Mel King

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Mel King was a Massachusetts State Representative and former candidate for Mayor of Boston.

US Peace Council

Mel King was a member of the U.S. Peace Council.

Felix Arroyo connection

On August 18 2001, Boston Democratic Socialists of America Summer conference voted to endorse Denise Provost and Kevin Tarpley for re-election to Somerville’s Board of Aldermen and Felix Arroyo for an At- Large seat on the Boston City Council.[1]

Long-time progressive activist Felix Arroyo was raised in Puerto Rican public housing; his father was a police detective, his garment seamstress mother an ILGWU member.

Past President of the Boston School Committee and current critic of the MCAS test, Felix Arroyo was a policy advisor to both Mayor Ray Flynn and Senator John Kerry, and an active opponent of U.S. Central American policy in the 1980s. He is endorsed by the SEIU State Council, Boston NOW, CPPAX, Mel King, Boston City Councilor and DSA member Chuck Turner and State Rep. Shirley Owens-Hicks.[2]

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper[3] War Times.

Endorsers of the project included Mel King.

Community Planning in Cuba

In the early 2000s Merri Ansara and Mel King were involved in "community planning" in Cuba according to an October 2003 Havana Journal article by Marie Kennedy, Lorna Rivera and Chris Tilly[4];

Every socialist country has had to manage a set of tensions surrounding popular participation: How to balance local initiative with a set of national priorities? How to reconcile goals of equality with opportunities for communities to shape their own development? How to facilitate widespread participation without opening the door for internal and external foes of the revolution? Cuba, along with the other countries of the former Soviet bloc, resolved these tensions by leaning toward centralization and top-down planning. But over time, Cuba has incorporated more decentralization, consultation with ever larger numbers of people and channels for bottom-up influence...
Mass organizations such as the network of neighborhood-based Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) and the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) also operate in a top-down manner, primarily mobilizing people for campaigns in order to carry out centrally determined objectives. Rarely have these organizations employed methods to empower their membership to craft the program of action...
At the beginning of the “Special Period” (as the period of economic crisis from 1989 through the 1990s was termed), Popular Power was augmented by the establishment of neighborhood-based and elected Popular Councils. These councils are made up of volunteer delegates elected in each neighborhood and representatives of the main economic, social and service institutions, such as the CDRs and the FMC. These neighborhood-based councils support the work of their delegate to the Municipal Council, working closely with residents to identify and advocate for local issues. In 1992, constitutional reforms also established a more direct electoral system for the National Assembly, although candidates for the Assembly are still nominated through a process largely controlled by the Cuban Communist Party.
A major campaign to develop effective participatory community planning methods was launched. Marie, along with planner/activists Merri Ansara and Mel King, facilitated an early two-week seminar with about forty staff members from the twelve workshops operating in 1993. They found that the main barriers to participatory planning were essentially two sides of the same coin: residents expected to have their needs met on the basis of decisions made by experts and professionals who were educated to fix problems for people...
Because of the basic values of Cuba’s socialist political culture (social justice, equality, freedom), many of the workshops (of which there are now twenty) have far outstripped similar efforts in the U.S. to put decision-making power in the hands of those most affected by the problems being addressed. For example, the work with women and youth in Atares could provide a model for even the most progressive of U.S. community-based organizations.

References