journal excerpt: community development

February 2012 I hold this deep faith and commitment to the promise of this country — this heartfelt hope that we never ever break the contract we have with the world — that if you come here and work hard it will pay off. If you use your gifts and your voice, you will belong. […]

Welcome to Houston

This one is for Lisa Gray who regularly pesters us for our gripes and complaints about #Houston.Here’s one thing that totally pisses me off regularly. We recruit you here to work from NYC, Chicago, San Francisco. And at first you turned up your nose at the very idea because you didn’t know a damn thing […]

Recovery Mirrors

Many people have lost their memories and their history. Not only in this storm but in other storms and disruptions as well. For some, Harvey is a heartbreaking sequel. They’ve hauled their belongings to the curb before and now they’re doing it again. Piling up their pain. Waiting for deliverance. In some way they’re the lucky ones. […]


Last night I stayed late at BakerRipley NRG Center. Left about 2:00AM. I’ve been in a room for days with people I love, whose talents and skills I respect. At times I’ve led but often I’ve followed the other leaders in the room when they were “on it” and knew best what needed to be done. We […]

You’re Welcome

Today in Houston, elected, faith, civic and nonprofit leaders, led by Mayor Turner, gathered at Baker Ripley to tell all residents of our city that they are still welcome in Houston. It was necessary. Children are not coming to school. Parents are calling hot lines with questions about “immediate deportations”. People proudly seeking citizenship now […]

NO. Governor Abbott. NO.

I write this from Germany where I’ve been invited to speak to 1,500 German public, private and NGO leaders and volunteers about best ideas for the long term integration of immigrants and refugees. Germany has welcomed 1.1 million refugees to their country. Every major city here has taken in 100–200K people. Now, leaders are intensely […]

Same Boat

I have spent almost two decades in outspoken support of immigrants and refugees -advocating for immigration reform, for compassionate and generous responses to those that fling themselves on the water in search of a better life. Migration makes us strong and more connected and I believe the future belongs to the most connected countries and […]