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Posts Tagged ‘Activism in Ocean Grove’

2012  Ocean Grove United marches in town for what they believe in.  Blogfinger photo. 2012.

2012 Ocean Grove United marches in town for what they believe in. Blogfinger photo. 2012.  Click to enlarge.   ©

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

I have experienced apathy in our democracy before. It happened in 1999 when corporate raiders tried to close a fine community hospital. They had no interest in what was best for the community, and the politicians were on the side of whoever showed them the money.

We went to Trenton where we met a brick wall at the Department of Health. The Governor’s office turned its back.  We tried the NJ Medical Society, but they didn’t care.  About ten local mayors joined us, but they had no real  power.

But what hurt the most was the absence of community support by citizens who were too busy to get behind a hospital that delivered their kids and cared for their relatives and neighbors. In our democracy, the power ultimately resides with the people, but the people often don’t try to assert that power—they depend on elected officials, but they often fail the public.

We put together a community coalition, but only a small group actually turned out. We lost the  battle.

In Ocean Grove I am seeing the same sort of thing. Citizens are too busy to do something to save our town.  There are no leaders to carry banners, to demonstrate, to come to Committee and Board meetings, to pressure politicians.  There are no activists (with a couple of exceptions.)

Did any of you see the footage of activism in the Ukraine when people risked their lives because they wanted freedom?  That story is awe inspiring.

So is the story of the OGHOA from 25 years ago which showed courage and determination in the early 1990’s when they marshaled a variety of forces to turn the tide and bring the town back to recovery. Of course now is another story.

On Blogfinger we are trying to provide information and interpretation of what we see.  One person is actually putting his personal money on the line to challenge the Township.

But based on the history in this town of elected officials ignoring state laws, favoritism for insiders/developers, marginalizing the taxpayers of Ocean Grove, and community organizations  which are  failing to address issues that affect the town’s future as a historic place, the slipping and sliding will continue, and this town may be OK in the future, but it will lose its soul.

THE EURYTHMICS—  “I Saved the World Today.”

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