Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Concerned Citizens' advocate Frances Kelley to the suits of Louisiana: "We are more stubborn than you are"
"I just want to warn the EPA, the Governor, the President, DEQ, the Louisiana Congressional delegation and any others that have the power to resolve this situation at Camp Minden and dispose of the explosives using a safe method, that we are more stubborn than you are and we will not go away until it is done," said political activist Frances Kelley on social media.
Kelley's statement may seem overly dramatic to those who have not watched her at work on regional issues such as rights for women and minorities or on the containing the abuses of the oil industry. She is a relentless and insightful worker, says Planned Parenthood chief Melissa Flournoy.
Born and raised in Shreveport (Caddo Magnet HS) and educated at Yale University (08, religious studies) Kelley is involved in politic effort from North Louisiana to Baton Rouge. She has spent hours and hours working for the causes espoused by Louisiana Progress, Equality Louisiana, 350.org, and Planned Parenthood. She has also been active in electoral campaigns for Jeff Everson, Ollie Tyler and Stephanie Lynch, among several.
The establishment of Shreveport's Human Rights Commission involved a great deal of Kelly's effort.
"She is so principled and earnest," says city council member Everson, "and so passionate about causes." Her talent in community organizing, he says, is about "being able to reach out to people in a direct way."
An advocate for a wide range of causes, Kelly has not become a professional organizer. She pays bills by teaching swimming. Kelley, a grad of the Vermont-based School for International Training in addition to Yale, is simultaneously working on a Masters in education at Centenary College.
Her primary focus is the environment, social justice and aiding grass roots organizations. "She can crunch numbers," says Everson, "and has a good grasp of predicting people's behavior."
Adds Flournoy: "Her energy, passion and commitment are motivating citizens and elected officials to be better informed and take action. Frances is a tireless advocate and community organizer who is making a difference in our state."
Says LSUS prof Brian Salvatore, "Through working with Frances in the Concerned Citizens group, I have come to witness a young person who not only has a powerful social conscience, but also the passion and the drive to achieve real results. She also has the vision and the managerial skills to inspire and direct others in how to best channel their own efforts."
Salvatore adds, "To see all this leadership ability wrapped up into an individual who displays a quiet demeanor under most circumstances is really quite remarkable. Frances has given me a lot of hope for America's future."