"I was working to get Barack Obama elected president when he was four," says civil rights leader and community organizer Julie Coates. On Obama's second inauguration day and Martin Luther King holiday, she will still be doing community organizing.
Coates just got funding for The Awareness Project (TAP), her local organizing effort. The funding is paying for large offices and meeting rooms, as well as a half time professional organizer. Over the holidays she helped a local citizen organize Cash Mobs to support local downtown businesses. Her next effort, she says, involves housing, with 48% of the housing in her town being rental. Her goal is not to win elections in the short term, but to organize for longer term progressive changes in society.