To view all posts made to date, please go home to Live from Allied Drive. Otherwise, all posts have been categorized into the topics below for your convenience. Enjoy your visit, and please share your thoughts. The beauty of blogging is that all of us can engage in dialogue about issues that concern us. Please let us know what you think!

Topics of Discussion

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where Do You Want To Go Today?

Nearly five million Americans can’t vote because of a felony conviction. The fancy word for that is disenfranchisement. The concept of disenfranchisement applies not only in politics and the right to vote, but also when it comes to technology. There is a term that computer geeks throw around called "digital disenfranchisement." It is more than a clever phrase – it is a scary reality that faces our community today.

There is a forecast that as technology develops, those of us that lack the technological savvy will be left behind, in every sense you can imagine. Some readers may be able to relate. If anyone has ever tried to apply for a job across the street at Cub Foods, there is no way to apply unless you sit at a computer and enter the information into a Web-based form. Similarly Copps, Staples, Home Depot and many other major employers in Madison summoned paper applications into the not-so-distant past. It is sometimes scary how fast technology is moving because not everyone is keeping up.

Prior to working in the non-profit world, my career was rooted in technology and the Internet. I was very fortunate when I was homeless and in line at the Hospitality House trying to get funding toward an Allied Drive apartment. I had this power that many other homeless people did not have. I knew my way around the technological world.

For me, that meant that I was able to utilize the Internet access at Hospitality House and other various agencies to hustle up money by selling things I no longer needed on eBay and I was able to talk to business owners and convince them to give me some money in exchange for a fully-functional Web site.

In the long run, technology allows literally anyone to make money through the Internet through PPC advertising, blogging, and even MySpace has income potential if you can be creative. I often tell people that the power of technology comes with the ability to do what you really want to do in life. I work a full time job at a non-profit agency because I love what I do. However, if it came down to money, I can tell you hands down that I would make double the money if I were to sit at home all day on my computer. Those who want to make money on the Internet will know what PPC advertising is, how to build a Web page, and have stories to tell. That could be anyone on Allied Drive.

It’s not easy and it could take years to really understand what you are doing but the point is to start. Begin by spending time with like-minded people and learn what you can at every moment that you can. Free Internet access is everywhere, Boys and Girls Club, the library, Urban League, the Job Center. Learning technology is easy. All you have to do is click. As Microsoft would say, where do you want to go today?

This column was originally published in Madison Voices, Allied Drive's community newspaper. Visit their Web site at:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who Can Save Us?

I have been living on Allied Drive for almost two years now, and one thing that I found somewhat irritating back when I came up here was the notion that we must be saved. I have had several conversations with "activists" who don't live here, but assume a duty to come here and fight for us (implying that we can't fight our own battles?), and they often relate that they have always wanted to work with the poor. It led me to question where their duty would lead them if we were no longer poor? Observing the interests that advanced, the leaders that are designated, the programs that get funded and the inflated sense of empowerment that arose when a resident was able to negotiate a whole book of bus tickets, as opposed to just two tickets, was enough for me realize that Allied Drive is a beast that can only tame itself. It is only through residents who live here and care enough to build stake in this community that we will be able to make anything of this neighborhood beyond a social service pot that every bleeding heart could dip into in the name of saving us lost souls.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

That's How It Is

I found this video on YouTube - don't hate unless you have a video to back your hate up!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Neighborhood Festival

Our Neighborhood Association really pulled off an awesome community festival! There really was something for everyone - from Spanish dancers, to hip-hop DJ's to double dutch contests, and of course food! Outside of a Dunn's Marsh resident trying to shut the thing down due to a permit issue, everything went extraordinarily well - Thank you Ms. Alice Howard for pulling it off!

Ironically, the block was so quiet this weekend ... no fights, no crazy dealings - kind of makes you wonder if some of the drama stems from boredom?

Anyway, check out the news coverage ...