Madeline Talbott is a community organizer in the Chicago area. As lead organizer of Action Now, an organization of working families, she has fought predatory lending; worked to negotiate loan modifications for families who face foreclosure; convened a coalition of community organizations, higher ed institutions, school districts and schools to create the Grow Your Own Teachers program; supported quality and affordable healthcare for all, helped to raise the Illinois minimum wage, and worked for safe communities. Here’s what she has to say about herself:
I am a community organizer, mother of two, caretaker for another, wife, 58 years old.
I come of Irish stock, Catholic, my dad was a Colonel in the Army, died Dec. 30, 2007 with me holding his hand. He served in three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was gentle, funny, kind and generous. Peace-loving too, but willing to serve.
My mother is a housewife, tough and smart, 91 years old, doesn’t take anything off of anybody. She and Dad were from central Kentucky towns, raised their four children on army posts, air force bases and in towns across the continent.
I have a sister and brother who are college professors, another brother who writes books, and I love them all.
I have a three daughters who are currently working in community and labor organizing.
I live in an apartment in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago.
I believe in justice, civil disobedience when necessary, direct action (which means confronting the decision makers directly and ask them to change). I feel that in the struggle for justice we create meaning, develop relationships that last and learn about ourselves.
I generally like people, find humor in almost anything, and love Jane Austen, Henry David Thoreau, Bruce Springsteen, Motown and action, romance and quirky movies.
This blog is a way to beginning a public conversation about my work and that of my friends and allies. It was begun as a response to the silly and libelous anti-Barack Obama ads put out by John McCain mentioning my name, but it may continue as a place for dialogue to figure out joint solutions to difficult community problems. Looking forward to your comments.