By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
At a meeting with MLK Day coalition leaders held at the First Institutional Baptist Church last Wednesday, November 28, Reverend Stewart made it clear he is re-entering the fray, that the holiday is being reclaimed by a broader community than the MLK-BAC has ever represented. The campaign is returning to its grassroots. New ideas for victory were thick in the air: Involve Hispanic leaders. Deluge the out-counties with information. Heal the state.
Old ideas, such as an initiative controlled by white business people, were out the window. It is doubtful that the new, more dispersed form of power will be able to come up with anything like the $750,000 that the MLK-BAC wrung out of its members and powerful friends in order to run its campaign. Doubtful that any public relations firm will commandeer anything close to $50,000 for its role, although Robb says he will be happy to volunteer his time without charge if he is asked. So far, he hasn't been.
It was a marvelous meeting for Arnie Zaler. As he drove away from it, he was positively raving. In this new campaign, there will be room for emotions! he said. There will be open debates! Every attempt will be made to reach the voters to whom the MLK Day makes the most difference!
He said it all delightedly, with his car phone pressed to his ear. Already he was talking to a reporter. end part 3 of 3
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One frustrated strategist screamed at another, "You're nothing but an aerobics instructor!"
Insiders are asking angrily why the same stodgy pollsters and community leaders are allowed to continue dictating strategy on important Valley issues.
MLK committee members were made very nervous by Zaler's idealism, and they devoted much time and energy to trying to muzzle him.
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Who was the MLK Day campaign aimed at, anyway?
Some of them speak of civil rights with the same broad, blank, cheerful enthusiasm they would bring to the discussion of a team sport.
Even Zaler's slick emotionalism couldn't disguise his personal commitment.
"Peace is everywhere but in Jerusalem and Phoenix!" Zaler expounded to Evan Mecham.
When threatened, the voters simply dug their heels in and resisted.
"[Racists] will always blame it on something else if you don't challenge them."
"If we had made the linkage with human rights, it wouldn't have mattered what happened on Sunday with Greg Gumbel."
Why risk alienating Republicans with a highly publicized campaign to register liberals, minorities and gays?
Espinoza attended one pro-MLK Day press conference after another where not a single brown face was seated on the platform.
Blacks knew that if they wanted their hero to be honored, they had to deliver him into white hands.