Three local activists stressed the importance of direct organizing as a means of achieving greater economic equality for workers and tenants last night before a small crowd at the Kennedy School of Government.
Speaking at the panel discussion on the importance of organizing for political activism were Peter Dreier, a Tufts University professor of Sociology, Mary Mitchell, chairman of 9 to 5, a Boston women's office workers' organization, and Ron Bloom, a representative from the Service Employees International Union. David Blankenhorn '77, of Boston Fair Share, was the moderator.
Drier, who helped found the Massachusetts Tenants organization, said the nation's current economic troubles make organizing tenants an easy task. But he added that the situation among tenants requires further effort.
Tenants are probably the least organized group in America, he said, adding that groups such as his own should work to preserve rent control laws and fight condominium conversion.
Mitchell, the office-workers' representative, said unequal pay, along with poor promotion prospects and working conditions for female office workers make imperative a concerted effort to thwart the Reagan administration's attempts to repeal affirmative action legislation and diminish the role of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"We've unlearned everything we ever knew about democracy," Ron Bloom, international representative for the Service Employees Union, said, adding, "Normal working people should have control over their own lives."