Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Great Dodson Misquote of 2006, continuing coverage

As mentioned in an earlier post, District 10 Commissioner Elton Dodson (we’re bringing back the cape and tights jokes, because he’s a good sport about the whole thing) has a letter in the ABH addressing certain, er…shall we say discrepancies, in the story the ABH published last Friday.
We took advantage of our correspondence with the Commish to pin him down a little on poverty issues, specifically in reference to the causes of poverty and what the local government can do about the whole thing. Sez Dodson:

“I believe the root cause is a lack of empowerment. Everything else is just
a symptom. The reasons for that lack of empowerment go deep, and represent
the most classic struggles between different ideas of government and social
values. On the local level, I believe we can do our part by taking
government to the people that are most alienated (or at least feel
alienated) by it. That is why I will be strongly advocating some fairly
serious changes to the way we do things in our government. Because of the
Mayor's work, there will now be a formal process for airing these policy
initiatives.”

Obviously, we are champing at the bit to know exactly what “policy initiatives” and “serious changes” Dodson is mulling over. Rather than exchange another round of emails with him however, we’ll leave the gigantic question mark hanging for now, in hopes that the Commish will clue us in right here on the blog.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I believe the root cause is a lack of empowerment. Everything else is just a symptom. The reasons for that lack of empowerment go deep, and represent
the most classic struggles between different ideas of government and social values. On the local level, I believe we can do our part by taking government to the people that are most alienated (or at least feel alienated) by it. "

I can't believe no one has commented on this. So the answer to poverty is "empowerment" and "taking government to the people that are most alienated by it." I'm sorry, but what does that have to do with anything? What does empowerment mean? Is there a less meaningful academic term?

And "bringing government" to the poor. An even worse idea. Government jobs for all! Dodson really scares me.

gap said...

I agree, "empowerment" is an ambiguous term that can be interpreted as almost anything you want it to mean in this context. It's a quote that makes people vaguely feel good without knowing why.

I also don't understand how "classic struggles between different ideas of government and social values" represent the reason for lack of empowerment.