Citizens for Walkersville, model for grassroots organization

Recently we posted a couple of articles about how to get organized and get a movement going.  Here is an article written by Steve Berryman, Vice President and spokesman for Citizens for Walkersville, on his view to date of the hearings that took place last week and continue tonight in this small central Maryland town.   The work the citizens have done there to protect the culture and character of their town is a prime example of how we need to organize.

At this point there has been four days of the hearings – with 18 hours into it – at Walkersville Town Hall on Frederick Street. I have derived some observations from this.


It amounts to a civics lesson in some ways, but in others it boils down to be a real-life “David vs. Goliath” story of asymmetric warfare between the interested parties.


You could never have scripted this. The AMC [Ahmadiyya Muslim Community] is invested in a positive outcome to the tune of $100,000 in legal fees and related expenses and is still counting. Being an enormous multi-national corporation with millions in available funds and operations in over 180 countries worldwide, they stand to lose much more than that in terms of their international expansion efforts should they lose the decision. This proposition is easily supported by their web site.


In the other corner are the people of the Town of Walkersville. Speaking as groups of home-owners associations and the grass-roots “Citizens For Walkersville” (CFW), resources were home grown and donated in a heart-felt fashion……

Read the rest of Mr. Berryman’s commentary here.   Read our earlier coverage here.     Here is the website for the AMC.   

Roanoke, VA refugee director to retire

Roanoke, VA is the largest refugee resettlement site in that state, partially thanks to the ‘Dragon Lady’ director of Refugee and Immigration Services,  Barbara Smith who will soon retire.    For financial reasons, according to the Roanoke Times , Refugee and Immigration Services will soon merge with Catholic Charities.   I’m bringing you this information and this article simply because it’s a good behind-the-scenes look at what happens in a “blue heaven” refugee resettlement office and it likely parallels what is happening in your city.

One bit of information here that most people don’t know is that it’s up to local government agencies to foot the bill for translators when refugees require services.

So it goes [Smith will get tough] when a federally funded agency or institution fails to provide a translator for an immigrant. That violates the nondiscrimination clause in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Smith can recite it from memory — curtly, if necessary — on her refugees’ behalf.