Barbara Ehrenreich: Elyssa Durant: Bait & Switch, Nickel & Dimed

MODIFIED FROM THE ORIGINAL POST… IT WAS IN FACT “THE WORST DAY EVER”

We live in a society where one accepts responsibility for their mistakes, no one is held accountable for their actions, ao one EVER says they are sorry.

Let me you a small glimpse inside the day in the of the und/underemployed:

I spend day after day after may doing the same thing without any result: I can only offer you a glimpse into day in the life because there io room left to sit in my car, and I believe my apartment may actually be a fire hazard… This was my daily update posted at 7:30am:

I have done everything humanly possible to clean up the slack, however, I feel I have no other choice than to file a formal complaint so that my entire case is reviewed. The number of mistakes are so overwhelming that I simply don’t have enough time to documents each and every one with the respective agency.

I will try to be more specific later without going into too much detail, but unfortunately, that level of detail is required to file the necessary appeals. Ironic huh? This apartment is like my own little cage, and I am just pathetic enough to run around in circles, hoping to find the much like a hamster wheel, rodent chasing in circles hoping to found my way out my way out before I run out air. If only I had finished my damn PhD, I would do my own case study or reality show on how far we’ll go to have nothing at all…

I have taken care of the subrogation claim, however, that does bot minimize my level of frustration because I am DROWNING in paperwork. I have contacted several agencies to assistance such as the Disability Law and Advocacy Center, however, I do not have the resources necessary to provide them with timely response. There is a very limited time allowed to Request Reconsideration, or file an appeal.

I also want to be clear that every time I have to call Social Security or DHS, it only compounds my cost of living expenses (40 cents per minute on the telephone — a bill which is not even considered to be a justifiable expense) Most agencies do not include self-addressed stamped envelopes, and I can not afford the postage required to mail out all of the requested documentation (e.g., utility bills, medical bills, pay stubs, etc.)

Fortunately, a number of agencies will take online complaints. Unfortunately, my internet was interrupted for non-payment for several weeks and their is no funding resource or community agency that provides subsidized Internet access or free printer ink.

Transportation costs are ridiculous so going to the library is not an option. Neither is returning to work right now, since it would cost too much to get to the interview or provide official (expensive) copies of my graduate school transcirpts that were oh, such a good investment!

Set aside, I am not the most user friendly person right about now, so I have found it difficult to put on a happy face so I can work at McDonald’s which pays more than Metro anyway.

The subrogation claim has been resolved but I just learned that my breast biopsy was not pre-authorized and I was told by my INSURANCE CSR (the person who answers the phone!!!) that I should not have the surgery that has already been scheduled at the Women’s Hospital for 8/21/2008. AmeriChoice (United HealthCare) did they did not authorize the biopsy last month, and have not, as of yet, received a request prior authorization for the surgery next week…

This was a lovely 54 minute conversation because he would not mail me copies of my EOBs or confirm that what, if any, requests have been submitted for payment since my last inquiry and change of address. He finally told me to call the state (Tennessee) which I have already done several times, and they told me to call Social Security but it was already past business hours and I am not authorized to make changes to my file anyway.

I’ll be in touch when I can. Unfortunately each agency has different deadlines, and it takes a lot of energy and time to scan in, copy, or respond to each inquiry in writing, so I find myself running out of time since I can’t seem to get anything done unless I just do nothing at all.

And even though my life is a living hell, I have almost learned how to enjoy the sheer irony of it all… for someone with OCD and post-traumatic stress, this is truly a ridiculous little experiment.

I am becoming increasingly inspired to just burn every last document I own, throw away my keys and my cell phone and take Spotty some place where we can live off the land and ignore the fact that society has me chained to a computer screen that screen that does provide the basic necessities I need to live in this .

I have come this far, and I am becoming rather skilled and at expressing myself without needing an audience or the obsessive need to check every fact, throw, and typo for capitalization and perfection.

So for now… I write.

Maybe later, I’ll read, but if there is any justice left in this world, someday, I’ll actually live.

Good-bye for now. I need a break.

With love,Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
Cell: (615) 424-8810
E-mail: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu

“The paradox of education is precisely this– that as one begins to
become educated, one begins to examine the society in which he [or
she] is being educated.” – BaldwinElyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

  Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 7:14:03 pm on 9/11/2008 Modified: Never
My first thought: You’re kidding, right?

My second thought:
Poor thing just deosn’t get it…
Take a look at “Good Fences” available online
http://www.nycvoices.org/article_1132.php
Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
Cell: (615) 424-8810
E-mail: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu

“The paradox of education is precisely this– that as one begins to
become educated, one begins to examine the society in which he [or
she] is being educated.” – Baldwin

  Appealing the Appalling (DURANT)
Posted: 9:39:44 pm on 9/11/2008 Modified: Never
Today I was finally able to submit the appeal I have waited over three years to submit. And it is just an APPEAL! Not even a decision. Not a win, but also not a loss.

The APPEAL has given me the strength to keep going. In part because it shows that I haven’t lost and in part because it means that somebody actually listening.

So listen carefully, my friends. It was not too long ago that I had almost everything a young person needs to succeed in this world.

Or maybe not.

As for my most current insurance dispute… I feel that I have done everything humanly possible to be sympathetic towards health care provider who is NOT providing care. I cannot sacrifice my own well being for every bright eyed bushy tailed wanna be who is too stupid to see that I am far from.

I had such a battle this week. It culminated in the end like every other battle I have taken on. I only won because ultimately but we are all losing.

For every underqualifed, health care provider who has NOT provided the adequate, there are many more like me. Alienated just enough to give up on fashion, etiquette and social norms, but not enough to walk from it all.

We are keeping watch. We are taking names, and I for one do not give a rat’s ass about “keeping the peace.”

Having been on both sides if the proverbial couch, I have the perspective is both enlightening and scary at the same time.
I look back and want to say shout “told you so” from the nearest roof top.

Crazy is crazy does… out loud. I may be enjoying this just a little too much.

Sometimes I try to look at this fight, (I meant to say this life) objectively.

I can see my own future, and I can see where it is taking me. I know how it will end it I don’t keep up the pace.

It is amazing at how far we will go to have nothing at all.

I have come this far, and on some level I almost enjoy the dance. No. On some level, I actually love the dance.

No. I won’t give up now. Because without this turmoil, this means to an end, this demonstration project of futility and determination, and without it, I am nothing at all. I can’t lose what I never had. I won’t be another sell-out– mostly because I don’t know how.

I am then the voice of perseverance. I am one voice of perseverance. I am one of 47 million Americans. And today I am I am still fighting the good fight.

This battle; this challenge; this half won war this fight has come to define me. And without that, I am not really much of anything at all…

As someone once told me, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. I’ve already fallen, but I sure as **** stand for something.

“… so for now, I write. Maybe later listen. And if there is any justice left in this world, maybe someday, I’ll actually live. “

Good night, folks. It is time for that break.

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, Tennessee

exclamation Making Ends Meet When You Can’t the Paper? (DURANT)
Posted: 10:50:56 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: Never
Nashville Bar Association and / or Legal Aid have both reviewed my case, and though I meet the eligibility criteria to obtain services, I found them to be very diasorganized in the application process. And simply could not do anything I hadn’t already tried…

Limits federal limits for financial and certainly qualify for servies under various ADA protected categories, but what people don’t realize is this… All I need is a actual, LIVING-WAGE job.

