By Deloris Dove
The New Citizens Press
     LANSING, MI — A new group emerges from the shadows of City Hall and the Capitol Building in hopes of encouraging everyday people to become more knowledgeable about the services in the community. 
     Capital City Community Action Network (CCCAN)  is holding a town hall forum on Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 1-4 p.m.  It will be held at Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church.  All are welcome to this town hall forum and CCCAN states that the town hall forum will be one of many.  They said that they do not want to have a town hall meeting and then nothing is accomplished.
     Their goal is to find out what issues in the community are not being addressed.  CCCAN strives to be the collective voice, primary organizer and mobilizer of Lansing citizens to address issues that continually affect our communities.
     Charles Dickens started his book, A Tale of Two Cities, with the paradoxical statement; “We live in the best of times and in the worst of times.”  Is the city of Lansing really on the move?  Is Lansing moving in the right direction?  Is the city of Lansing experiencing the best of times or the worst of times?  At a time when the religious community is fragmented, the political community at odds, the homeless community deprived, and the working community stressed yet optimistic.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy.”
     Rev. Nathan Dixon, who initially had the vision for this group said, “The religious, political and working community need to know that their rent is past due, and they’re about to be evicted.  For too long corruption has been allowed to reside in the master bedroom of our community.  Marian Wright Edelman was exactly right when she said, “We can and must do better.”  There must be no more business as usual.  It’s time to hold the elected officials accountable.  It’s time for the religious community to stop settling for “financial thank-you’s from elected officials,” and it’s time to put individual agendas aside and come together in order that better service can be provided to the underserved and the unserved.”
     Rina Risper, President and Publisher of The New Citizens Press said, “Our local politicians are not paying attention to the entire community.  It is not just about creating jobs for people who gave to campaigns.  We have a serious issue in the community that I serve.  There are many people who are living paycheck to paycheck.  It only takes one devastating occurrence such as losing a job, divorce or illness to push a family over their limit of physical, spiritual and mental wellness.  We need to know what you (the people) need and we need to form partnerships with you.”
     Jim Wallis said in his book God’s Politics, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”  This new organization is about “Turning Words into Works; Dialogue into Deeds.” From jobs to education, health care to housing, crime to economic parity, CCCAN seeks to resolve these and other devastating disparities in order to restore hope while providing healing and wholeness; thereby creating the premiere community and city we deserve for ourselves, and for generations to come.