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SLUG: The Importance of Wearing Different Hats for Different Jobs

  • Subject: [cg] SLUG: The Importance of Wearing Different Hats for Different Jobs
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 10:08:25 EDT


The old line is that if you want to get something done, you give it to someone busy to do. It's amazing how much gets done by a relatively few people, because they multi-task.  Folks who are community gardeners are often involved in civic issues, political campaigns, religious organizations, soup kitchens/food banks, as well as the all-important "day job" that puts food on the table and buys the kids new shoes.  But you have to remember to wear "different hats" because the folks around you might get confused - heck, you might get confused too!

SLUG screwed up: A not-for-profit organization that depends on city and private funding sources for its job development and community gardening program can't be an open political player - and certainly not use its offices as a political campaign office. It's a prime case of biting the hand that feeds you, and was patently illegal.  It's a case of a program's administrators thinking they can do what they want with the organization's resources, without looking carefully at their charter.  Honesly friends, I can't imagine what SLUG was thinking, telling their employees to not only support but also work as SLUG folks for a political candidate.  A major mistake, and thankfully, a rare one.  

Folks who run community gardening programs and gardens around here in NYC are political players, members of community boards, belong to political clubs, and support candidates - however they do this as PRIVATE CITIZENS, wearing different hats. 

A community gardening program or garden should never  support or endorse  a candidate as an community gardening organization. As individuals, certainly - as members of other political organizations, sure - but not as a community gardening organization....we depend on the good will of legislators in land use matters, for one thing.

In an election, there are winners and losers, and a 50% chance of losing the good will of your municipal elected officials by opposing them in an election

Obviously they will talk to their friends and co-workers about their different projects, but there is a definate separation between the activities - and unfortunately SLUG managers abused their organization charter to do this - a major screw up.

Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden 

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