Trust me, they are harder to find than you might think.

I am certainly far below the income threshold and meet all eligibility requirements for various programs, but all I really want is the opportunity to be judged on my merits– not be forced to identify myself as a recipient of federal funds so that corporation can CLAIM the welfare to work reduction.

Thanks, but no. I do qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation but the state messed up records so badly that I have absoultely no idea what the status of my PASS application is.

Pro-bono and nonprofits community agencies simply are not set up to deal with such complicated inter-related and complex issues. Legal Aid and TPA have both reviwed and evaluated the status of my case.

Neither handle bankruptcy, student loan disputes, or ERISA disputes. The Disability Law and Advocacy Center did not show up to a scheduled negotiation. My designated representative succeeeded at doing one thing: consitently missing every single possible filing deadline regardless of the how many times I called, wrote, or complained for over three years.

That is negligence in my book.

Forgive me for saying so, but those are “advocates” I could do without. It would be nice if I could find someone who is professional enough to at least show up when THEY are being paid.

It would be so much easier if I could, in fact, find a real paying job, however despite my best efforts, I have found very few people who can be sensitive to my situation and allow reasonable accomodations that are my no means too, too disruptive or annoying.

Unfortuantely I will never meet the criteria of a rank and file employee, however I’m starting to think that maybe employers are not making the best of decisions when I look at how many of them are closing up shop. I need a job that pays, in full, on time, and does not mind my attentiomn (or obsession) to detail.

I even once got fired from Red Lobster the management felt I was “not Red Lobster Material.” All in all, I guess that is not such a bad thing, because when I planned goals for myself, I cannot honestly say that being “Red Lobster Material” was not anywhere near the top of my list!

Unforutnately, good intent does not translate into the ability to pay salaries or related expenses such as INTERNET, telephone access or even basic transportation and realted expenses.

I am finding out that there are so many more people out there like myself who are “out-the-door ready and willing to go to work” were it not for the sinking economy and underwhelming job forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I have tried looking at this from every angle, but the bottom line is this: I NEED A JOB!

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will no doubt be revisit your rsuggestions when I attempt to file my taxes again through the VITA program.

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

exclamation Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 10:58:37 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: 11:06:45 pm on 2/3/2009
How did I miss this refreshing post?

Thank you so much for not doubting my efforts and sincerity when I tell you I’ve tried.

I know exactly how much money I am costing society, but what I have not done is abuse the system any more than it has abused me.

Surely, we all know that it is easy to skate by in American on less than $600 a month. And trust me if you have ANY illness when you go into the system, you will be so far beyond normal by the time you are through. assuming that is, that you are one the privileged elite who can meet their criteria and be poor like me!

I must be pretty freakin dumb if I thought I could try.

Thank you.

Elyssa

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

  Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 11:06:03 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: Never
Do you still feel I am abusing the welfare system by paying for internet access? Because I would so love it you could donate some wifi access to anyoneother than myself so others can ennjoy that elusive privilege of speaking loud. Surely someone can donate wifi to all us who should go without voice or recognition for using our words on the government’s dime. Yeah, I guess you are right, I don’t deserve internet access. It makes me angry to see comments like yours that insult my intelligeence and my sense of humor.

Whatever. If it makes you feel any better, I hope you feel just fine.

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

question A Letter to the Editor: Are You Kidding Me? (DURANT)
Posted: 7:35:10 am on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
Elyssa,

I am sorry if you feel that paying $7.50 for an article is too much. The reason as to why we charge for an article is because we offer breaking news before any other publication in Nashville. We have a three-month trial subscription for just $19 if you would like to purchase that. It is only $11.50 more than a single article and you will have full access to our site as well as receive emails alerting you of breaking news.

Please let me know if I can help you.

Thanks,

Allison Anderson
Circulation Coordinator
Nashville Post
624 Grassmere Park
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 301-9228 (desk)
My Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
________________________________________
From: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu [elyssa.durant@columbia.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 4:32 PM
To: feedback
Subject: NashvillePost.com Feedback from Elyssa Durant

I think it really sucks that I can’t read the article posted in account login and password. I have enough of those.

I wasted enough money at Vanderbilt. I should not have to pay $7.50 to read about someone else who feels the Powers That Beat are playing a sophisticated game of bait and switch.

Will someone please forward the text of this article to me online?

http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2009/2/3/former_vu_student_sues_university

Thank you in advance!

Elyssa

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

exclamation Re: Terrified (DURANT)
Posted: 6:07:48 pm on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
–repeat with me–

“overqualified.”
“overqualified.”
“overqualified.”

I am with you sister! Thank you for coming forward.

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

question How much am I worth? (DURANT)
Posted: 7:29:51 pm on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
Morally Bankrupt: How Much Am I Worth?

Last year, it was the election commission… this time it was the Board of Ed who failed to secure the personal information, social security numbers, and financial data of local students and employees.

The Tennessean openly discusses the salary of Metro teachers in the The Tennessean. The reporter makes it sound like she has uncovered some profound secret: Teachers are underpaid. No ****?

The papers seem to gloss over the magnitude if the situation of teacher pay and mobility within Metro Nashville. I wasted a ton of money at Vanderbilt and almost as much in the Ivy League. By investing in a useless program and a worthless degree, I am the first to admit I have made some bad choices, but now I am asking for some advice.

I CAN’T FIND A JOB!

I cannot afford to complete the application, or find transportation to get to an interview.

I am beyond broke. I am so far in debt that I do not even bother to open my mail since it consists only negative balances, bank statements, and letters from collection agencies and the Department of Education.

When I found out that someone recently used my social security number to open an account in Jersey City, I was thrilled at the prospect that my credit score might actually go up!

I never dreamed that I would have to apply for a social services grant simply to find a job. I never thought about fees for fingerprinting, TB tests, official transcripts, examination fees, processing fees necessary to apply a position that really only requires a GED.

As an employee of the Metro Nashville Public Schools, I work part-time as an educator at the “Masters + 30” salary level. I earn $10.46 / hour, before taxes without benefits.

That does not go far, and they are currently eliminating employees, so any chance of a raise or future opportunities for advancement seem unlikely during these tough economic times.

I cannot afford additional application fees or costs associated with the Alternative Certification options, and I certainly do not have the resources required to obtain another undergraduate degree just so I can bypass the 6 months of student teach necessary for Metro to deem me qualified to teach Head Start, pre-k or even adult literacy programs.

The bottom line is this: regardless of good intentions or misguided mentoring, I am a financial burden to you all. I pay taxes out of your taxes. I am absolutely convinced that there must be a better way to live than relying upon government subsidies to keep a roof over my head and Ramen noodles in my tummy.

There is a plethora of young, talented individuals like myself who would be more than willing to work for MNPS or any other company if we could simply access the resources necessary to complete the application. We all know that teacher salary is ridiculous to begin with, so no kudos to the reporter at the Tennessean for pointing out the obvious.

