Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Anti-Hunger Politics Are Local

All politics are local.

The quote is very familiar. In its purest sense, this concept means mobilizing the grassroots. Ordinary people come together to support an action that will help their local community or the global community.

Rozie Kennedy, the Coordinator of the New Mexico Task Force to End Hunger, did some "grassroots" organizing among a constituency that is the best example of the concept of "local." I'm referring to the 103 mayors of New Mexico communities.

Rozie had a very simple request for the mayors: Please issue a proclamation in support of World Food Day. One-third of the mayors took the time to draw up a proclamation, which were displayed at our
World Food Day commemoration in Albuquerque on Monday Oct. 16.

"The response was
enthusiastic, with several Mayors responding and expressing their support of World Food Day," said Rozie. "Thirty-three municipalities were able to issue proclamations for World Food Day, and a few more said they'd miss the deadline but were still supportive." Mayors representing cities of all sizes, from Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and Rio Rancho to Gallup and Jal, supported the effort.

In addition to asking the mayors to show support of world hunger relief, they were urged to invite
their constituents to "learn more about the issues and to join in working toward ending hunger and food insecurity which affect millions of people every day."

There is a long-term benefit from the effort to bring New Mexico's mayors together on this issue. "More than a feel-good stunt, the call for Mayoral
proclamations is part of the New Mexico Task Force to End Hunger's strategic efforts to begin connecting hunger-relief organizations statewide," said Rozie.

As part of the campaign to rally communities in New Mexico to join together in the fight against hunger, Rozie plans to launch a website on Thanksgiving weekend. (The url will be www.nmhunger.org) We will post the appropriate links once the website is up and going.

"Including reports, news and action items, public assistance information, and a statewide listserv, the website will increase statewide connections and assist in disseminating information related to hunger in New Mexico," said Rozie.

Along with the municipal proclamations, our World Food Day planning committee secured a proclamation from Gov. Bill Richardson.

The governor's proclamation (pictured at the top) was read by Katie Falls, deputy director of the New Mexico Human Services Department (pictured above).