AMOS focuses on change in community

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
April 10, 2002
Forming a local AMOS Network chapter will require a change of mind-set, hard work, dedication, time and money, organizers said Tuesday.
More than 160 people filled the pews of Mt. Olive Baptist Church on 49th Avenue Tuesday night to hear details of the organization that several local clergy have been working to form for more than a year.
It was the first public meeting for the AMOS Network, a church- and community-based group that also has chapters in Jackson and Madison County.
The AMOS Network attempts to unite the community across racial, cultural and denominational lines. AMOS then tries to identify problems within the community and work to fix them.
Gerald Taylor, supervisor of southeast projects for the Industrial Areas Foundation, based in Chicago, spoke to the crowd. The foundation, which began in the 1940s, has trained and organized leaders of other AMOS chapters.
Taylor said the foundation will provide start-up money for the local AMOS Network, but the chapter will have to be self-sufficient within three to four years through membership dues.
The money would be used to hire a full-time organizer, said Mike Dobrosky, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator. Dobrosky is one of the organizers of the local chapter.
Asked about identifying issues, Taylor hinted that the process would come early next year. But he often used the public school system as an example of one area where work could be done.
Taylor also warned that there will be resistance to whatever the AMOS Network sets out to do.
He said the AMOS chapter in Madison County is currently embroiled in an effort to have county supervisors meet on week nights instead of 9 a.m. Fridays so more residents can attend and participate.
He said the AMOS Network will not endorse political candidates, but will hold all elected officials accountable.
He said local organizers of the chapter will continue to meet monthly. Another public meeting is expected to be planned within two months.

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