This is the reality I live in. This is poverty. This is why I am hoping that someone out there knows someone or some way that I can contribute more to society than what I am taking. I am a leach on society. I will continue to be a leach on society.

Relying upon the “welfare” of others is a terrible way to live especially when you have something to give back.

People used to laugh when I would inquire about transportation funds, internet access grants or assisted technology funds and resources…

Surely, the AT&T cable bill could have included a measure to assist the disabled and economically challenged members of our community free or discounted online internet service. Certainly one of these big companies coming to Tennessee can help by hiring just one over educated, underemployed, and dedicated employee.

I live so far beneath the poverty line that I am willing to work for the necessities in life that I simply cannot afford such as toothpaste and internet access. I cannot afford the application fees Metro charges for new or returning applicants. I’m not eligible for community training programs or work force development… there are no grant based training programs for people who just made a few bad, BAD investments along the way– say, for example, a college degree?

I am not too proud to beg for a job or take some free advice if it will help me to get from here to there. I need someone, anyone, willing to give me a chance to prove myself. I need someone to invest in me!

I believe I deserve more out of life than this, and I think that if you knew me, you would think so too. Help become the person I was meant to be. Try to the see the person I could become.

I have so much to contribute, but few resources get there. All I want is a chance. All I need is a mentor. Will someone please take the time to invest in me?

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

overqualified

Barbara Ehrenreich: Elyssa Durant: Bait & Switch, Nickel & Dimed

MODIFIED FROM THE ORIGINAL POST… IT WAS IN FACT “THE WORST DAY EVER”

We live in a society where one accepts responsibility for their mistakes, no one is held accountable for their actions, ao one EVER says they are sorry.

Let me you a small glimpse inside the day in the of the und/underemployed:

I spend day after day after may doing the same thing without any result: I can only offer you a glimpse into day in the life because there io room left to sit in my car, and I believe my apartment may actually be a fire hazard… This was my daily update posted at 7:30am:

I have done everything humanly possible to clean up the slack, however, I feel I have no other choice than to file a formal complaint so that my entire case is reviewed. The number of mistakes are so overwhelming that I simply don’t have enough time to documents each and every one with the respective agency.

I will try to be more specific later without going into too much detail, but unfortunately, that level of detail is required to file the necessary appeals. Ironic huh? This apartment is like my own little cage, and I am just pathetic enough to run around in circles, hoping to find the much like a hamster wheel, rodent chasing in circles hoping to found my way out my way out before I run out air. If only I had finished my damn PhD, I would do my own case study or reality show on how far we’ll go to have nothing at all…

I have taken care of the subrogation claim, however, that does bot minimize my level of frustration because I am DROWNING in paperwork. I have contacted several agencies to assistance such as the Disability Law and Advocacy Center, however, I do not have the resources necessary to provide them with timely response. There is a very limited time allowed to Request Reconsideration, or file an appeal.

I also want to be clear that every time I have to call Social Security or DHS, it only compounds my cost of living expenses (40 cents per minute on the telephone — a bill which is not even considered to be a justifiable expense) Most agencies do not include self-addressed stamped envelopes, and I can not afford the postage required to mail out all of the requested documentation (e.g., utility bills, medical bills, pay stubs, etc.)

Fortunately, a number of agencies will take online complaints. Unfortunately, my internet was interrupted for non-payment for several weeks and their is no funding resource or community agency that provides subsidized Internet access or free printer ink.

Transportation costs are ridiculous so going to the library is not an option. Neither is returning to work right now, since it would cost too much to get to the interview or provide official (expensive) copies of my graduate school transcirpts that were oh, such a good investment!

Set aside, I am not the most user friendly person right about now, so I have found it difficult to put on a happy face so I can work at McDonald’s which pays more than Metro anyway.

The subrogation claim has been resolved but I just learned that my breast biopsy was not pre-authorized and I was told by my INSURANCE CSR (the person who answers the phone!!!) that I should not have the surgery that has already been scheduled at the Women’s Hospital for 8/21/2008. AmeriChoice (United HealthCare) did they did not authorize the biopsy last month, and have not, as of yet, received a request prior authorization for the surgery next week…

This was a lovely 54 minute conversation because he would not mail me copies of my EOBs or confirm that what, if any, requests have been submitted for payment since my last inquiry and change of address. He finally told me to call the state (Tennessee) which I have already done several times, and they told me to call Social Security but it was already past business hours and I am not authorized to make changes to my file anyway.

I’ll be in touch when I can. Unfortunately each agency has different deadlines, and it takes a lot of energy and time to scan in, copy, or respond to each inquiry in writing, so I find myself running out of time since I can’t seem to get anything done unless I just do nothing at all.

And even though my life is a living hell, I have almost learned how to enjoy the sheer irony of it all… for someone with OCD and post-traumatic stress, this is truly a ridiculous little experiment.

I am becoming increasingly inspired to just burn every last document I own, throw away my keys and my cell phone and take Spotty some place where we can live off the land and ignore the fact that society has me chained to a computer screen that screen that does provide the basic necessities I need to live in this .

I have come this far, and I am becoming rather skilled and at expressing myself without needing an audience or the obsessive need to check every fact, throw, and typo for capitalization and perfection.

So for now… I write.

Maybe later, I’ll read, but if there is any justice left in this world, someday, I’ll actually live.

Good-bye for now. I need a break.

With love,Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
Cell: (615) 424-8810
E-mail: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu

“The paradox of education is precisely this– that as one begins to
become educated, one begins to examine the society in which he [or
she] is being educated.” – BaldwinElyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

  Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 7:14:03 pm on 9/11/2008 Modified: Never
My first thought: You’re kidding, right?

My second thought:
Poor thing just deosn’t get it…
Take a look at “Good Fences” available online
http://www.nycvoices.org/article_1132.php
Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
Cell: (615) 424-8810
E-mail: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu

“The paradox of education is precisely this– that as one begins to
become educated, one begins to examine the society in which he [or
she] is being educated.” – Baldwin

  Appealing the Appalling (DURANT)
Posted: 9:39:44 pm on 9/11/2008 Modified: Never
Today I was finally able to submit the appeal I have waited over three years to submit. And it is just an APPEAL! Not even a decision. Not a win, but also not a loss.

The APPEAL has given me the strength to keep going. In part because it shows that I haven’t lost and in part because it means that somebody actually listening.

So listen carefully, my friends. It was not too long ago that I had almost everything a young person needs to succeed in this world.

Or maybe not.

As for my most current insurance dispute… I feel that I have done everything humanly possible to be sympathetic towards health care provider who is NOT providing care. I cannot sacrifice my own well being for every bright eyed bushy tailed wanna be who is too stupid to see that I am far from.

I had such a battle this week. It culminated in the end like every other battle I have taken on. I only won because ultimately but we are all losing.

For every underqualifed, health care provider who has NOT provided the adequate, there are many more like me. Alienated just enough to give up on fashion, etiquette and social norms, but not enough to walk from it all.

We are keeping watch. We are taking names, and I for one do not give a rat’s ass about “keeping the peace.”

Having been on both sides if the proverbial couch, I have the perspective is both enlightening and scary at the same time.
I look back and want to say shout “told you so” from the nearest roof top.

Crazy is crazy does… out loud. I may be enjoying this just a little too much.

