attack by loyalists to the old guard of city hall.
I noticed that in the Mayor’s loyalists comments to the city council, not one of them mentioned the failures of city administration and government, but pleaded to go back to the good old days in Port Orange which seemed to indicate a need to silence these activists. The loyalists who spoke against the activist group and Ted Noftall seemed to me to be people from real estate, construction, bankers and the chamber of commerce. It appeared to me that they might have been upset that their special interests and favoritism were being impinged upon by this activist group. A former mayor of Port Orange spoke to the city council to find out how much money city councilman Bob Ford had cost the city when he was the chief of police when a suit against the city was lodged regarding sex discrimination. Bob Ford answered that night at the city council meeting that he personally had not been sued.
And so the battle lines were formed. Sonya Laney ran against Councilman Ford in his bid to be re-elected. Laney spoke at a city council meeting and complained that city workers had not been honest in reporting city failures to their administrators because they were afraid of losing their jobs. She questioned the element of accountability and seemed to me to imply that perhaps city councilman Bob Ford would be asking for accountability if city employees told their administrators. I editorialized that Sonya was confusing accountability with harassment.
Sonya seems to have been financially supported by city loyalists in her bid to unseat Bob Ford. It was told to me that Sonya had twice the amount of campaign money than Ford had, but Sonya lost the campaign for the city council seat.
The city council decided not to remove Ted Noftall as chairman of the citizen budget advisory board but instead terminated the entire citizen board.
Nonetheless politics has changed in the city of Port Orange. And city government administration has changed. It is now obvious that in all dealings both elected officials and city administrators know that a watch dog group is scrutinizing their decisions and operations.
I think all this is good for the citizens of Port Orange. There are some who argue that all the negative speculations (and findings?) are not good for the city of Port Orange. For financial special interests I would agree. But for the citizens of Port Orange I am of the opinion that this is all a wonderful thing for them, even if they don’t realize what is going on with activism and city operations. This sort of thing is happening all over the world, and here in the USA. It has come to Port Orange.
Please correct me where I am wrong.
– Hank springer
From Hank Springer
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