What People are Saying about Judy and Lew and the new Academy

From political leaders, veteran organizers, and old friends, many are sharing nice words and simple tributes for Judy and Lew, two true advocates for the people of Massachusetts. If you have something (nice) you’d like to say about Lew or Judy or to share a nugget of wisdom they’ve passed your way, send a short quote to judy@realclout.org.

“Congratulations on all the excellet work you are doing! You are offering such excellent programs! I hope that the younger folks are taking advantage of your Academy.”   —Margaret Blood, President, Strategies for Children

“State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry said the pair’s new focus on educating future activists comes at a critical time as non-profits struggle through a sluggish economy and new ethics reforms which she said has left many organizations scrambling to adjust.

“I think it’s great what they’re doing,” Forry said. “There are a lot of non-profits that feel they don’t have the skills to address legislators. They find themselves paying out for a lobbyist when they could be doing much of the work themselves.”   —Read more from the Dorchester ReporterVeteran organizers team up to teach next generation how to press reform, Sept. 8, 2011

“Judy is one of the pioneers of organizing human service workers. In the eighties, workers didn’t see their role as being involved with politics. Those that thought they should be involved didn’t know the difference between the state house and city hall. Under the auspice of the Mass Council for Human Services, she molded the work force into a strong effective force that brought great benefits to the workers and the entire human service industry.”    —Joe Leavey, President and Executive Director, Communities For People, Inc.

“Back in 1971-72, I got the opportunity as head of the urban team at the Globe to watch this intense young Harvard dropout trying to organize some of the toughest neighborhoods in pre-busing Boston. What an impression he made. He was fearless, tireless and egoless, and in his understated way, outraged by the rent gouging, the arbitrary evictions, the flagrant code violations and the official indifference, not to mention the Hud-backed profiteering. DTAC was the start, not just of a brilliant career, but a transformation of housing conditions in a fight that continues to this day. Lew was the guy who got it rolling. He’s a personal hero because he remains the same tough, gentle, idealistic visionary.”   —Ken Hartnett  Editor Emeritus of the New Bedford Standard-Times

“Being “artful” is [Judy’s] unique skill. If you are getting tired of it, you are getting tired period. That’s just my gratuitous interpretation from a distance from the longest-serving, still-alive president of the Meredith fan club.”    —Marty Linsky, Co-Founder and Principal, Cambridge Leadership Associates

“I saw your announcement of your new venture with Lew Finfer and was so pleased! Two advocacy powerhouses! The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is fortunate!! Very best of luck to you and Lew – keep me on your email list!”   —Deborah Weinstein  Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs, Washington

“I’m looking forward to the launch of your Academy in January. Recent controversy on emergency contraception shows how needed our advocacy on youth sexual health is, and I credit you with much of what we know!”   — Patricia Quinn, Executive Director, Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy

Keep Reading

From our Launch Party Co-Chairs: Congressman Barney Frank, Congressman Michael E. Capuano, and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino are serving as co-chairs for the Academy event because they were all there, serving in the State House, way back when Judy and Lew first started showing up with crowds of informed constituents. Here’s what Congressman Frank, Congressman Capuano and Mayor Menino have to say about Judy and Lew and the new Academy:

“Nature may abhor vacuums, but opponents of economic fairness thrive on them. When the voice of average citizens is silent, big campaign contributors dominate policy. That is why I am so pleased that two of our best advocates – Lew Finfer and Judy Meredith – are acting to fill that vacuum by helping people become effective activists on behalf of economic and social justice.”    —Congressman Barney Frank

“Special thanks to Judy Meredith and Lew Finfer, who have been long-time advocates for a better Massachusetts. Judy and Lew’s leadership is even more important during these difficult times because they are fighting to secure a better future by giving our next generation the tools they need to advocate and organize effectively.”    —Congressman Mike Capuano

“Getting results that improve residents’ lives takes collaboration, organization, and dedication. These are just some of the skills that leaders will learn at The Massachusetts Policy and Organizing Leadership Academy. I want to thank Judy Meredith and Lew Finfer for pooling their knowledge and experience to help prepare the leaders of tomorrow.”   —Mayor Tom Menino