Sometimes I try to look at this fight, (I meant to say this life) objectively.

I can see my own future, and I can see where it is taking me. I know how it will end it I don’t keep up the pace.

It is amazing at how far we will go to have nothing at all.

I have come this far, and on some level I almost enjoy the dance. No. On some level, I actually love the dance.

No. I won’t give up now. Because without this turmoil, this means to an end, this demonstration project of futility and determination, and without it, I am nothing at all. I can’t lose what I never had. I won’t be another sell-out– mostly because I don’t know how.

I am then the voice of perseverance. I am one voice of perseverance. I am one of 47 million Americans. And today I am I am still fighting the good fight.

This battle; this challenge; this half won war this fight has come to define me. And without that, I am not really much of anything at all…

As someone once told me, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. I’ve already fallen, but I sure as **** stand for something.

“… so for now, I write. Maybe later listen. And if there is any justice left in this world, maybe someday, I’ll actually live. “

Good night, folks. It is time for that break.

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, Tennessee

exclamation Making Ends Meet When You Can’t the Paper? (DURANT)
Posted: 10:50:56 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: Never
Nashville Bar Association and / or Legal Aid have both reviewed my case, and though I meet the eligibility criteria to obtain services, I found them to be very diasorganized in the application process. And simply could not do anything I hadn’t already tried…

Limits federal limits for financial and certainly qualify for servies under various ADA protected categories, but what people don’t realize is this… All I need is a actual, LIVING-WAGE job.

Trust me, they are harder to find than you might think.

I am certainly far below the income threshold and meet all eligibility requirements for various programs, but all I really want is the opportunity to be judged on my merits– not be forced to identify myself as a recipient of federal funds so that corporation can CLAIM the welfare to work reduction.

Thanks, but no. I do qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation but the state messed up records so badly that I have absoultely no idea what the status of my PASS application is.

Pro-bono and nonprofits community agencies simply are not set up to deal with such complicated inter-related and complex issues. Legal Aid and TPA have both reviwed and evaluated the status of my case.

Neither handle bankruptcy, student loan disputes, or ERISA disputes. The Disability Law and Advocacy Center did not show up to a scheduled negotiation. My designated representative succeeeded at doing one thing: consitently missing every single possible filing deadline regardless of the how many times I called, wrote, or complained for over three years.

That is negligence in my book.

Forgive me for saying so, but those are “advocates” I could do without. It would be nice if I could find someone who is professional enough to at least show up when THEY are being paid.

It would be so much easier if I could, in fact, find a real paying job, however despite my best efforts, I have found very few people who can be sensitive to my situation and allow reasonable accomodations that are my no means too, too disruptive or annoying.

Unfortuantely I will never meet the criteria of a rank and file employee, however I’m starting to think that maybe employers are not making the best of decisions when I look at how many of them are closing up shop. I need a job that pays, in full, on time, and does not mind my attentiomn (or obsession) to detail.

I even once got fired from Red Lobster the management felt I was “not Red Lobster Material.” All in all, I guess that is not such a bad thing, because when I planned goals for myself, I cannot honestly say that being “Red Lobster Material” was not anywhere near the top of my list!

Unforutnately, good intent does not translate into the ability to pay salaries or related expenses such as INTERNET, telephone access or even basic transportation and realted expenses.

I am finding out that there are so many more people out there like myself who are “out-the-door ready and willing to go to work” were it not for the sinking economy and underwhelming job forecasts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I have tried looking at this from every angle, but the bottom line is this: I NEED A JOB!

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I will no doubt be revisit your rsuggestions when I attempt to file my taxes again through the VITA program.

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

exclamation Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 10:58:37 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: 11:06:45 pm on 2/3/2009
How did I miss this refreshing post?

Thank you so much for not doubting my efforts and sincerity when I tell you I’ve tried.

I know exactly how much money I am costing society, but what I have not done is abuse the system any more than it has abused me.

Surely, we all know that it is easy to skate by in American on less than $600 a month. And trust me if you have ANY illness when you go into the system, you will be so far beyond normal by the time you are through. assuming that is, that you are one the privileged elite who can meet their criteria and be poor like me!

I must be pretty freakin dumb if I thought I could try.

Thank you.

Elyssa

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

  Re: Making Ends Meet When You Can’t Afford the Paper (DURANT)
Posted: 11:06:03 pm on 2/3/2009 Modified: Never
Do you still feel I am abusing the welfare system by paying for internet access? Because I would so love it you could donate some wifi access to anyoneother than myself so others can ennjoy that elusive privilege of speaking loud. Surely someone can donate wifi to all us who should go without voice or recognition for using our words on the government’s dime. Yeah, I guess you are right, I don’t deserve internet access. It makes me angry to see comments like yours that insult my intelligeence and my sense of humor.

Whatever. If it makes you feel any better, I hope you feel just fine.

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

question A Letter to the Editor: Are You Kidding Me? (DURANT)
Posted: 7:35:10 am on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
Elyssa,

I am sorry if you feel that paying $7.50 for an article is too much. The reason as to why we charge for an article is because we offer breaking news before any other publication in Nashville. We have a three-month trial subscription for just $19 if you would like to purchase that. It is only $11.50 more than a single article and you will have full access to our site as well as receive emails alerting you of breaking news.

Please let me know if I can help you.

Thanks,

Allison Anderson
Circulation Coordinator
Nashville Post
624 Grassmere Park
Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 301-9228 (desk)
My Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
________________________________________
From: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu [elyssa.durant@columbia.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 4:32 PM
To: feedback
Subject: NashvillePost.com Feedback from Elyssa Durant

I think it really sucks that I can’t read the article posted in account login and password. I have enough of those.

I wasted enough money at Vanderbilt. I should not have to pay $7.50 to read about someone else who feels the Powers That Beat are playing a sophisticated game of bait and switch.

Will someone please forward the text of this article to me online?

http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2009/2/3/former_vu_student_sues_university

Thank you in advance!

Elyssa

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

exclamation Re: Terrified (DURANT)
Posted: 6:07:48 pm on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
–repeat with me–

“overqualified.”
“overqualified.”
“overqualified.”

I am with you sister! Thank you for coming forward.

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

question How much am I worth? (DURANT)
Posted: 7:29:51 pm on 2/4/2009 Modified: Never
Morally Bankrupt: How Much Am I Worth?

Last year, it was the election commission… this time it was the Board of Ed who failed to secure the personal information, social security numbers, and financial data of local students and employees.

The Tennessean openly discusses the salary of Metro teachers in the The Tennessean. The reporter makes it sound like she has uncovered some profound secret: Teachers are underpaid. No ****?

The papers seem to gloss over the magnitude if the situation of teacher pay and mobility within Metro Nashville. I wasted a ton of money at Vanderbilt and almost as much in the Ivy League. By investing in a useless program and a worthless degree, I am the first to admit I have made some bad choices, but now I am asking for some advice.

I CAN’T FIND A JOB!

I cannot afford to complete the application, or find transportation to get to an interview.

I am beyond broke. I am so far in debt that I do not even bother to open my mail since it consists only negative balances, bank statements, and letters from collection agencies and the Department of Education.

