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Group hopes to become community VOICE - scanned from the newspaper.  Here is the version that appeared on the internet: Group hopes to become community VOICE | - Carla Hinton, Religion Editor for the Daily Oklahoman, has written an article on VOICE.  The version that appeared in the hardcopy of the newspaper has additional text that doesn't appear in the online version, including a list of participating organizations  provided by Melodie Garneau, spokesperson for VOICE, that they have refused to divulge previously - 3/24/12.
VOICE OKC Facebook Page

VOICE Well, they finally got around to renaming the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee.  It is now called VOICE (Voices Organized In Civic Engagement). Their coming out party was February 12.

Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee

Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee

OSC Incorporating Documents

Here are the incorporating Documents for the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee, Inc. 

First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City: Sponsored Orgs

Metro-area religious coalition says it’s dedicated to helping community, but critics claim it's ‘a socialistic-type organization’

This is an article from the Oklahoma Gazette on the OSC.  They are finally reaching out to the right (er, left) target market.

The link above has been broken, and we presume the website has been taken down.  The links below will take you to archived versions of a couple pages from their website.

Statements and Misstatements About Community Organizing - Catholic Organizing

Homily from Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Weisenburger - Catholic Organizing

Oklahoma Catholics for Organizing was a website that, according to them, "exists as a complement to the interfaith because many Catholics in our archdiocese want to learn more about this important work that is endorsed by their priests, our Archbishop, and the other Bishops across the U.S."  Of course, it is a little problematic for them as the Archbishop has never actually endorsed it (see the letter the Archbishop sent to us), and we would suggest to them that they might want to revise it to say "some of their priests", as several Pastors have thrown it out of their parishes. 

Of special interest is their page on, surprise surprise, Us!  Check it out here: They said what? (Catholic Organizing) 


They said what?

Here are some of the statements being carelessly tossed around on the Fidelity Til Parousia website and Catholic Community Network.  (We are intentionally not linking to these sites, but they are easy to find.)

Fiction:  As of January 26, 2010, the Fidelity Til Parousia website stated: "Please pray that the rest of the six Catholic churches will see the evil of this organization, its political ties to an administration that promotes unlimited abortion—paid for by tax payers—and which advocates eliminating the conscience clause for doctors and hospitals."

Fact:  Neither the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee nor the Industrial Areas Foundation have politcal ties to the Obama administration.  Just because Obama read Saul Alinsky's book doesn't mean we have political ties.  The Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee is political (like the church is - think pro-life issues) but it is non-partisan.  Like all tax-exempt organizations, supporting any candidate would violate our status.  When the publishers of a website are willing to make up a statement like this, it should make anyone question what else they've made up.

More to come...

Just to clarify, the quotation from our website above is accurate.  It is our opinion, and we stand by it today, in terms of the IAF and of Alinskyian Community Organizing in general.  It was not then nor now intended to characterize anything the OSC has accomplished or attempted, as they have not accomplished or attempted anything of significance to date that we are aware of.  If they do, we will be happy to publicize it for them here.  We find the claims of being non-partisan amusing, but getting a little tiresome.  While most of these organizations are very careful to avoid directly endorsing any candidate, they are blatantly ideological.  A review of what IAF affiliates around the country do makes this patently obvious.

It is also funny, but a little sad that they make the statement about not linking to our website.  This mirrors statements made in letters sent out at St. Monica and St. Eugene about ignoring information on the Internet except for the OSC page.  What are they afraid of? Our website is filled with links to information about the IAF and community organizing written by people both for and against it.  We believe everyone should read both sides and come to their own conclusions.

Community Foundation of Oklahoma Form 990 Ending 080630

This is some information on payments from the Community Foundation of Oklahoma about payments made relating to the Oklahoma Sponsoring Committee.  The OSC gets their Not-For-Profit status under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Oklahoma.  Note that, besides the payments to Ms. Ausdenmore, the other payments were to the Texas Interfaith Education Fund (IEF).  Interestingly, the Executive Director of the IEF is Ernesto Cortes, who is also on the Executive Team of the IAF national organization.  The IEF is listed on the IAF website as an affiliate organization.  So is the OSC money being channeled to the IAF?  It would seem so.

By the way, our congratulations to Mr. Cortes on his Honorary Degree from Princeton.   "Power before program," anyone?

Ernesto Cortés Jr., Doctor of Laws

A native of San Antonio, Texas,
Ernesto Cortés Jr. is the executive director of the Interfaith Education Fund and the southwest regional director of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a community-organizing network with affiliates in 21 states, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. As a young man, he worked with César Chávez and the farm workers and then with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In 1972, he went to Chicago to learn from Saul Alinsky, the legendary organizer and founder of the IAF. In 1974, Cortés founded Communities Organized for Public Services in San Antonio. Since then, he has helped build more than two dozen nonpartisan citizens' groups in cities from New Orleans to Des Moines to Los Angeles.

Throughout the IAF network that Cortés has helped cultivate, citizens gather regularly in living rooms, churches, synagogues and schools. They swap stories, identify shared concerns, work through differences, investigate the relevant facts, select and cultivate leaders, and take action to hold public officials and corporate executives accountable. The core leadership of the network now exceeds 25,000. Among its many accomplishments is the transformation of hundreds of "colonias" in the Rio Grande Valley from shantytowns into thriving communities with paved streets, sewerage and water systems. The network is also well known for the effectiveness of its efforts in job training, public school reform and living wage campaigns. For his community organizing efforts, Cortés received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" in 1984 and was awarded the H.J. Heinz Award for Public Policy in 1999. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Organizing, in his hands, works wonders: Those who were once silenced find their voice; those in authority are compelled to listen; parents and teachers join hands for the sake of children; the impoverished acquire skills and jobs; and shantytowns become prosperous neighborhoods. His message is that active and informed citizens, exercising power responsibly, can insist on accountability and achieve change. With his guidance, ordinary people, working together, are re-weaving the social fabric of democracy.

Reprinted from, © 2009 The Trustees of Princeton University · Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA

Oklahoma Catholics debate role in local interfaith group |

An article which appeared in the Daily Oklahoman about the OSC.

Letters to the Editor: Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 | 

Tom Morris has had a letter to the editor published in the Daily Oklahoman in response to the article above.

Last Updated: Sunday, January 12, 2014 07:44 PM -0600

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