When I found out that someone recently used my social security number to open an account in Jersey City, I was thrilled at the prospect that my credit score might actually go up!

I never dreamed that I would have to apply for a social services grant simply to find a job. I never thought about fees for fingerprinting, TB tests, official transcripts, examination fees, processing fees necessary to apply a position that really only requires a GED.

As an employee of the Metro Nashville Public Schools, I work part-time as an educator at the “Masters + 30” salary level. I earn $10.46 / hour, before taxes without benefits.

That does not go far, and they are currently eliminating employees, so any chance of a raise or future opportunities for advancement seem unlikely during these tough economic times.

I cannot afford additional application fees or costs associated with the Alternative Certification options, and I certainly do not have the resources required to obtain another undergraduate degree just so I can bypass the 6 months of student teach necessary for Metro to deem me qualified to teach Head Start, pre-k or even adult literacy programs.

The bottom line is this: regardless of good intentions or misguided mentoring, I am a financial burden to you all. I pay taxes out of your taxes. I am absolutely convinced that there must be a better way to live than relying upon government subsidies to keep a roof over my head and Ramen noodles in my tummy.

There is a plethora of young, talented individuals like myself who would be more than willing to work for MNPS or any other company if we could simply access the resources necessary to complete the application. We all know that teacher salary is ridiculous to begin with, so no kudos to the reporter at the Tennessean for pointing out the obvious.

This is the reality I live in. This is poverty. This is why I am hoping that someone out there knows someone or some way that I can contribute more to society than what I am taking. I am a leach on society. I will continue to be a leach on society.

Relying upon the “welfare” of others is a terrible way to live especially when you have something to give back.

People used to laugh when I would inquire about transportation funds, internet access grants or assisted technology funds and resources…

Surely, the AT&T cable bill could have included a measure to assist the disabled and economically challenged members of our community free or discounted online internet service. Certainly one of these big companies coming to Tennessee can help by hiring just one over educated, underemployed, and dedicated employee.

I live so far beneath the poverty line that I am willing to work for the necessities in life that I simply cannot afford such as toothpaste and internet access. I cannot afford the application fees Metro charges for new or returning applicants. I’m not eligible for community training programs or work force development… there are no grant based training programs for people who just made a few bad, BAD investments along the way– say, for example, a college degree?

I am not too proud to beg for a job or take some free advice if it will help me to get from here to there. I need someone, anyone, willing to give me a chance to prove myself. I need someone to invest in me!

I believe I deserve more out of life than this, and I think that if you knew me, you would think so too. Help become the person I was meant to be. Try to the see the person I could become.

I have so much to contribute, but few resources get there. All I want is a chance. All I need is a mentor. Will someone please take the time to invest in me?

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
E-mail: ed70@columbia.edu

overqualified

Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers, TNDP and OFA

May 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

What an it interesting twist of fate.

So the Queen steps without naming an heir, and takes they whole
“community” with her.

What an brilliant demonstration of leadership gone bad. So that’s two.

It was my understanding that the core concept of #OFA was that
community organizers rely on grass roots and heart of the community.

The turf wars at TNDP and NCO served only one purpose, the political
agenda was more like a pulpit for shameless self-promotion. As a
result Tennessee has continues to move further way from the core
principles of progressive voters across the state.

Personal agendas took priority over policy initiatives and we are
certainly no closer to being anywhere near the place we need to be.
I no longer affiliate with the TN Democratic party despite my long
standing record of being an active member of many local, national and
International organizations promoting human rights and justice for
all.

As a result I no longer volunteer or align myself with any “political” party.

I watched from afar as the TNDP and NCO claimed OWNERSHIP of other
community agencies. Including Nashville for All of Us.

To alienate so many so quickly, it tells me that my instincts were
right on target.

I received multiple emails and action alerts all claiming to Speak for of OFA.

Upon further inspection, it became clear that this was one individual
was pushing a personal agenda. To be an effective community organizer
on must keep the emphasis on “community” rather than “leadership”

I think is certainly a step in the right direction. Maybe there still
is a Nashville for All of Us.

Truly disgraceful demonstration of poor leadership, dedication and character.

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, TN
http://bit.ly/blbFec

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Meetup
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 07:11:28 -0400
Subject: Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers
To: ed70@columbia.edu

Members of Nashville Community Organizers,

Your Organizer, Kathy, just stepped down without nominating a replacement.

Without an Organizer, Nashville Community Organizers will shut down on
May 27, 2010.

Step up to become this Meetup Group’s Organizer and you can guide its
future direction, schedule Meetups, change its site’s colors —
you can make it whatever you and your members want!

Other members can help you. Ask them for ideas or even nominate a few
to help as Assistant Organizers.

Want to learn more about what Organizing a Meetup Group is like? Check
out Meetup’s Organizer Center: http://orc.meetup.com/

KEEP YOUR GROUP GOING:
http://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Community-Organizers-formerly-NLBO/handover/?…

got questions? we’re here to help! Call us at 1-877-633-8870
#supporthours() or send us an email at support@meetup.com

Viva la community!
The Team at Meetup HQ

 

An Open Letter to the TNDP

 

June 24, 2009

Dear Mr Forrester:

I have a HUGE problem with the “Chip in for Chip Campaign” I feel this is a grievous misrepresentation of the TNDP and the incestuous affiliation it appears to have with the NCO.

What an awful way to start you tenure and try to gain support from local, vocal advocates and activists like myself. http://www.actblue.com/page/chipin

Unfortunately, duty calls, and I don’t have the time to fully express just how disturbed I was by how betrayed I feel by the TNDP that caused me to question the ethics of my own party. a breach of ethics within the Democratic party.

But rest assured I will return to this topic with further details, and a copy of a letter I received from one of of your staff members the day after we discussed the possibility of summoning volunteers from the health care lobby to get your new office up and running.

Although you did invite me both verbally and through e-mail, I was told by one of your staffers that I was not welcome since I “Chip doesn’t even know you, AND because I did not even volunteer at the Obama Headquarters.”

Sorry– I was hitting the streets with Health Care for America Now [HCAN] and manning the phones for Cover the Uninsured.

This campaign was misrepresented to me as a non-profit supporting the community through and by local activists and advocates right here in Nashville.

The website revisions validate that transformation from as the NCO slowly morphed into the TNDP.

This kind of and followed up with one of the most disgusting displays of all the things ugly we hate about politics.

NCO is NOT act blue. As a former lobbyist, I am deeply offended by the ethics and misrepresentation of the TNDP. Especially after being told I am not a welcome volunteer at YOUR office.

Bad business, Chip.

It is unfortunate that you have surrounded yourself with people who are working against you to further their own political agenda hoping they may someday replace you.

It was interesting to watch how quickly the dispersed when the “Chips were down.”

As a life-long democrat who missed only one election since I turned 18, I truly hope your staff (especially the “NCO” can recognize how seriously they are jeopardizing and alienating members of the Democratic party.

Unfortunately, I can’t donate money, but I would have more than happy to volunteer time. Therefore, I am formally requesting a refund of the $5.44 I donated online.

I shared the letter with a friend in the Republican Party because it was so offensive and shocking. I think you deserve a copy as well. I will try to get that o you in the near future.

Please note, it is not personal against you, but In the meantime, I would like to formally request a refund of $5.44. You can make it payable to charity of MY choice, however since I am unemployed and on disability, I wouldn’t object if you made the check out to “cash.”

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

Because THIS is how the Tennessee Democratic Party treats volunteers in “The Volunteer State”

So, no. Don’t ask me to “chip in for Chip Forrester” or donate money to any of the people associated with this organization.

To quote Kathy, “it’s just not happening.” ELyssa Durant, Ed.M.
TN05, House 52
אל

> > ——Original Message——
> From: kathy@communityorganizers.net
> To: Ed70@columbia.edu
> Subject: TNDP
> Sent: Feb 8, 2009 7:27 AM
> > Hey Elyssa,
> > Just wanted to let you know that the TNDP Transition Team already has formed, met, and is working. I know you’re interested in being on it, but it’s just not happening this time. You’re not on it. Chip doesn’t know you, hasn’t worked with you, and hasn’t even met you, Elyssa. You’ve got a good heart with great intentions, but you’re just being too aggressive right now and it’s having an opposite effect than what you want. No one knows you here -you weren’t on the Obama staff or volunteer staff here, or even a volunteer at HQ, and haven’t done anything with NCO. Give it time.
> > I know you’ll appreciate the direct approach. No worries!
> > Kathy
> > >

Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers, TNDP and OFA

May 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM

What an it interesting twist of fate.

So the Queen steps without naming an heir, and takes they whole
“community” with her.

What an brilliant demonstration of leadership gone bad. So that’s two.

It was my understanding that the core concept of #OFA was that
community organizers rely on grass roots and heart of the community.

The turf wars at TNDP and NCO served only one purpose, the political
agenda was more like a pulpit for shameless self-promotion. As a
result Tennessee has continues to move further way from the core
principles of progressive voters across the state.

Personal agendas took priority over policy initiatives and we are
certainly no closer to being anywhere near the place we need to be.
I no longer affiliate with the TN Democratic party despite my long
standing record of being an active member of many local, national and
International organizations promoting human rights and justice for
all.

As a result I no longer volunteer or align myself with any “political” party.

I watched from afar as the TNDP and NCO claimed OWNERSHIP of other
community agencies. Including Nashville for All of Us.

To alienate so many so quickly, it tells me that my instincts were
right on target.

I received multiple emails and action alerts all claiming to Speak for of OFA.

Upon further inspection, it became clear that this was one individual
was pushing a personal agenda. To be an effective community organizer
on must keep the emphasis on “community” rather than “leadership”

I think is certainly a step in the right direction. Maybe there still
is a Nashville for All of Us.

Truly disgraceful demonstration of poor leadership, dedication and character.

Elyssa Durant
Nashville, TN
http://bit.ly/blbFec

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Meetup
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 07:11:28 -0400
Subject: Important Message about Nashville Community Organizers
To: ed70@columbia.edu

Members of Nashville Community Organizers,

Your Organizer, Kathy, just stepped down without nominating a replacement.

Without an Organizer, Nashville Community Organizers will shut down on
May 27, 2010.

Step up to become this Meetup Group’s Organizer and you can guide its
future direction, schedule Meetups, change its site’s colors —
you can make it whatever you and your members want!

Other members can help you. Ask them for ideas or even nominate a few
to help as Assistant Organizers.

Want to learn more about what Organizing a Meetup Group is like? Check
out Meetup’s Organizer Center: http://orc.meetup.com/

KEEP YOUR GROUP GOING:
http://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Community-Organizers-formerly-NLBO/handover/?…

got questions? we’re here to help! Call us at 1-877-633-8870
#supporthours() or send us an email at support@meetup.com

Viva la community!
The Team at Meetup HQ

 

An Open Letter to the TNDP

 

June 24, 2009

Dear Mr Forrester:

I have a HUGE problem with the “Chip in for Chip Campaign” I feel this is a grievous misrepresentation of the TNDP and the incestuous affiliation it appears to have with the NCO.

What an awful way to start you tenure and try to gain support from local, vocal advocates and activists like myself. http://www.actblue.com/page/chipin

Unfortunately, duty calls, and I don’t have the time to fully express just how disturbed I was by how betrayed I feel by the TNDP that caused me to question the ethics of my own party. a breach of ethics within the Democratic party.

But rest assured I will return to this topic with further details, and a copy of a letter I received from one of of your staff members the day after we discussed the possibility of summoning volunteers from the health care lobby to get your new office up and running.

Although you did invite me both verbally and through e-mail, I was told by one of your staffers that I was not welcome since I “Chip doesn’t even know you, AND because I did not even volunteer at the Obama Headquarters.”

Sorry– I was hitting the streets with Health Care for America Now [HCAN] and manning the phones for Cover the Uninsured.

This campaign was misrepresented to me as a non-profit supporting the community through and by local activists and advocates right here in Nashville.

The website revisions validate that transformation from as the NCO slowly morphed into the TNDP.

This kind of and followed up with one of the most disgusting displays of all the things ugly we hate about politics.

NCO is NOT act blue. As a former lobbyist, I am deeply offended by the ethics and misrepresentation of the TNDP. Especially after being told I am not a welcome volunteer at YOUR office.

Bad business, Chip.

It is unfortunate that you have surrounded yourself with people who are working against you to further their own political agenda hoping they may someday replace you.

It was interesting to watch how quickly the dispersed when the “Chips were down.”

As a life-long democrat who missed only one election since I turned 18, I truly hope your staff (especially the “NCO” can recognize how seriously they are jeopardizing and alienating members of the Democratic party.

Unfortunately, I can’t donate money, but I would have more than happy to volunteer time. Therefore, I am formally requesting a refund of the $5.44 I donated online.

I shared the letter with a friend in the Republican Party because it was so offensive and shocking. I think you deserve a copy as well. I will try to get that o you in the near future.

Please note, it is not personal against you, but In the meantime, I would like to formally request a refund of $5.44. You can make it payable to charity of MY choice, however since I am unemployed and on disability, I wouldn’t object if you made the check out to “cash.”

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

Because THIS is how the Tennessee Democratic Party treats volunteers in “The Volunteer State”

So, no. Don’t ask me to “chip in for Chip Forrester” or donate money to any of the people associated with this organization.

To quote Kathy, “it’s just not happening.” ELyssa Durant, Ed.M.
TN05, House 52
אל

> > ——Original Message——
> From: kathy@communityorganizers.net
> To: Ed70@columbia.edu
> Subject: TNDP
> Sent: Feb 8, 2009 7:27 AM
> > Hey Elyssa,
> > Just wanted to let you know that the TNDP Transition Team already has formed, met, and is working. I know you’re interested in being on it, but it’s just not happening this time. You’re not on it. Chip doesn’t know you, hasn’t worked with you, and hasn’t even met you, Elyssa. You’ve got a good heart with great intentions, but you’re just being too aggressive right now and it’s having an opposite effect than what you want. No one knows you here -you weren’t on the Obama staff or volunteer staff here, or even a volunteer at HQ, and haven’t done anything with NCO. Give it time.
> > I know you’ll appreciate the direct approach. No worries!
> > Kathy
> > >

An Open Letter to the TNDP and Obama For America [2009]

An Open Letter to the TNDP

June 24, 2009

Dear Mr Forrester:

I have a HUGE problem with the “Chip in for Chip Campaign” I feel this is a grievous misrepresentation of the TNDP and the incestuous affiliation it appears to have with the NCO.

What an awful way to start you tenure and try to gain support from local, vocal advocates and activists like myself. http://www.actblue.com/page/chipin

Unfortunately, duty calls, and I don’t have the time to fully express just how disturbed I was by how betrayed I feel by the TNDP that caused me to question the ethics of my own party. a breach of ethics within the Democratic party.

But rest assured I will return to this topic with further details, and a copy of a letter I received from one of of your staff members the day after we discussed the possibility of summoning volunteers from the health care lobby to get your new office up and running.

Although you did invite me both verbally and through e-mail, I was told by one of your staffers that I was not welcome since I “Chip doesn’t even know you, AND because I did not even volunteer at the Obama Headquarters.”

Sorry– I was hitting the streets with Health Care for America Now [HCAN] and manning the phones for Cover the Uninsured.

This campaign was misrepresented to me as a non-profit supporting the community through and by local activists and advocates right here in Nashville.

The website revisions validate that transformation from as the NCO slowly morphed into the TNDP.

This kind of and followed up with one of the most disgusting displays of all the things ugly we hate about politics.

NCO is NOT act blue. As a former lobbyist, I am deeply offended by the ethics and misrepresentation of the TNDP. Especially after being told I am not a welcome volunteer at YOUR office.

Bad business, Chip.

It is unfortunate that you have surrounded yourself with people who are working against you to further their own political agenda hoping they may someday replace you.

It was interesting to watch how quickly the dispersed when the “Chips were down.”

As a life-long democrat who missed only one election since I turned 18, I truly hope your staff (especially the “NCO” can recognize how seriously they are jeopardizing and alienating members of the Democratic party.

Unfortunately, I can’t donate money, but I would have more than happy to volunteer time. Therefore, I am formally requesting a refund of the $5.44 I donated online.

I shared the letter with a friend in the Republican Party because it was so offensive and shocking. I think you deserve a copy as well. I will try to get that o you in the near future.

Please note, it is not personal against you, but In the meantime, I would like to formally request a refund of $5.44. You can make it payable to charity of MY choice, however since I am unemployed and on disability, I wouldn’t object if you made the check out to “cash.”

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

Because THIS is how the Tennessee Democratic Party treats volunteers in “The Volunteer State”

So, no. Don’t ask me to “chip in for Chip Forrester” or donate money to any of the people associated with this organization.

To quote Kathy, “it’s just not happening.” ELyssa Durant, Ed.M.

TN05, House 52

אל

> > ——Original Message——

> From: kathy@communityorganizers.net

> To: Ed70@columbia.edu

> Subject: TNDP

> Sent: Feb 8, 2009 7:27 AM

> > Hey Elyssa,

> > Just wanted to let you know that the TNDP Transition Team already has formed, met, and is working. I know you’re interested in being on it, but it’s just not happening this time. You’re not on it. Chip doesn’t know you, hasn’t worked with you, and hasn’t even met you, Elyssa. You’ve got a good heart with great intentions, but you’re just being too aggressive right now and it’s having an opposite effect than what you want. No one knows you here -you weren’t on the Obama staff or volunteer staff here, or even a volunteer at HQ, and haven’t done anything with NCO. Give it time.

> > I know you’ll appreciate the direct approach. No worries!

> > Kathy

> > >

An Open Letter to the TNDP and Obama For America [2009]

An Open Letter to the TNDP

June 24, 2009

Dear Mr Forrester:

I have a HUGE problem with the “Chip in for Chip Campaign” I feel this is a grievous misrepresentation of the TNDP and the incestuous affiliation it appears to have with the NCO.

What an awful way to start you tenure and try to gain support from local, vocal advocates and activists like myself. http://www.actblue.com/page/chipin

Unfortunately, duty calls, and I don’t have the time to fully express just how disturbed I was by how betrayed I feel by the TNDP that caused me to question the ethics of my own party. a breach of ethics within the Democratic party.

But rest assured I will return to this topic with further details, and a copy of a letter I received from one of of your staff members the day after we discussed the possibility of summoning volunteers from the health care lobby to get your new office up and running.

Although you did invite me both verbally and through e-mail, I was told by one of your staffers that I was not welcome since I “Chip doesn’t even know you, AND because I did not even volunteer at the Obama Headquarters.”

Sorry– I was hitting the streets with Health Care for America Now [HCAN] and manning the phones for Cover the Uninsured.

This campaign was misrepresented to me as a non-profit supporting the community through and by local activists and advocates right here in Nashville.

The website revisions validate that transformation from as the NCO slowly morphed into the TNDP.

This kind of and followed up with one of the most disgusting displays of all the things ugly we hate about politics.

NCO is NOT act blue. As a former lobbyist, I am deeply offended by the ethics and misrepresentation of the TNDP. Especially after being told I am not a welcome volunteer at YOUR office.

Bad business, Chip.

It is unfortunate that you have surrounded yourself with people who are working against you to further their own political agenda hoping they may someday replace you.

It was interesting to watch how quickly the dispersed when the “Chips were down.”

As a life-long democrat who missed only one election since I turned 18, I truly hope your staff (especially the “NCO” can recognize how seriously they are jeopardizing and alienating members of the Democratic party.

Unfortunately, I can’t donate money, but I would have more than happy to volunteer time. Therefore, I am formally requesting a refund of the $5.44 I donated online.

I shared the letter with a friend in the Republican Party because it was so offensive and shocking. I think you deserve a copy as well. I will try to get that o you in the near future.

Please note, it is not personal against you, but In the meantime, I would like to formally request a refund of $5.44. You can make it payable to charity of MY choice, however since I am unemployed and on disability, I wouldn’t object if you made the check out to “cash.”

Sincerely yours,

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee

Because THIS is how the Tennessee Democratic Party treats volunteers in “The Volunteer State”

So, no. Don’t ask me to “chip in for Chip Forrester” or donate money to any of the people associated with this organization.

To quote Kathy, “it’s just not happening.” ELyssa Durant, Ed.M.

TN05, House 52

אל

> > ——Original Message——

> From: kathy@communityorganizers.net

> To: Ed70@columbia.edu

> Subject: TNDP

> Sent: Feb 8, 2009 7:27 AM

> > Hey Elyssa,

> > Just wanted to let you know that the TNDP Transition Team already has formed, met, and is working. I know you’re interested in being on it, but it’s just not happening this time. You’re not on it. Chip doesn’t know you, hasn’t worked with you, and hasn’t even met you, Elyssa. You’ve got a good heart with great intentions, but you’re just being too aggressive right now and it’s having an opposite effect than what you want. No one knows you here -you weren’t on the Obama staff or volunteer staff here, or even a volunteer at HQ, and haven’t done anything with NCO. Give it time.

> > I know you’ll appreciate the direct approach. No worries!

> > Kathy

> > >

Reality Bytes: Is Equal Opportunity Just A Myth?

Is
Equal Opportunity Just A Myth?


Is Equal Opportunity Just a Myth?

America claims to be dedicated to
equal opportunity, yet equality is not sufficient in urban communities. These
kids need more. We need to think about equity, not equality. It is not enough to
hide them away. These are visions we should never
forget.

Link to full text: View
more »

In Amazing Grace: The lives of children and the
conscience of a nation, Jonathan Kozol paints a vivid picture of the conditions
in the poorest sections of New York City. During the early to mid 1990’s, Kozol
made several visits to Mott Haven in the South Bronx. As he describes in Amazing
Grace, the South Bronx is one of the most severely segregated and poorest
Congressional Districts in the United States.
The members of this community have been segregated into a
hell plagued with sickness, violence and despair. Kozol argues that this
strategic placement serves to isolate the rich from the realities they have
thrust upon their fellow man. New Yorkers do not stroll through the streets of
Mott Haven, and taxicabs take no short cuts through Beekman Avenue. Many
taxicabs will not even venture past East 96th Street. Out of sight is out of
mind.

As I was reading Amazing Grace, I remember thinking back to my days
living in Manhattan, coincidentally around the same time Kozol conducted his
interviews in the South Bronx. I lived in what Kozol refers to as Manhattan’s
“Liberal West Side,” an area that was undergoing rapid transformation and
gentrification at the time Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took office.

There is
no excuse for the conditions in which these people must live. No person should
be forced into an apartment that has a higher ratio of cockroaches and rats than
human beings.

In 1995, the American Sociological Association (ASA) held
its annual conference in New York City. Prior to that meeting, they sent out a
fact sheet that may be of interest to ASA members. In this sheet, they too
described the same social conditions and asked their members to take note of the
changes that occur at 96th Street. I can assure you that the conditions Kozol
describes in his book were not exaggerated.

These children are
desperately in need of the best schools, yet we give them the worst. They have
few libraries, few safe havens, few doctors, and few role models. They have
every reason to believe that they are throwaway children and we have certainly
not shown them anything else. The social services we have provided are a
bureaucratic nightmare. People in need are treated as sub-human, and made to
feel ashamed of being poor.

These are among the sickest children in the
world. Americans claim to be dedicated to the children and fool ourselves into
believing that we are doing them a favor by providing them with medical care,
public education, and public housing. Yet, the quality of their neighborhoods
speaks volumes of our sentiment and intentions.

Shortly after Amazing
Grace was published, managed care rapidly moved onto the New York scene. Around
the same time, the Mayor announced he would be closing some of the hospitals
that served the poorest of the poor because of financial problems associated
with payment and large trauma departments.

Kozol makes the point that
people could attempt to gain admissions at a better hospital than Bronx-Lebanon;
yet, the privatization of Medicaid has now made this completely impossible.
Further restrictions on medical care are inevitable as the result of Medicaid
managed care. The law is not designed to protect these people, and this was made
obvious in a recent conversation I had with a friend who practices medicine in
New York.

My friend John works as a board certified trauma physician at a
private hospital on the Upper East Side. The last black patient he treated at
Beth Israel was famed rock singer Michael Jackson. I asked him if he ever gets
any asthma patients in his ER. He knew immediately of whom I was speaking. “You
mean the kids from the South Bronx?” he asked. He told me that they know better
than to show up at Beth Israel. “But if they do?” I asked, and he replied, “We
ship them back.”

This is the reality. The best doctors treat the
wealthiest patients rather than the sickest. Schools educate the best students
rather than the neediest. It is no wonder that these children perform poorly in
school. By every measure, these children are destined for failure. Their home
life is less than enchanting, and they do not benefit from enriched environments
and educated parents.

Certainly, there are many dedicated parents who
care about their children, but is that enough? When I was in school, children
frequently asked the teacher, how will this help later in life. In my class,
there was an unequivocal reply, but it could be argued that what children in the
South Bronx need to learn couldn’t be taught in the classroom.

There is
no doubt that the prevalence of violence in urban neighborhoods affects the
ability of children to perform well in school. There is a large body of
empirical evidence that demonstrates the effects of chronic stress on memory and
the learning process. Rather than taking the children out of these communities,
we have constructed prison like buildings for them to attend school. They
routinely have gunfire drills reminding them that danger is never far
behind.

Children cannot learn in this environment. This constant stress
triggers “hot-memory.” Hot memory can be thought of as learning with your heart
and not your mind. It is no wonder children perform inadequately in this
environment.

It is bad enough that children live in such conditions, must
we educate in them too? If we want underprivileged children to learn and grow
spiritually, we must create an environment that allows their cool memory systems
to take over.

It is only under these conditions that children will permit
themselves to learn and develop their intellectual strengths. We have failed to
create a safe home environment for urban children, but we can give serious
thought to creating a school environment outside of the community so they have
fewer fear-driven hours each day.

Studies consistently report lower
academic achievement in urban neighborhoods like Mott Haven in the South Bronx.
Children growing up in urban neighborhoods have a much higher incidence of
posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most researchers believe this to be the
direct result of living in stressed communities plagued with street crime and
violence. The potential impact of chronic stress on academic performance and
achievement is not known, but reading scores in neighborhoods like Mott Haven
certainly seem to indicate some type of causal relationship. There is virtually
no research on looking at the long-term effects of this inflated incidence of
PTSD among urban populations. It is important to develop an understanding of the
effects of fear on the academic performance of urban adolescents so we can begin
to dismantle the myths regarding school performance and minority
children.

Under these conditions, it is not surprising to learn that
students also report pervasive feelings of fear and do not feel secure despite
the added presence of security personnel on school grounds. For these students,
school is a mere extension of the violent communities in which they
live.

Since urban communities have many different sources of stress, it
is important to examine how school policies contribute to the learning
environment in public schools. The quick response has been to install weapons
detectors and hire school security for urban schools. The presence of school
security certainly affects the climate of American public schools by
establishing school environments that focus more on student behavior than
student achievement. Together, the urban public school and the community it
serves are a constant reminder of the poor living conditions and social reality
of urban America.

The secured environment is an indication of the roles
students are expected to play later in life. This is a lesson they will not soon
forget.

Kozol makes it quite clear that there are several exceptional
children in this community. There are probably as many exceptional children here
as every other community around the country, yet, so few of them will make it
out of the South Bronx. Kozol is careful not to dwell on the exceptional cases
of children who successfully navigate their way into the main stream of society.
Kozol does this so we do not develop a false sense of hope. If we cling to a few
exceptional cases, we may come to believe that what we are giving enough to
children like Anthony or Anabelle. Clearly, we can do more. Failure should be
the exception—not the rule. Success should be the norm, and until it is, we
should not give up hope for these children.

America claims to be
dedicated to equal opportunity, yet equality is not sufficient in a community
like Mott Haven. These kids need more. We need to think about equity, not
equality. It is not enough to hide them away. These are visions we should never
forget.

Welcome to America. The Wealthiest Nation in the
World.

Reference: Amazing Grace: The lives of children and
the conscience of a nation. (by Jonathan Kozol)

Link
to the assholes who made fortune off this piece…

http://darknightdurant.blogspot.com/2008/12/is-equal-opportunity-just-myth-am…